McLaren, inception racing capture first GT America win at COTA

Image courtesy of SRO

McLaren, inception racing capture first GT America win at COTA

SRO America

McLaren, inception racing capture first GT America win at COTA


The GT America powered by AWS race closed out the weekend in Austin with exciting racing in sunny and dry track conditions. In the end it was inception racing’s Brendan Iribe who would convert his pole-position start into a win for the No. 70 McLaren 720S-GT3, but not without a race-long battle to regain and maintain the top spot. After a rocky start, Charlie Luck (No. 45 Wright Motorsports Porsche) managed to fight his way back to the top of the Masters division. Scott Schmidt represented the best in the Invitational Class in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo, while Sean Quinlan (No. 119 Stephen Cameron Racing BMW M4 GT4) managed to capture a late-race lead that he held onto until the checkered fell.

At the drop of the green, it would be Iribe in the McLaren in front being chased by Jason Daskalos (No. 27 Daskalos Motorsports Audi R8 LMS), Race 1 winner James Sofronas (No. 14 GMG Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3), and Jason Harward (No. 88 Zelus Motorsports Lamborghini Huracan GT3) the top four of the starting grid set by the fastest lap times acheived in Race 1. Sofronas and Harward make contact, sending Harward spinning straight to the back of the pack.

Meanwhile, Iribe and Daskalos pull steadily away and the chase for third is immediately taken up by Andy Wilzoch (No. 460 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R 991), Jeff Burton (No. 191 Rearden Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3) and Kyle Washington (#32 GMG Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R 991.2) while Ross Chouest (No. 89 RENNtech Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT4) navigated SRO3 and Invitational traffic in the front of the GT4 pack. SRO3 Masters competitor Luck, far back from the Masters field fighting at the front of the overall field, was dealing with an issue that left him mid-pack and falling as other competitors gained multiple positions to get them back into contention including George Kurtz (No. 04 DXDT Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3) who regained 15 spots, Jason Bell (No. 2 GMG Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4) who captured 5 spots, Alex Welch (No. 76 ROTR Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT4) with nine spots, and CJ Moses (No. 58 DXDT Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3) who picked up eight.

An early incident between the No. 00 Notlad Racing by RS1 Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 of Matt Dalton and the #120 Premier Racing Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Club Sport MR of Adam Adelson would throw up the full-course yellow and re-compress the field before green-flag racing resumed. At the restart the filed order would see Iribe leading the SRO3 field of Daskalos, Sofronas, Washington and Kurtz, all way out in front of Moses and Harward in 15th and 16th places overall. Masters competitor Wilzoch, slotted in the fourth position, led Burton in sixth overall and Luck in the middle of the field at eleventh. Chouest, still hanging on to the GT4 field lead from the eighth overall position, sat in front of Bell, Rob Holland (No. 99 Rotek Racing Ford Mustang GT4), Welch, Quinlan and the remainder of the GT4 field at the tail end of the field.

With lights-out and the return to the green, Iribe jumped out again while Sofronas and Daskalos re-engaged for second positon, a battle that Sofronas won. Wilzoch, Burton, Washington and Kurtz packed up to attack for the fourth overall spot, while further back Chouest was once again put on the defensive from the attacking Bell. During this, Luck began the arduous one-by-one battle to the front, clearing two positions and inserting himself into the four-way battle for fourth overall.

With about twenty minutes left in the race, the inter-divisional battle between SRO3 Kurtz and SRO3 Masters Burton heated up when Daskalos experienced an issue that had him limp back into the pits, losing his third-place race-long assault for the podium. Kurtz, having recovered an astounding 17 positions by this point, was passed by Luck and who was suddenly back in the Masters mix with all three occupying overall positions three, four and five. The next battle for third ensued with Burton pulling away slightly and Luck and Wilzoch exchanging position changes while defending from Kurtz.

In GT4 Chouest sat in front of Bell, with SRO3-classed Moses and Invitational-class Schmidt separating them from the upcoming Quinlan and the remainder of the GT4 field behind them, jockeying for the opportunity for the class podium.

With Iribe in front and Sofronas behind him, the battle for third would heat up as Luck, who had worked his way up the field battling Kurtz, found himself in the third overall position and both Burton and Harward, previously running in the attacking pack, into pit lane to serve drive-through penalties.

In GT4, Bell made his move and took the top spot from Chouest with Quinlan close behind. However, with just over two-minutes on the clock, Bell spun and recovered, but not before the two GT4 cars in the running pack had passed him, and suddenly it was Chouest in front, followed by Quinlan and Bell on the chase in third. On the last lap, Quinlan’s gamble paid off and he executed a clean pass on Chouest for the lead, which he would hold for the final lap to take the class win.

In SRO3, Iribe would take the checkered with a 3-second gap in front of Sofronas, and Kurtz with a grand recovery to find himself closing out the SRO3 podium. In SRO3 Masters class Luck fought his way back to third overall and the division win, with Wilzoch taking second and Burton slotting in third.

Results are provisional until posted Final. Relive the action from Circuit of the Americas as the GT America powered by AWS weekend highlights package premieres on CBS Sports Network on May 8th at 5:30 pm EDT with an encore presentation on May 9th at 10:30 pm EDT; check your local listings for channel information. Next month, GT America heads east to the lush greenery surrounding VIRginia International Raceway for the next double-header weekend on June 4th through 6th, 2021.