The NOLASPORT Porsche 718 Cayman CS MR team of Matt Travis and Jason Hart extended their 2019 dominance, winning Friday afternoon’s dramatic Pirelli GT4 SprintX series race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. The team has won every GT4 America SprintX Pro/Am race this season.
Alan Brynjolfsson’s No. 77 Park Place Motorsports Porsche Cayman GT4 CS MR grabbed the lead from polesitter Matthew Fassnacht (No. 34 Murillo Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4) on the opening lap and stretched out a 0.748 second lead as Fassnacht and Jarett Andretti i(No. 36 Andretti Autosport McLaren 570S GT4) pursued.
On lap 6, Fassnacht and Brynjolfsson were side by side down the front straight, scrapping for the lead even as a four-car battle for third developed, with Andretti holding off Travis (No. 47 NOLASPORT Porsche 718 Cayman CS MR), Kris Wilson (No. 36 Auto Technic Racing BMW M4 GT4), and Randy Mueller (No. 3 Epic Motorsports BMW M4 GT4).
Real drama ensued on lap 9 as the lead pair came together on the front straight, Brynjolfsson spinning and brushing the inside of the wall. He tried to continue but his Cayman was too badly damaged, ending his day.
Fassnacht carried on out front as a full-course yellow (due to Brynjofsson’s damaged Porsche leaking fluids) bunched the field.
On the lap 12 restart, Fassnacht accelerated away with Andretti, Travis and Wilson in pursuit. Race control, though, then ordered Fassnacht onto pit lane for a 60-second penalty for contact with Brynjolfsson, which gave Andretti the lead.
Pit lane opened at the mid-point of the race, and teams started to come in for mandatory driver changes. Leaders Andretti and Wilson stayed out until near the end of the pit window, Andretti passing the wheel to Canadian Karl Thomson, while Wilson handed over to John Allen.
With a shuffling of positions because of the driver changes, Allen assumed the race lead, while Mueller’s teammate James Clay slotted into second, with Hart in third and Thomson fourth.
Lap 21 saw major changes up front as Allen dropped back. Clay took over the lead with Hart in pursuit, Quinlan’s teammate Liefooghe in third and Thomson fourth. Clay and Hart then engaged in a heated battle for the lead, with Hart all over the bumper of Clay on laps 22-24. On lap 25, Hart pulled alongside Clay through Turns 3 and 4, and pulled off an aggressive pass for the lead in Moss Corner.
Hart then built a lead, taking the checkered 8.248s to the good. An exciting late-race charge by Elivan Goulart (No. 27 KRUGSPEED Ginetta G55) rewarded him with second, up from fourth in the closing laps — a fitting end to a very entertaining race.
Results are provisional until posted final, but they show the team of Hart and Travis taking the win over Geraci/Goulart and Quinlan/Liefooghe.
Pirelli GT4 America SprintX teams and drivers now get set for their second race of the weekend Saturday with a green-flag start scheduled for 4 p.m. EDT. All SprintX races will be streamed live on gt4-america.com and via audio simulcast on SiriusXM satellite radio Ch. 383 (983 on the app).