Nicolai Elghanayan secures first win of 2019 season at Pirelli GT4 America Sprint series race

Laguna Beach native Nicolai Elghanayan just got his first win of the 2019 season. Behind the wheel of his KTM X-bow, Marco Polo Motorsports driver Elghanayan won Saturday morning’s Pirelli GT4 America Sprint series race on Canadian Tire Motorsport Park’s Grand Prix circuit. 

The 50-minute, 32-lap contest featured an exciting duel between polesitter Elghanayan and second-on-the-grid Spencer Pumpelly in the No. 66 TRG – The Racers Group Porsche 718 Cayman CS MR.

From the drop of the green flag, Elghanayan held the lead over Pumpelly, with three-time series champion Michael Cooper in the No. 10 Blackdog Speed Shop McLaren 570S GT4 slotting into third. Pumpelly though overtook Elghanayan to head the pack later in the first lap.

On the Lap 6 restart, Pumpelly led Elghanayan, Cooper, Andretti, and Am competitor Drew Staveley in the No. 12 Ian Lacy Racing Ford Mustang GT4 to the line.

Nicolai Elghanayan winner

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Nicolai Elghanayan after his first win of the 2019 season

Pumpelly and Elghanayan then began an intense back-and-forth duel for the lead that lasted for numerous laps. Elghanayan would pass for the lead, only to have Pumpelly come back to regain the lead.

On Lap 26 through Turn 10, Elghanayan grabbed the lead from Pumpelly and this time he would not relinquish it – by Lap 28 he had built an eight-car lead over Pumpelly. 

At the checkered, Elghanayan crossed the line for the victory 1.6 seconds ahead of Pumpelly. Cooper finished third. 

Elghanayan’s passion for racing began when he was just a boy. Last year in an interview for Stu News, he said, “When I was nine, my parents got me a poster with a new Lotus concept car. Ever since then I was determined to race a Lotus when I grew up. Fast forward 10 years and I became the 2x Lotus World Cup champion. After Lotus Cup, we moved onto Pirelli World Challenge in hopes of getting some podium finishes in 2019, but instead, we won at Lime Rock, Connecticut in May, which was a massive shock for us all.”

And now he has a grand win under his belt for 2019.