James Sofronas, No. 14 GMG Racing Audi R8 LMS Driver, has completed the single-day racing trifecta in GT America with a pole-sitting flag-to-flag race win that also involved earning the fast lap of the race, provisionally opening the door for a repeat flag-to-flag performance in Sunday’s competition. Charlie Luck (No. 45 Porsche 911 GT3 R 991.2) managed to hold off most of the field to take the Masters podium-class flag-to-flag win, while Sean Quinlan (No. 119 Stephen Cameron Racing BMW M4 GT4) accomplished the same feat in the GT4 class.
The GT America race began with Jason Daskalos (No. 27 Daskalos Motorsports Audi R8 LMS) executing an excellent pass on GT America points-leader Luck on the starting lap to immediately put himself up three positions into third and Sofronas working on perfecting his line to extend his gap to second-place Gidley. Luck then started the planning for regaining the position and more from Daskalos, but was eventually joined by Andy Wilzoch (No. 460 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R 991.2), Jeff Burton (No. 91 Rearden Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3) and Jason Harward applying pressure from behind and vying for the same spot.
Jason Bell (No. 2 GMG Racing Aston MArtin Vantage AMR GT4) also made early-race moves to take P1 away from class-leader and pole-qualifier Quinlan, with P3 qualifier Chris Cagnazzi (No. 39 RENNtech Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT4). The two battled for a while when Quinlan was able to make the pass and regain the class lead. Alex Welch (No. 76 ROTR Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT4), Scott Noble (No. 49 NOLASPORT Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS MR) and Rob Holland (No. 99 Rotek Racing Ford Mustang GT4) eventually packed up and engaged in a battle for fourth-in-class.
Around the halfway point of the 40-minute sprint contest, Luck had regained his position from Daskalos and proceeded to execute a systematic widening of his lead over the Audi driver and close in on the second overall while an incident with Adam Adelson (No. 120 Premier Racing Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS MR) saw him drop to the back of the field, shifting other contenders closer to the fronts of their respective classes. Daskalos and Wilzoch battled and swapped positions while Harward worked his way past Burton and into the SRO3 podium-class range.
As rain threatened off in the distance and the clock ticked toward the 5-minute-remaining mark, the battles in and between classes for position became more intense with Harward applying pressure to Wilzoch and Daskalos with consistent three-way bumper-to-bumper racing. However, an errant move cost Harward a few seconds and dropped him further back from the Daskalos-Wilzoch battle, but not before Daskalos passed Wilzoch and started to pull away. On the last lap of the race, however, Daskalos’ Audi suffered a mechanical issue in Turn 5 and dropped off of contention, unable to cross the finish line on its own volition. Sofronas and Gidley would finish 1 – 2 overall, with Harward completing the class podium, his first, at the fifth overall position. Held off, Luck would settle for SRO3-M podium win with Wilzoch behind him in second and Burton holding on to sixth overall and third place in Masters class.
Slightly further back in the GT4 charge led by Quinlan, Bell lost position to Chris Cagnazzi (No. 39 RENNtech Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT4), who had methodically held pace throughout the race until making the move for second-in-class on the last lap. The class would ultimately finish in that order – first, second and third.
Results are provisional until posted Final. The green flag drops for Race 2 at 8:30 am CT on Sunday. Catch the race live on the GT World YouTube channel, get the audio simulcast on SiriusXm Satellite Radio SXM392 (channel 992 on the app) and check out the live timing and scoring at gtamerica.us/live