- Andy Pilgrim, Ferrari claims the win in SRO3
- Robb Holland, Rotek Racing Porsche at the top of the GT4 podium, his third in a row
- Provisional Results
Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin - GT America powered by AWS got down to business under threatening skies for Race 1 at Road America. Some drama went down on Lap 1 but didn’t impact the race’s 40-minute duration too badly. After a full-course yellow, gaps were closed up and allowed for some big position changes within SRO3, which later led to a nail-biter of a final lap all the way to the final uphill straightaway.
After claiming pole earlier this morning, Jason Harward (#88 Zelus Motorsports Lamborghini Huracan GT3) got involved in some drama after a bold move by series leader George Kurtz (#04 CrowdStrike Racing by Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3) to dive in and snatch the lead. This led to Kurtz spinning around, miraculously avoiding making contact with any incoming GT4 cars, and ending up at the far back of the field.
On lap 2 Jason Daskalos (#27 Daskalos Motorsports Audi R8 LMS) and Harward made contact which resulted in mechanical damage, extinguishing their chances for a win and closing the points gap to Kurtz. Daskalos was done for the day while Harward lost three laps. Andy Pilgrim was able to slip past and grab the lead in his #56 SKI Autosports Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 before the race went under a full-course yellow. Kurtz took advantage of the yellow as well, and rejoined his SRO3 rivals with hope for a podium finish.
Kurtz worked his way up, eventually slipping past Mirco Schultis (#70 Mishumotors Corvette Callaway Corvette C7 GT3-R) and Kyle Washington (#32 GMG Racing Porsche 911 GT3-R (991.ii)) to finish second, extending his points lead. Both Schultis and Washington put up solid fights, making Kurtz work really hard for those final passes. Kurtz set the CrowdStrike Fastest Lap with a 2:08.522 trying to reel in Pilgrim, which was a solid two seconds faster than Pilgrim’s best.
With Kurtz chasing Pilgrim, the final laps were some of the best we’ve seen all season. It was World Challenge legend vs. the series’ top hot shoe, high-revving Ferrari vs. big-block Mercedes-AMG, around Road America’s winding high-speed circuit. Kurtz got close, but couldn’t quite get close enough—during the final drag race up the hill to the checkered, Pilgrim had enough of a gap to grab the victory and bring it home for SKI Autosport’s first win of the season. Kurtz took second place and Schultis nabbed third. CJ Moses (#58 GMG Racing Audi R8 LMS GT2) won the GT2 class, finishing fifth overall.
“George was coming up so hard! That was great—I looked in the mirrors and everything was getting bigger, and bigger, and it was all Mercedes,” Pilgrim said. “I thought traffic might help me, might not, but it was great. The SKI Autosport guys have been so good letting me drive this car sometimes, and we don’t do a full schedule.”
Shortly after seeing the green flag, several racers made contact which led to fourth-in-season-points Moisey Uretsky (#55 Accelerating Performance Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4) and season points leader Jason Bell (#2 GMG Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4) losing many positions. Uretsky was done for the day while Bell recovered to finish seventh, maintaining his points lead.
After some squabbling at the front, Robb Holland (#99 Rotek Racing Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport) was able to sneak past and grab P1 in class and never let it go, at one time holding a three-second lead over the rest of the pack.
Holland couldn’t get too comfortable as he was chased by Adam Adelson (#69 Premier Racing Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport) and Seth Lucas (#016 Hattori Motorsports Toyota Supra GT4), two very capable racers with some excellent finishes under their belts.
In the race’s final ten minutes, some immense battles went down, particularly the battle for fourth – just within striking distance of the podium. Bryan Putt (#15 BSport Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4), Ross Chouest (#50 Chouest Provoledo Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4), and Elias Sabo (#8 Flying Lizard Motorsports Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4) put on quite a show—if Aston Martin were to ever create a spec series, this was a solid look at what it’d look like. Gray Newell (#25 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4) was in the mix as well, however spun out with a few laps to go which unfortunately put him at the back of the pack.
After a wild, high-speed 40-minute duration, Holland claimed his third victory in a row since the series set up shop on the streets of Nashville.
“This was the track where I got my first professional podium—I held off Randy Pobst for, like, half an hour,” Holland said. “This race today was almost as hard. We checked out early, but man these guys were running at such a quick pace—I think I ran a faster lap in the race than I did in qualifying just to hold these guys off!”
Behind Holland was Adelson, followed by Lucas. Holland became the first three-time winner this season in the GT4 class and he narrowed the gap to championship points leader Bell.
Race 2 will take place on Sunday at 9:00 AM CST.