Wins for Burton, Bell close out GT America weekend at Watkins Glen

Wins for Burton, Bell close out GT America weekend at Watkins Glen

SRO America

Wins for Burton, Bell close out GT America weekend at Watkins Glen

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Rearden Racing’s Jeff Burton (No. 191 Lamborghini Huracan GT3) earned his first overall race victory after taking the checkered flag at the second contest of the Watkins Glen weekend. In the GT4 class, Jason Bell (No. 2 GMG Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT4) completely swept the class weekend with his second flag-to-flag win in Race 2. Caesar Bacarella (No. 90 TR3 Racing Lamborghini Super Trofeo) finished second overall and topped the Invitational field.

At the drop of the green flag, Burton and Andy Wilzoch (No. 460 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3-R 991.2) came together in Turn 1 but both managed to continue. This set the tone and the stage for the battle that would ensue for the right to lead the field and show on the podium. SRO3 competitor Jason Harward (No. 88 Zelus Motorsports Lamborghini Huracan GT3) went wide and soon ended up in the pits due to a low tire-pressure condition; the return from this pit excursion required Harward to work his way back through the entire field. In GT4, the No. 25 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 driven by Gray Newell ran slow and eventually returned to the pits without incident; the No. 25 would not be able to return due to a mechanical issue.

By lap 6, while Harward was climbing through the ranks from being one lap down, Burton managed to execute a pass on Luck for the overall lead and worked on building the gap from the both Luck and Wilzoch from there. Bell successfully defended against the onslaught of pass attempts from Ross Chouest (No. 50 3R Povoledo Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMG GT4), the pair building a lead from the remainder of the pack.

The battles continued throughout the sprint contest with no major positions changing other than Harward, who had worked his way past the entire GT4 field and was back in class contention by lap 20, where Wilzoch finally passed Luck to take the second position. Meanwhile Sean Quinlan (No. 119 Stephen Cameron Racing BMW M4 GT4) and Robb Holland (No. 99 Rotek Racing Ford Mustang GT4) came together again after an incident in Race 1 that saw Quinlan retire early; this time both cars were able to continue after Holland went into the wall, but neither had hope of recovering enough for a podium finish.

At the drop of the white flag, Luck and Wilzoch made a last ditch attack/defend effort and came together in Turn 9, sending both into the wall. Wilzoch recovered and finished the lap to take the checkered but Luck had to limp his Porsche back to the pits with heavy damage.

At the end, it would be Bacarella rolling in behind Burton, and Harward – recovered from one lap down, to take his place on the podium in SRO3 after Wilzoch was penalized post-race for his last lap collision with Luck. Meanwhile, Bell’s consistency had him take the checkered with a comfortable lead over Chouest who would finish second, and Christopher Gumprecht (No. 79 RENNtech Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT4) finishing out the GT4 podium.

GT America competitors head next to Sebring International Raceway for an Invitational appearance October 1-3 After that, the season once again comes to a close at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, October 15-17 for the final doubleheader event of the season, running in conjunction with the Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli.

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