Daskalos, Chouest take early SRO GT America spoils in St. Petersburg

SRO America

Daskalos, Chouest take early SRO GT America spoils in St. Petersburg

SRO America

Daskalos, Chouest take early SRO GT America spoils in St. Petersburg


Race one of GT America powered by AWS finished with flare after a slow start due to an early incident. SRO3 and GT4 classes saw tight battles for the win at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg after competitors received a special surprise due to a delay in the schedule — race one took place at sunset and into the night.


The SRO3 class had an unexpected start with Jeff Burton in the No. 91 Mercedes AMG GT3 starting fourth but making contact with the wall brought the field to its only yellow flag of the race. Unfortunately, 2022 SRO3 class champion George Kurtz received damage from the incident and forfeited his second place start. Pole sitter Scott Smithson spun on his own, abdicating the lead.

The restart saw Memo Gidley lead SRO3 with his TKO Motorsports Mercedes AMG GT3. However, it wasn’t long before Jason Daskalos would use some fancy footwork and took over first-place duties. He and his No. 27 Mercedes AMG GT3 would hold on to the lead through the checkered flag. James Sofronas in the No. 14 Audi R8-LMS was hot on Gidley’s heels, but try as he might, he would take the checkered flag in third.

“It’s because of them,” said Daskalos, EBOOST Hard Charger Award winner said of his crew. “I was P1 early in practice. I hit the wall. We switched over to the backup car out but it wasn’t ready to race. The crew worked their butt off to get it to race ready. It’s all because of them.”


Pole sitter Todd Coleman led a majority of race one in his No. 69 Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4, but with six minutes remaining he found the tire barrier and relinquished the lead to hometown hero Jason Bell in the No. 2 Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4, who spent the race dueling it out with Coleman.

On the last lap, Ross Chouest dove to make a pass for the lead. While Chouest made the pass stick in his No. 50 Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4, Bell received damage to the right front tire. He kept his cool and brought his car across the finish line, but not before Gray Newell made a pass in the No. 25 Aston Martin for second.

“The boys did a great job,” Chouest said. “Halfway through the race, I couldn’t quite find the speed. It became very challenging as the sun went down with concrete everywhere. I clipped my left side mirror and had a slight wobble in the wheel after grazing my right front. Later in the race I saw an opportunity and jumped on it.”

Race two goes green Saturday, March 4, at 12:15 p.m. ET. The session completes SRO Motorsports America’s weekend in the sunshine state before the series heads west to Sonoma Raceway.