Four competition weekends in and the GT America powered by AWS series is a resounding success as the competition heads east for the lush landscapes of Alton’s VIRginia International Raceway, part of a full-calendar SRO weekend of doubleheaders on June 4th through 6th.
Deep in southern Virginia’s Halifax County, the 3.27-mile VIRginia International Raceway circuit features high-speed straights, dramatic elevation changes and challenging turns that make it a premier racing destination for drivers. With the return of fans and the racing public in the paddock, the picturesque racing views and scenery won’t go to waste, although the increasingly likely threat of rain showers can do more than damper photographic experiences.
SRO3 Class Developing into GT3 Single-Driver Showcase
With four races on the books, the return to single-driver sprint GT racing continues to heat up. Representation from the top series-participating manufacturers ranges the gamut from Audi Sport, Lamborghini, McLaren, Mercedes-AMG and Porsche, with the country’s top Bronze rated drivers competing at a high level.
DXDT Racing teammates George Kurtz and CJ Moses drive the two Mercedes-AMG GT3 entries in the class, with Kurtz behind the wheel of the familiar No. 04 machine and Moses in the No. 58. The two as a pair currently sit second in the class Team championship standings with Kurtz currently leading the SRO3 driver’s championship.
The sole Audi entry from Daskalos Motorsports, the No. 27 Audi R8 LMS piloted by Jason Daskalos goes into VIR with mixed results from the COTA, but is expected to be a contender at VIR.
Lamborghini enters two competitors at VIR, both on different missions with the same ultimate goal. The No. 88 Zelus Motorsports Lamborghini brings with it an armful of podium finishes with double-series driver Jason Harward ready to add to the collection, while Jeff Burton seeks to improve his pace and consistency in the No. 191 Rearden Racing entry.
Also running a two-series campaign, Brendan Iribe continues to fight his way toward the single-driver championship title in the No. 70 inception racing McLaren 720S GT3, the only McLaren GT3 entry in GT America.
The two Porsche entries belong to the teams that bookend the Mercedes-AMG contingent in the championship standings. The No. 32 Porsche 911 GT3 R (991.2) has had a steady diet of Top Five finishes under the driving skills of GMG Racing’s Kyle Washington, while Masters leader and second Overall competitor Charlie Luck continues to set the bar in his No. 45 Porsche machinery for Wright Motorsports.
Exciting GT4 Single-driver Competition Shines
BMW M’s M4 GT4 platform makes two appearances in the field – the No. 11 Classic BMW machine and the No. 119 Stephen Cameron Racing entry, piloted by Sean Quinlan. Look for both entries to keep the field on their toes, particularly with Quinlan locked into a first-place tie with driver Rob Holland going into the weekend.
At VIR, Holland is set to drive the No. 99 Rotek Racing Ford Mustang GT4, the only Ford entry in the class thus far.
The Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 platform has three drivers on three separate teams united by the Manufacturer championship. In the No. 00, Matt Dalton and the Notlad Racing by RS1 team hope to improve the season to-date at VIR, with Gray Newell (No. 25 Heart of Racing Team) looking to do the same. In the meantime, No. 2 GMG Racing driver Jason Bell sits in third place, a handful of points behind the leaders currently tying for first.
Alex Welch will return to drive the sole Audi R8 LMS GT4 entry for ROTR Motorsport, hoping to keep the momentum up from Top Six and Top Eight finishes at COTA.
Thomas Surgent will pilot the single McLaren entry, the No. 26 Prive Motorsports / Topp Racing McLaren 570S GT4, in search of improved standings in all three championships.
The fleet of Mercedes-AMG GT4 machines, similar to the GT3 entries in the series, will all compete under the same team flag – RENNtech Motorsports, currently sitting in fourth in the Team championships. The No. 39 machine will be driven by returning driver Chris Cagnazzi, with the No. 89 entry driven by fourth-place Ross Chouest. The VIR weekend will also see Christopher Gumprecht joining the team to pilot the No. 79 car.
Tim Pappas (No. 54 Black Swan Racing), Adam Adelson (No. 120 Premier Racing) and Alain Stad (No. 619 Stephen Cameron Racing) represent the Porsche contingent among the GT4 class runners in the series. All three will be driving the same 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR variant in the continued quest for the top step on the podium.
Also interspersed in the field are two Invitational class entries from EMG Motorsport – No. 21 car driven by Zoey Edenholm and the No. 112 machine driven by Dominic Starkweather. The two will drive Saleen 1 Cup cars this weekend.
Catch the GT Action from Wherever You Are
The GT America weekend opens with official practice starting on Friday June 4th at 9:05am EDT. For the first time this season, fans have the opportunity to catch all the action in-person at VIRginia International Raceway with an open paddock, non-stop sports car racing, camping, car corrals, and more. Visit www.virnow.com for more information. Others can livestream the race action for free on SRO’s GT World YouTube channel, with audio simulcasts on SiriusXM satellite radio channel SXM 382 (992 on the web/app). CBS Sports Network’s VIR weekend highlights package premieres on Sunday June 13th at 2:30 pm ET.