Kohr Motorsports just miss out on GT4 win at Road America

Sunday, August 02, 2020

A second, second placed finish in any sporting event may appear to be good performances by many but for the #60 Kohr Motorsport Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT4 crew of Nate Stacey and Kyle Marcelli it was a case of having to settle for another runners up position in a race that they were almost dominating.

Selection into the AMR Drivers Academy and securing his first Pole Position aboard their AMR Vantage earlier in the day yesterday, things were looking pretty rosy for twenty year old Stacey as he took the green flag at the start of the Road America 120 in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge at the head of the pack.

In the ever competitive world of modern GT4 racing, things would never be easy for any of the twenty one runners in the GS class, especially when mixed with another twelve TCR class cars on differing strategies, and with the race last race winning #39 CarBahn Audi right behind the Aston.

Further down the grid, the #99 Automatic Racing AMR of Ramin Abdolvahabi and Rob Ecklin had had a torrid time in Free Practice and Qualifying with technical issues and very quickly for them, their race would take a massive blow - to the right rear quarter to be precise from the 'out of control' sister #93 CarBahn Audi!! Although the #99 car would make it back to pitlane for a new wheel and bodywork repairs, only a handful of laps more would be achieved before the car was finally taken behind the wall and into retirement with terminal exhaust damage.

Whilst all of this was going on, a great start from Stacey and the #3 MIA McLaren behind meant that the lesser experienced Am driver aboard the #3 car was now effectively holding the pack up around the twisty Road America circuit and thus allowing Stacey top build a comfortable gap.

Forty five minutes in and Stacey had already served more than his Am status minimum driver time as he pitted the car from the lead for fuel, tyres and a driver change over to Marcelli. By the time that their first round of stops had all been completed, the #60 car again retained a 'comfortable' lead over the chasing #39 Audi and must have been something of an uneventful race for Marcelli - well up and until their final stop that was.

With the #39 Audi forcing peoples hand by pitting for fuel and tyres again with just forty minutes remaining, others including the Kohr team had to follow suit just in case a Full Course Yellow scuppered their plans. The #60 car pitted on the next lap but the #3 MIA 570S stayed out for another lap and on a clearing track that allowed the #3 car to effectively make up the 5-6 second gap and pass the #60 car by the time the McLaren exited pit lane right infront of the Aston.

Try as he might, Marcelli could not find a way past the McLaren to retake the overall lead and quietly began to fade away by the time the race entered its final laps. The race however, would finish under Caution after a nasty looking accident for the #4 Mercedes AMG left debris all over the race track and half of the nose of the AMG missing by the time the car came to a halt. Fortunately, the driver was seen removing himself from the remnants of his car unaided, appearing relatively unscathed which was good.

That meant that the #60 Kohr AMR finished the race in P2 for the second time since IMSA's return to racing that started at Sebring two weeks ago.

Next race in the Championship will be at VIR towards the end of August.

Photo credits - IMSA / Automatic / Kohr

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