The 2023 GT America powered by AWS race season begins on the St. Petersburg, Florida streets next weekend, March 3-5. An array of GT3 and GT4 entries will be represented by top manufacturers, including Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Callaway, Chevrolet, Mercedes-AMG and Porsche.
The 1.8-mile, 14-turn street course sees the return of the GT America powered by AWS series for the second year in a row, with the series in its third season. The field of 23 is divided into two classes this season, with 12 GT3 cars creating the SRO3 class and the remaining 11 GT4 chassis creating the GT4 class. The lineup is full of SRO Motorsports America veterans, sure to create close racing on the unforgiving course.
There is just something about the SRO3 class that makes fans pay attention. Maybe it’s the fact that there are seven Mercedes-AMG GT3 entries singing in unison on the grid or the unmistakable low growl of the Audi R8 LMS, a rumbling Porsche and Callaway Corvette awaiting redemption. Either way, it’s race action that shouldn’t be missed.
Overall, GT America powered by AWS was the closest championship under the SRO Motorsports America banner in 2022. SRO3 class champion George Kurtz returns with CrowdStrike by Riley in his No. 4 CrowdStrike Mercedes-AMG. Runner-up Jason Daskalos and CRP Racing are ready for a rematch. Daskalos has upgraded machinery this time, driving the No. 27 Vintage 423 CRP Racing Mercedes-AMG. Last year he ran an Audi R8 Ultra. This year, the lone Audi R8 LMS Evo is the No. 14 GMG Racing entry of longtime World Challenge racer James Sofronas.
The No. 70 MISHUMOTORS Callaway Corvette of Micro Schultis finished third in the championship in 2022 and will aim to turn last year’s consistency into this year’s winning strategy. However, he’ll continue to fight off top talents such as Memo Gidley, Scott Smithson, Anthony Bartone, Andy Pilgrim and Jeff Burton, all behind the wheel of a Mercedes-AMG GT3. Not to mention Alex Vogel and Andy Wilzoch in their Porsche 911 GT3-R and Derek DeBoer in the Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3.
GT4 and more
The GT4 class never leaves an audience wanting. It’s one of the fastest-growing racing platforms in North America for a good reason. The cars are nimble and fast. The GT4 chassis will excel on the streets of St. Petersburg. While the engine output is lesser than that of the big brother GT3 race cars, the ambition and competition are equally as thrilling.
The 2022 GT4 champion Ross Chouest returns in his No. 50 Westport Aston Martin. He finished last year with two wins, and he’ll want to start the year by adding to that trophy collection. However, St. Petersburg local and fellow Aston Martin driver Jason Bell may stand in his way after winning on his home track last year and finishing the season as runner-up and champion in 2021. Gray Newell, Moisey Uretsky and Todd Coleman round out competitors also representing Aston Martin on track.
Bell is not alone in knowing the streets of St. Pete well. Also local to the area is Team ACP Tangerine, with the No. 152 Tampa Bay Air BMW entry driven by Steve Weber and the No. 12 Team ACP BMW of Kenneth Goldberg. They’ll keep a keen eye on the lone Mercedes entry of RENNtech Motorsports and Thomas Johnson.
No one will count out Carrus Callas Raceteam and the Toyota Gazoo Racing GR Supra GT4 of Nicholas Shanny or the return of Blackdog Speed Shop and Tony Gaples in the Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R. Thomas Collingwood and BGB Motorsports will raise the banner for Porsche in the No. 69 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport.
Stay connected, stay tuned
The weekend schedule, live timing and scoring and session reports are available at gtamerica.us. Check out race live streams for free on YouTube at GT World.