SRO Motorsports America brought its book of racing series to Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin Aug. 18-20. The Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS, GT America powered by AWS, Pirelli GT4 America, TC America powered by Skip Barber and Toyota GR Cup North America put on a show to an audience whose numbers broke SRO America records.
Road America continues to prove itself a fan favorite. The 4.048-mile, 14-turn circuit in the small lakeside town provides a gorgeous backdrop for ultra-competitive racing online and in person it sets the scene for an all-inclusive race weekend for families. SRO America and Road America fans enjoyed camping, go-karts, art classes, autograph sessions, and a parade over the weekend. The racing is the cherry on top of the festivities for the nearly 13 thousand fans in attendance.
The weekend kicked off with the parade into Elkhart Lake followed by a small festival with live music and race cars parked in front of Siebkens Resort. The parade has become a staple kick-off event for SRO America at Road America. This year was its largest parade to date with 138 race cars taking part. The roar of the engines announces the series’ arrival in town, and fans turn out in droves to meet the nearly 200 drivers taking part in the weekend.
Before the racing took place, a State of the Series was presented by SRO Motorsports America CEO and President Greg Gill and SRO Motorsports Group founder Stephane Ratel. The two outlined the future of GT racing as seen by SRO. Highlights include covering the global schedule announcements, the GT2 category introduction to SRO America, the vision of Motorsports Games, and the announcement of a new GT4 endurance race.
Online fans scrambled to keep up with the competition. The livestream gathered nearly a half million views. This number is up 94% percent in comparison to 2022, and it's not the only metric to break records. Social media engagement was up 251% percent, and impressions were up 115% percent. This means more fans than ever were interacting with series handles and hashtags. In addition, online media presence grew 322% percent with more online media covering the series than in 2022.
Locals had plenty to cheer for as Milwaukee-native Manny Franco, with codriver Alessandro Balzan, in the No. 21 Conquest Racing Ferrari 296 GT3, took back-to-back overall and PRO Class wins. It was the first win for the new Ferrari 296 in North America and Franco’s first win in the Fanatec GT World Challenge America series. In the PRO-AM Class George Kurtz and Colin Braun won Race One in the No. 04 CrowdStrike by Riley Mercedes-AMG GT3. Samantha Tan and Neil Verhagen earned their first win in Race Two with the No. 38 ST Racing BMW M4 GT3.
George Kurtz continued his winning ways in the GT America powered by AWS series. Kurtz won in the SRO3 Class in Race One and Race Two. Elias Sabo returned to the series in the No. 8 Flying Lizard Motorsports Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 to win Race One in the GT4 Class with Robb Holland in the No. 99 Rotek Racing Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport taking top honors in Race Two.
Pirelli GT4 America stayed thrilling upon its return from summer break. In the Silver Class, Jesse Webb and Michai Stephens in the No. 34 Conquest Racing/ JMF Motorsports Mercedes-AMG winning Race One with the No. 51 Auto Technic Racing BMW M4 of Zac Anderson winning Race Two. The PRO-AM Class Race One win went to the No. 24 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage AMR of Gray Newell and Roman DeAngelis. James Walker Jr. and Tyler McQuarrie in the No. 82 BimmerWorld BMW M4 took home the Race Two PRO-AM win. The Am Class wins went to Charlie Postins and James Clay in the No. 36 BimmerWorld BMW M4.
Colin Garrett in the No. 44 Rooster Hall Racing BMW M2 CS lit up the TC America powered by Skip Barber series, winning back-to-back races at Road America in the TCX Class. Jeff Ricca and the No. 78 Genracer/ Ricca Autosport Hyundai Elantra N TC took the top honors in the TC Class of Race One. Top honors in Race Two went to Clayton Williams in the No. 60 MINI JCW Team Mini JCW Pro TC. Spencer Bucknum in the No. 5 LA Honda World Racing Honda Civic Si and Devin Anderson in the No. 22 TechSport Racing Subaru BRZ split the weekend wins in the TCA Class.
The historic Sebring International Raceway hosts the penultimate round of the 2023 race calendar Sept. 22-24. The year comes to a crescendo at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Oct. 6-8 for the Indianapolis 8 Hour powered by AWS weekend. Tickets are on sale for both race weekends. To watch the races live from home, join over a half million viewers by subscribing to the GT World YouTube page.