GT America powered by AWS finished off the Music City Grand Prix weekend in front of packed stands and under overcast skies. Ambient temperatures and humidity were quite a bit higher than Saturday’s twilight run, making for vastly different conditions to race through.
A pre-race mechanical issue for Jason Harward (No. 88 Zelus Motorsports Lamborghini Huracan GT3) wasn’t resolved before the green flag dropped, which unfortunately brought the Lamborghini in before the start. When the green flag did fly, Onofrio Triarsi repeated his Saturday form and drove off, leaving the rest of the field to battle hard for the other two podium spots.
The tight battle between Justin Wetherill (No. 37 Triarsi Competizione Ferrari 488 GT3) and Jason Daskalos (No. 27 Daskalos Motorsports Audi R8 LMS) continued from race one. This time, Wetherill was able to drive away from Daskalos, bringing him up to teammate Triarsi’s bumper. Just before the halfway point, Wetherill slipped past Triarsi under braking, held onto it, and drove home to the overall win. This was Wetherill’s first career win in GT America, and moved him up to third in points with six races remaining.
“It’s just about being consistent over time,” Wetherill said when asked what it took to win. “Fortunately, we were at a little bit of a gap and it allowed me to push a little bit harder. We came here dreaming of a one-two finish, and for this to happen two days in a row is incredible. The cars are great, the team is great; it’s been an incredible blessing.”
Despite not having the perfect weekend sweep, Triarsi still grabbed the CrowdStrike Fastest Lap after laying down a blazing 1m29.170s.
Mirco Schultis (No. 70 Mishumotors Callaway Corvette C7 GT3-R) made his way to a third place finish after battling through the field from eighth, giving him his first podium of the season and the win in the Masters category.
George Kurtz (No. 04 CrowdStrike with Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3), SRO3 championship leader and 2022 TotalEnergies Spa 24 Hour class winner, was fourth.
Kurtz had dropped to as low as seventh, and the battle between Kurtz, Schultis, Daskalos, and David Askew (No. 63 DXDT Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3) was fierce but clean. Daskalos lost a little speed late in the race due to minor damage while lapping a GT4 car, but held on for fifth and maintained his second place in the championship behind Kurtz.
The race started out with plenty of drama in GT4, as new GT4 points leader Ross Chouest (No. 50 Chouest Provoledo Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4) made contact with the wall on the opening lap. The race didn’t see a full-course yellow, but it did extinguish the Aston Martin driver’s chances at maintaining that points lead.
After winning on Saturday night, Robb Holland (No. 99 Rotek Racing Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport) was able to drive away from the pack and develop a healthy lead, easily securing another first-place finish and a brilliant weekend sweep. The win moved Holland up to third in the championship.
“The guys at Rotek Racing just did an epic job,” Holland said. “We’re running two different cars this weekend — two different manufacturers. The guys have got them completely dialed. It was one of those things where everyone’s been doing 100 percent, and that’s where the team effort comes in.”
The battle for second raged between Edgar Lau (No. 124 ARG/Rotek Racing Ford Mustang GT4), Chris Cagnazzi (No. 39 Cameron Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4), and Jason Bell (No. 2 GMG Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4). Cagnazzi was particularly aggressive and his car showed a few scars in the post-race weigh-in. The battle for the podium allowed Holland to keep a comfortable lead over the field.
At the half-way point it was Bell, Lau, and Cagnazzi. With ten minutes left it changed to Bell, Cagnazzi, and Lau. In a fantastic heavy braking maneuver, with just five minutes remaining, Cagnazzi got past Bell and into a solid second position, which he held to the checkered. Lau ended up in fourth, just one spot shy of his Saturday night podium finish.
Bell remarked in the post-race press conference that his alignment was off, that he was thinking championship points, and knew the risks of fighting hard for second. Bell retook the points lead with his third place finish.
The action continues at Road America, August 19-21.