The Pirelli World Challenge B-Spec era got underway on Saturday at Miller Motorsports Park with combined races with the Touring Car class during the Privacy Star Utah Grand Prix Presented by Bondurant.
Todd Lamb, of Atlanta, Ga., and Michael Cooper, of Syosset, N.Y., split the Touring Car doubleheader while Jonathan Start, of Caledonia, Mich., swept the Touring Car-B races on Saturday morning. The doubleheader featured a unique format with two 30-minute races separated by only a brief 10-minute break on the 2.2-mile mile West Course configuration.
The combined field started the first of the 30-minute races with Jan Heylen's No. 43 HPA Motorsports/Brimtek Volkswagen Jetta GLI on the point, but things were immediately jumbled up when Heylen's VW didn't accelerate at the line. Cooper, starting on the outside of row one, took advantage in his No. 03 Atlanta Motorsports Group MAZDASPEED3 and led the field into Turn One.
Lamb, who started third in the No. 71 National Karting News/HPD Honda Civic Si, found himself jumbled in fifth position as the field completed the first lap while Cooper and Heylen rushed out to the lead. As the two leaders swapped positions, Lamb moved with Compass360 Racing teammate Ryan Winchester's No. 72 Ligon Industries/HPD Honda Civic Si to the lead pack.
Lamb and Winchester inserted themselves into the lead pack on Lap 7. Heylen fell off the pace with electrical gremlins on Lap 8, and Lamb was in the lead for good on Lap 9. Cooper faded in the latter stages of the race, leaving Lamb to hold off Winchester by 0.566-second over the 18-lap, 39.6-mile race.
Lamb averaged 78.832 mph over the race distanced, earned the Cadillac CTS-V Move of the Race when he took the lead from Cooper, and earned the Kia Turning Point of the Race with Winchester as the two moved through the field.
"We made some wholesale changes to the National Kart News Honda before the race," Lamb said. "I didn't really like the way it was set up for qualifying, so we made a lot of changes and kind of went back to some stuff we did in practice. I didn't know what we had in the race. So we thought we'd slot into second, third somewhere and run it around for a bit.
"The start didn't go as planned at all. The polesitter ended up checking up