It was an impressive double win weekend for GT4 Am driver Matt Fassnacht, with a second Pirelli GT4 America Sprint victory Sunday at Virginia International Raceway in the No. 53 Murillo Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4 at the Blancpain GT World Challenge road racing weekend.
Starting from the pole in the GT4 50-minute feature at the high-speed 3.27-mile, 17-turn permanent road circuit in southern Virginia, Fassnacht played a waiting game in the early portions of the 24-lap event as he trailed leaders Jarett Andretti in the No. 18 Andretti Autosport McLaren 570S GT4 and Spencer Pumpelly in the No. 66 TRG/LaSalle Solutions Porsche 718 Cayman Clubsport MR GT4 car.
Unfortunately for Andretti and Pumpelly, their great drives were halted by cut tires after a superb wheel-to-wheel battle. Pumpelly retired on Lap 10 challenging Andretti for the lead, while the third-generation racer and a North Carolina State grad pulled his mount off the circuit at Lap 19 while holding the lead over Fassnacht.
After the leaders retired, Fassnacht was able to open his margin to some four seconds over veteran driver Gar Robinson in the No. 74 Robinson Racing 74 Ranch Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R. A late race caution period forced the 50-minute contest to finish under the yellow flag with Fassnacht defeating Robinson by just 0.177s. It was a big weekend for Fassnacht after his sensational drive to victory in Saturday’s GT4 Sprint contest.
With Fassnacht capturing the GT4 Sprint Overall honors as well as the Am class win, Robinson scored his first GT4 Sprint race win followed by another GT4 veteran Ian James in the No. 50 Team Panoz Racing Panoz Avezzano GT, Saturday’s Pro class winner Michael Cooper in the No. 10 Blackdog Speed Shop McLaren 570S GT4 and Robinson’s teammate, Shane Lewis in the No. 72 Robinson Racing 74 Ranch Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R.
Fassnacht also clocked the race’s fastest race lap with a time of one minute, 54.929, besting Pumpelly’s top time of 1:54.933.
“I was hopeful I would pull off another win today and we made it a double weekend. I want to thank Pirelli, Murillo Racing, Mercedes-AMG and my wife, Laura, and family for letting me come out here to VIR and race. I love this track. I’m taking in the moment right now. I’m not sure if we’ll campaign the GT4 Sprint series for the rest of the year just yet. Hats off to (Jarett) Andretti and (Spencer) Pumpelly today. That was a fun race. Unfortunately, they had tires go down and I hate to win that way. This win boosts my confidence that I can run with these high-end pro drivers. It’s a big day for me.”
Trailing Fassnacht’s Mercedes-AMG GT4 car in the Am category was 2018 GTS Am Sprint series champion Drew Staveley in the No. 12 Ian Lacy Racing Ford Mustang GT4, Marko Radisic in the No. 22 Precision Racing Tech BMW M4 GT4, Sean Quinlan in the No. 19 Stephen Cameron Racing BMW M4 GT4 and Jeff Burton in the No. 91 Burton Lumber/Rearden Racing Audi R8 LMS GT4.
The GT4 Sprint campaign now moves to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on May 17-19 with another double-header of 50-minute races on Saturday,May 18) and Sunday, May 19).