GT America powered by AWS Race One at Road America started with a green flag and an on-track battle nearly simultaneously. In the No. 04 CrowdStrike by Riley Mercedes-AMG GT3, George Kurtz went on to win the SRO3 Class and Elias Sabo prevailed in the GT4 Class in the No. 8 Flying Lizard Motorsports Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4.
The 40-minute race had competitors elbows out from the get-go. In SRO3 Class, Jason Daskalos would attempt to get the jump on Pole Sitter Memo Gidley. GT4 Class leader Elias Sabo was also under pressure from teammate Jason Bell at the start. The race would feature two caution periods for cars off, the second caution coming within the final five minutes. The checkered flag joined the yellow flag to end the race.
Gidley held the lead in his No. 101 TKO Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3 from the start of the race, which he steadily led to the dismay of Daskalos in the No. 27 CRP Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3. Daskalos jumped Gidley at the start, resulting in a drive-through penalty. After serving the penalty, Daskalos would retire from the race early.
Meanwhile, Gidley would battle with George Kurtz in the No. 04 CrowdStrike by Riley Mercedes-AMG GT3. Gidley began creating a gap as he approached the rear of the GT4 Class field. However, a yellow was brought out by the No. 009 TRG Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 of Tim Savage. The yellow packed up the field and on the restart, Kurtz pulled a veteran move and overtook Gidley for the lead.
In a fight of their own, Anthony Bartone in the No. 427 RealTime Racing had settled into third prior to the yellow, but at the restart, Adam Adelson in the No. 120 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R took advantage of the speed coming down from the start/finish line and passed Bartone for third place. Johnny O'Connell was out of the mix but held his own, advancing from eighth to fifth over the race in the No. 3 SKI Autosports Audi R8 LMS.
Mirco Schultis finishes sixth after starting the race ninth in the SRO3 Class. He battled alongside Kyle Washington in the No. 32 EBOOST Porsche 911 GT3 R who finishes seventh. Taking home eighth place was newcomer Brian Lock in the No. 86 CDR Valkyrie Acura NSX GT3 who had an unexpected pit stop for damage to a rear panel. Marc Austin from Lone Star Racing finishes ninth overall. Alex Vogel went on to take home 10th, while Andy Wilzoch would finish in 11th place.
The front of the field never lost sight of each other over the course of the race. Elias Sabo led from start to finish, but Jason Bell in the No. 2 Flying Lizard Motorsports Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 was always on his bumper. Bell had a look at the lead after the No. 009 brought out a caution. Sabo was able to close the door and keep Bell behind in second place. Bell was followed across the finish line by the No. 50 Chouest Povoledo Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 of Ross Chouest. Chouest steered clear of the dueling teammates as he held off the Tony Gaples in the No. 5 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro GT4 R.
Newcomer Scott Blind in the No. 045 Archangel Motorsports Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 finished fifth in class and took home the honors of hard charger with 10 overtakes. Gray Newell has shown speed all weekend and in doing so, walked away sixth in his No. 25 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 with John Roberts in the No. 11 Fast Track Racing BMW M4 GT4 a second back. Nicholas Shanny had a great handle on the No. 21 Carrus Callas Raceteam Toyota GR Supra GT4 EVO and brought it home eighth. Ninth place went to Brady Behrman in the No. 428 van der Steur Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 who survived his first race of the season.
Todd Parriott took home 10th place after holding off Savage in the No. 009 Aston Martin Vantage AMR who nicely recovered after bringing out the first caution from an off-course excursion. Amir Haleem caught out Robb Holland in the No. 099 Rotek Racing Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport. Holland was fighting out front when Haleem in the No. 66 CDR Valkyrie Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 slid into the side of Holland and took him off course. This incident brought out the final caution of the race.
Let’s Go Racing
Race Two will close out the weekend on Sunday, Aug. 20 at 8:45 a.m. CT. Tickets are available for sale at Road America. Fans can stream the race live on YouTube or Twitch. Join over half a million viewers by subscribing to the GT World page on YouTube. Ash Vandelay answers questions and chats with fans while streaming the race on Twitch.