West Pro/Am team Jon Miller and Harry Gottsacker (photo above) won Sunday afternoon’s GT4 America SprintX race at Portland International Raceway, part of the 59th Annual Rose Cup Races presented by Fastlife.TV. Matt Travis and Jason Hart won the national Pro/Am class.
Overall race pole-sitter and West Am competitor Drew Staveley in the No. 24 Ian Lacy Racing Ford Mustang GT4 led the pack to the line for the 60-minute, 45-lap contest. Third-on-the-grid Pro/Am driver Hart in the No. 47 NOLASPORT Porsche 718 Cayman CS MR had a great start and vaulted up into second through Turn 1. West Pro/Am class driver Jason Wolfe in the No. 38 ST Racing BMW M4 GT4 started second and slotted in behind Hart in third. In the SprintX Am division, Matthew Keegan (No. 51 Team Panoz Racing Panoz Avezzano GT) moved into seventh overall on the first lap.
On lap 2, Hart and Wolfe charged side by side through Turn 1, with Wolfe taking back second. Gottsacker in the No. 28 ST Racing BMW M4 GT4 moved up into fourth.
The leaders held their positions through lap 19 and into the 10-minute pit window for driver changes. Gottsacker was the first of the lead group into the pits and handed over the reins to teammate Miller. Keegan then came in and handed over to Preston Calvert. Wolfe pitted on the 23rd lap with teammate Samantha Tan getting behind the wheel. On lap 24, Hart came in and handed over to Travis.
Staveley pulled the Mustang in just before the pit window expired on lap 25 and turned over to Frank Gannett who reassumed the overall race lead (first in West Am division) with Travis in second (first in Pro/Am division), Tan in third (second in Pro/Am division), and Miller fourth (first in West Pro/Am division). Calvert was ninth overall and first in Am.
On lap 26, Travis passed Gannett for the overall race lead. Miller had moved past Tan into third, while Rearden Racing’s Vesko Kozarov (No. 91 Audi R8 LMS GT4) had charged up into fifth – impressive as teammate Jeff Burton started 15th on the day.
Miller continued his charge to the front passing Gannett through Turn 1 on lap 30 and then Travis on lap 34. Kozarov then began hunting down Gannett for the West Am lead and moved up into fourth overall in the race.
By lap 38, Kozarov caught Gannett swept past through Turns 8 and 9 to move up into third overall and first in the West Am category. Kozarov then passed Travis to slot into second overall in the race.
At the checkered, Miller crossed the line ahead of Kozarov, Travis, Gannett and Tan. Calvert finished 10th overall and first in Am. Miller/Gottsacker claimed the West Pro/Am win, with Kozarov/Burton winners of the West Am division. Travis/Hart won the national Pro/Am class.
“The race went well. I was able to have a clean start, held my ground and was able to give Jon (Miller) a great race car,” said Gottsacker in victory circle. Jon literally just tore them up out there and went straight to the front and got a good gap to finish it.”
“It was an awesome race. Green-flag races all the way which is what Harry (Gottsacker) and I hope for — green-flag racing,” said Miller. “It plays into our strategy. That’s what happened this weekend and especially today. Harry set the pace up from and left me some tires at the end which, for our car, that’s kinda where we tend struggle — keeping the tires on it. I just took it to the end and the overall win. Super happy.”
GT4 America SprintX teams now head to Watkins Glen International Raceway Aug. 30-Sept.1. CBS Sports Network coverage for SprintX races from Portland airs July 28 at 4 p.m. EDT. Check your local listings for additional broadcast time and channel information.