ANSA Motorsports came to its home race in St Petersburg, Florida, for the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge GTS championship season opener with two drivers and some positive expectations.
The team from Miami Gardens, Florida, won the 2016 Pirelli World Challenge GTS driver championship. For 2017, its team owner Alain Nadal, decided to field the KTM X-Bow GT4, a race car that performed so well last season and that is still capable of racing in front of the GTS field.
Driver Frankie Montecalvo from Highlands, New Jersey, was selected to drive the No. 13 ANSA Motorsports KTM X-Bow at St. Pete. Bill Ziegler raced the No. 9 Swisher Racing KTM X-Bow, a car that he had already competed with in 2016 with ANSA Motorsports.
St. Petersburg is the only street race of the 2017 GTS season, but always a hard one to win, especially this year, where the GT4 field is more competitive than ever.
Montecalvo is one of the top drivers in the Pirelli World Challenge and raced for the first time in the GTS championship last weekend. It was also his first time behind the wheel of a KTM X-Bow GT4. Montecalvo adapted quite well to the KTM, qualified fifth for race 1 and was looking for a good race. After the first 50-minute race, Montecalvo battled hard, but finished ninth. Ziegler started 19th and finished 15th after a problem-free season opener.
In the second race on Saturday afternoon, Montecalvo started ninth and had a much better race than on Friday. He showed his true speed throughout race 2, and despite a last minute run to catch up with the top three drivers racing at the front, the racer of the No. 13 KTM X-Bow had to settle with a fourth-place finish. Ziegler started 19th in race 2 and finished an encouraging 13th.
The next Pirelli World Challenge GTS championship event is set for April 28-30 at Virginia International Raceway in Alton, Virginia.
GTS Rounds 1 and 2 will air on CBS Sports Network on Wednesday, March 22, at 10:30 p.m. ET.
Press release prepared by 1789 LLC.