The first Pirelli GT4 America SprintX race of the weekend at Road America was declared a wet race by race control, but as soon as it started a full-course caution was called for an incident at Turn 3 between Michael Dinan’s No. 21 Flying Lizard Porsche 718 Cayman CS MR and the No. 44 Kelly-Moss/Photon Audi R8 LMS GT4 of Greg Palmer. The FCY would be changed to a red flag, allowing cars to change onto wet tires. The race would be restarted single file with the original starting grid being honored.
The green flag flew with 48 minutes left on the clock with Kris Wilson and the No. 16 Auto Technic Racing BMW M4 GT4 leading the field. On the run down to Turn 5, the second full course caution would be called as the No. 36 Andretti Autosport McLaren 570S of David Donahue had an incident with the No. 77 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 718 Cayman CS MR of Alan Bryjolfsson. Before the caution was called, the No. 34 Murillo Racing Mercedes AMG GT4 of Matthew Fassnacht slipped into second place behind Wilson’s BMW and in front of Patrick Byrne’s No. 89 RENNtech Mercedes AMG GT4.
The race returned to green with 32 minutes left on the clock with Wilson leading Fassnacht and Drew Staveley in the No. 24 Ian Lacy Ford Mustang and No. 47 NOLASPORT Porsche 718 Cayman CS MR both getting past Byrne.
The pit window opened with 28 minutes remaining and after the mandatory driver changes were complete the No. 16 Auto Technic Racing BMW M4 GT4, now with John Allen driving, exited the pits in the lead, but spun the car at Turn 3 on his out lap, giving first place to the No. 34 Murillo Racing Mercedes AMG GT4 of Christian Szymczak with Guy Cosmo in the No. 89 RENNtech Mercedes AMG GT4 right on his tail in second. Szymczak would never flinch to Cosmo’s pressure and go on to take the overall and GT4 East Am class victory.
“It was great! We didn’t know what to expect as I’ve never driven the car in the wet before, but once we figured it out, it was good! The team did a great job setting it up for us today and we’re happy,” said Szymcazk.
Cosmo finished second overall, claiming the SprintX East Pro-Am victory.
With 16 minutes remaining Gregory Liefooghe in the No. 19 Stephen Cameron Racing BMW M4 GT4 got past Hart for third overall going into Turn 3, where he would finish, taking the SprintX Pro-Am class win. Hart then fall behind the No. 29 Classic BMW M4 GT4 of Steven McAleer.
As the clock ticked past the 10-minute mark, recently crowned European GT4 champion Alec Udell in the No. 2 GMG Racing Porsche 718 Cayman CS MR got past both Hart and McAleer for fourth overall, second in the SprintX Pro-Am class. McAleer finished fifth overall, second in the SprintX East Pro-Am class with Hart sixth overall and third in SprintX Pro-Am.
Karl Wittmer brought the No. 24 Ian Lacy Racing Ford Mustang GT4 home seventh overall, third in the SprintX East Pro-Am category.
Despite facing a drive-through penalty for a pit lane infraction, Toby Grahovec brought the No. 92 Classic BMW M4 GT4 eighth overall, fourth in the SprintX Pro-Am class.
John Tecce and the No. 69 BGB Motorsports Group Porsche 718 Cayman CS MR was ninth overall, second in the SprintX East Am class, with Matt Keegan and the No. 51 Team Panoz Racing Avezzano GT4 taking the SprintX Am win, finishing 10th overall.
The Pirelli GT4 America SprintX Race 2 will go green on Sunday at 12:10 p.m. CT, streaming live at https://www.gt4-america.com/watch-live.