Charlie Luck made his second appearance as the overall race winner at the first GT America powered by AWS race of the Watkins Glen weekend. The No. 45 Wright Motorsports Porsche driver also led the SRO3 class and Masters subclass in his charge to the overall win. In GT4 class, Jason Bell converted his P1 qualifying position into his first career single-driver win in the No. 2 GMG Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT4.
Luck started the race in P1 position with Jason Harward (No. 88 Zelus Motorsports Lamborghini Huracan GT3) in P2, Jeff Burton (No. 191 Rearden Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3) in P3, and Flying Lizard Motorsports’ Andy Wilzoch (No. 460 Porsche) in P4. At the drop of the green flag, Burton and Harward traded places when Burton executed a pass on Harward. A short time later, Harward would return the favor, and the two would engage for a long duration of the race.
In GT4, Bell and Chouest immediately went to work in their respective offensive and defensive maneuvers, while further in the back Alex Welch (No. 76 ROTR Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT4) gained four positions over the course of a few laps in his work to advance from the back of the grid.
While Luck and Burton built space for themselves in the SRO3 field, Harward continued to defend his third overall position from Wilzoch. The GT4 field saw Chris Gumprecht (No. 79 RENNtech Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT4) recovering lost positions and engaging with Sean Quinlan (No. 119 Stephen Cameron Racing BMW M4 GT4) and Robb Holland (No. 99 Rotek Racing Ford Mustang GT4) in a battle for class P4 and a fighting chance at the podium. However, an incident between Quinlan and Holland saw Quinlan contact the wall and come to rest in the middle of the track with fluids on track, causing the Full Course Yellow to pack up the field.
After extraction and cleanup, and with slightly over three minutes left in the session, the course went green once again. In the front of the field, the SRO3 competitors had enough distance to maintain the positions to the end, provided the mechanical issues that began to plague Harward prior to the FCY would allow him to continue with enough left to fend off attacks from Wilzoch for the podium finish; the Zelus Lamborghini held and Harward was able to take home the podium finish. In the GT4 section, Chouest was determined to have executed an illegal pass before the timing line that saw him take the checkered flag before Bell, but a review by stewards handed him a time-penalty that redistributed the GT4 win back to Bell, the first in his career as a solo driver.
The second round of the GT America doubleheader weekend kicks off Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m. ET, with live-streaming continuing on the GTWorld YouTube channel and audio simulcast on SiriusXM Channel 392 (992 on the app). Live timing and scoring is available on gtamerica.us.