Kurtz takes GT America overall Indy win, Chouest victorious in GT4

SRO America

Kurtz takes GT America overall Indy win, Chouest victorious in GT4

SRO America

Kurtz takes GT America overall Indy win, Chouest victorious in GT4

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The GT America powered by AWS field took to the yard of bricks Friday afternoon for the second-to-last race of the year and saw massive change-ups in positions, as well as a handful of truly brilliant battles.

SRO3

Before racers took to the Indy’s tarmac, a technical infraction put George Kurtz (No. 04 CrowdStrike Racing by Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3) at the back of the SRO3 field. Jeff Burton (No. 191 TR3 Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3) led the field across the starting line, followed closely by Kyle Washington (No. 32 GMG Racing Porsche 911 GT3-R (991.ii)).

Early on, Washington experienced a mechanical problem which brought out a brief yellow flag and unfortunately ended his race. Burton drove on, but now the main scuffle in SRO3 was between Mirco Schultis (No. 70 Mishumotors Callaway Corvette C7.R) and Jason Daskalos (No. 27 Daskalos Racing Audi R8 LMS) for second overall. Once Schultis found the opportunity, with Kurtz not far behind, he made the jump and grabbed second—Daskalos unfortunately retired not too long after due to a mechanical issue.

In less than half the race’s duration, Kurtz was able to blitz ahead of everyone up to second, and while wheeling along with all the gusto in the world, got up to Burton’s bumper within six laps. Burton ran out of brakes into Turn 1, Kurtz made the jump, and the rest was history, scoring his ninth win of the season.

Kurtz crossed the line first, followed by Burton and Schultis—who claimed yet another podium, its most repeated guest after Kurtz. He now has a firm shot at second place in the championship after Jason Harward (No. 88 Zelus Motorsports Audi R8 LMS GT2) retired due to a mechanical issue.

Kurtz claimed the CrowdStrike Fastest Lap of 1m24.874s, as well.

“It’s a little easier at the front,“ Kurtz said. “We had a lot of fun; the pressure wasn’t on after winning the championship. I just wanted to have fun, clear the traffic, and those are some good laps you remember over time.”

GT4

Heading into this race, five drivers were still in contention for the championship. Jason Bell and Adam Adelson were leading, with Moisey Uretsky, Ross Chouest, and Rob Holland all within striking distance. Making it a little more complex, each driver would be dropping their worst weekends of the eight weekend championship.

After earning pole in qualifying, Chouest (No. 50 Chouest Povoledo Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4) took off with Adelson (No. 120 Premier Racing Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport) and Elias Sabo (No. 8 Flying Lizard Motorsports Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4) giving chase. Chouest had been Mr. Consistency this season with three runner-up finishes, but had yet to spray the champagne from the top step.

Not long after, Sabo experienced a brake issue, making impact with Adelson into Turn 1, bringing both drivers’ race to an end. The impact happened just enough off track and out of the way that the race remained green.

This opened up the opportunity for Seth Lucas (No. 16 Hattori Motorsport Toyota GR Supra) and Jason Bell (No. 2 GMG Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4) to come through, but not before Bell’s battle with fellow Aston driver Gray Newell (No. 25 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4).

Scott Noble (No. 47 NOLASPORT Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport) joined in the fun with Robb Holland (No. 99 Rotek Racing Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport) in a brawl of their own until Noble experienced a power cut. The order eventually turned into Chouest and Lucas battling hard for the win, with Bell comfortably hanging in third, likely with his mind set on championship points.

In the end, Chouest grabbed the win after a hearty, lap-after-lap battle with the Toyota GR Supra GT4-wheeling rookie, with Bell crossing in third. Lucas and Chouest demonstrated great sportsmanship in their driving, but gave their rival space.

Bell’s third place moved him into a slim points lead over Chouest who jumped from fourth to second in the championship. It’s now a three-way battle, as Adelson is still in the fight. Premier Racing will no doubt work to repair the No. 120 in time for race two Sunday morning. The title could be claimed by any of the three.

“It feels good to be back in the winner’s circle,” Chouest said. “Aaron Povoledo did great, the guys did great—it feels amazing and the talent of all the drivers is amazing.”

GT2

Despite the drama on track, CJ Moses (No. 58 Audi R8 LMS GT2) ran a clean race reaching a fourth place finish overall.

“It’s a blast,” Moses said about his GT2 Audi steed. “GMG set up a perfect car for this track. I was able to go out and basically run the entire race in qualifying mode. Just qualifying lap after qualifying lap; it was great.”

Race two will go down on Sunday at 9:00 a.m. Eastern.

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