The GT Celebration Race Series, North America’s new GT3 and GT4 road racing tour for FIA bronze-rated competitors, made an exciting mid-July debut at Utah Motorsports Campus with its inaugural doubleheader sprint racing event at the 3.05-mile, 15-racing road course southwest of Salt Lake City.
The initial GT Celebration production featured outstanding GT3 and GT4 machinery from Audi, BMW, Lamborghini, McLaren and Porsche, and renowned sports car racing teams including Flying Lizard Motorsports, GMG Racing, TruSpeed Autosport and Rearden Racing in the dual 40-minute sprint contests.
Debuting with racing in UMC’s high altitude, Rob Morgan, CEO and Founder of the GT Celebration Race Series, was elated with the competition, professional manner of the drivers and the fun atmosphere in the inaugural weekend.
“The opening weekend for the GT Celebration Race Series was an outstanding presentation,” said Morgan, the former NASCAR and Sports Car driver. “We wanted to show our drivers, teams and sponsors that our series has great racing and great atmosphere. We brought in a professional and experienced staff to run the event and I feel the weekend was a superb kickoff for the season. We want to thank Sarah Burgess and the entire UMC staff for their hospitality and assistance throughout the racing activities. We can’t wait for the next event at Road America, another great race facility.”
On track, the action was hot and heavy at Utah Motorsports Campus with the battle for the pole in Race 1 was just 0.045 seconds apart with Flying Lizard Motorsports racers Brent Martini edging his teammate Andy Wilzoch. Martini drove his No. 81 FLM McLaren 650S GT3 sports car to a one minute, 51.659 seconds over Wilzoch in the No. 46 FLM Porsche 991.1 GT3 R at 1:51.703. Rounding out the top-three in the Saturday’s qualifying was Eric Olberz in the No. 0 Vali Motorsports Porsche 991.1 GT3 R at 1:52.165.
In Saturday’s Race 1 sprint, Martini and Wilzoch battled for the lead throughout the event and, at the finish, Wilzoch defeated Kevin Westcott in the No.15 TruSpeed Autosport Audi R8 LMS with third awarded to Jason Daskalos, also the GT3 Yellow class winner, in the No. 7 Daskalos Racing Audi R8 LMS Ultra followed by Jason Hayward in the No. 88 Hayward Media Lamborghini Super Trofeo and John Cahalin in the No. 67 Vali Motorsports Porsche 991.1 GT3. Martini’s mount suffered an issue in the final lap to finish eighth.
Martini returned in Sunday’s contests to dominate both qualifying and the race with his No. 81 Flying Lizard Motorsports with a 7.735-second Race 2 victory over Olberz in the No. 0 Vali Motorsports Porsche 991.1 GT3 R and Daskalos in the No. 7 Daskalos Racing Audi R8 LMS Ultra. Rounding out the top-five finishes in Sunday’s 40-minute sprint was Wilzoch in the No. 46 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 991.1 GT3 R and Novikov in the No. 08 Rearden Racing Lamborghini Huracan.
“We had a great kickoff weekend with GT Celebration at Utah,” said Darren Law, program manager for Flying Lizard Motorsports. “They have a good staff of people that have a lot of experience in the industry. Things went well for the first event, as it was organized and efficient and all of our customers had a lot of fun. This is a great series for the Bronze driver where they can race hard without the pressure of a Pro series and have a good time. It was enjoyable and we are looking forward to the next event at Road America next month.”
The GT Celebration Race Series’ professional competition trailer is the headquarters for each event and provide hospitality, race control and a great place to come together with our series participants. Pirelli is the official partner and tire provider for the series and teams have access to buy race tires at each event.
The next event will be Aug. 21-23 at the famed Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
All information regarding the GT Celebration can be found at www.gtcelebration.com.