The Pirelli GT4 America series kicked off its 2022 season at Sonoma Raceway, with 42 GT4 machines taking the green flag in a race that saw plenty of action on the track and included a red flag with 33 minutes left in the race.
Once racing resumed, drivers worked to get their tires back to temperature to fight for position in the Silver, Pro-Am and Am classes.
Making his SRO debut, Eric Filgueiras and co-driver Stevan McAleer in the No. 18 RS1 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport, was the overall race winner and led the Silver class with a Crowdstrike fastest lap time of 1m46.124s. Neither teammate had driven on the Sonoma course before, so they prepared by working through the car set up, what to do on track and most importantly, communication.
“Once we got a little lead I tried to manage the gap,” said McAleer. “We’re excited, RS1 has been fantastic, and it’s a first win for this new Porsche in SRO,” he added.
Rounding out the Silver class was the No.34 Conquest Racing/JWF Motorsports, Mercedes-AMG GT4 in second place, and the No. 51 Auto Technic Racing, BMW M4 GT4 in third place.
In the Pro-Am class, co-drivers Bryan Putt and Kenton Koch took first place in the No. 15 BSport Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4. “It was all a pretty hard race but clean in my opinion, it was good fun,” said Koch.
Second place went to the No. 47 NOLASPORT Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport driven by Scott Noble and Jason Hart. Rounding out the class in third was No. 8 5.11 Flying Lizard Motorsports Aston Martin Vantage GT4 of Elias Sabo and Andy Lee.
Finally, top honors in the Am class went to No. 36 Bimmerworld, BMW M4 GT4 with the driving team of Charlie Postins and James Clay who started from the pole position in class, and consistently stayed in the top three throughout the race. With Clay at the wheel in the second stint of the race, he held off potential challengers in the final minutes of the race to hang onto the lead for the win.
“We had a healthy start, or a healthy lead I should say over the rest of the M cars. For me it was a case of handing it over to my partner and we brought it home,” said Postins.
“Charlie gave me the car in a great spot, and I had a healthy enough lead. You know we don’t have the best car for this track, but we made it happen today,” said Clay.
Driving to a second place finish was Alain Stad and Thomas Merrill in the No. 19 NOLASPORT Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport. The Racers Group, who hail from nearby Petaluma, claimed Third place in the No. 66 The Racers Group Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport with drivers Jason Alexandridis and Derek DeBoer.