Cobalt Drivers Take Win and Title in VIR ST 6 Hr
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They had six hours to distance themselves from the competition, but Lawson Aschenbach and Ken Dobson needed every single minute of Saturday's Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series Street Tuner (ST) season finale, the Bosch Engineering Twin Six Hours at Virginia International Raceway, to win Round 11 in the No. 110 Georgian Bay Motorsports Chevrolet Cobalt SS.

Aschenbach - who led three times for a race-high 36 laps after making up 37 positions after starting at the back of the field - passed outgoing series champion Adam Burrows on Lap 139 of the 147-lap race, then distanced himself from the rest of the field over the final five laps or 15 minutes.

In the meantime, Aschenbach's teammate, Jamie Holtom in the No. 01 Georgian Bay Motorsports Chevrolet Cobalt SS, claimed the ST championship by 43 points (282-239) over Adam Burrows. At age 21 years, four days, Holtom becomes the youngest Grand-Am champion in the sanctioning body's nine-year history. He shared the car with Eric Curran, who had previously won at VIR in KONI Challenge competition three times.

Holtom led as late as Lap 132 before losing two positions. In an effort to keep the car out of trouble, he kept close to Burrows and challenged him for second, concluding the season with five consecutive podium finishes and nine top 10s in 10 starts. Holtom's only DNF came at Watkins Glen International in July.

Throughout the afternoon and evening, Georgian Bay ran up front. Aschenbach, who has the Formula Ford 2000 track qualifying record, qualified 38th, yeah wasted no time going toward the front. After making the winning pass, he was still forced to hold off Burrows and Holtom, who ran a combined one second behind at times before fading in the final laps. Burrows, who moved to second in the point standings after entering the event sixth, followed by 1.436 seconds in the No. 76 Compass360 Racing Skunk2/Sunday Group Management Acura TSX, while Holtom was 1.777 seconds behind Aschenbach, with whom he shared the ST victory at Iowa Speedway in August.

The opening laps appeared to be like what many expected to be see in the closing laps. Five drivers led in the opening 10 laps, attributing to 21 lead changes among 14 drivers and 11 cars. No driver led more than five laps in the first hour.

Aschenbach, who made his return to racing after a recent illness from overtraining, stayed out front for the longest periods of time. He led for the first time on Lap 24, taking the point for seven laps, then again on Lap 48 for 20 laps, the longest any driver ran out front. He then led the final nine laps, driving Georgian Bay's third entry fielded solely to help garner Chevrolet the manufacturer championship. Dobson led 11 laps, only to be passed by Curran on Lap 100. Curran led the second-highest number of laps, 23. Burrows also led 23 laps. Overall, Georgian Bay led 84 laps, and at one point had all three of its cars in the top five. Kirk Spencer and Ashley McCalmont ended the season in the No. 00 Georgian Bay Motorsports Chevrolet Cobalt SS in 11th.
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