A dramatic opening GT4 America race from CoTA

Sunday, May 02, 2021

There were dramatic scenes at the opening day of the second round of the SRO America trilogy of series yesterday with a terrifying looking accident in the first race of the day, the next being washed out with some torrential rain before one Aston Martin Racing runner finally came through to claim their second podium of the season in some very trying conditions.

Despite many having tested at the Circuit of the America’s the week before, most of that data simply went ‘out of the window’ during Free Practice, Qualifying race sessions of the day with repeated electrical rainstorms passing the Texan circuit by.

The opening race of Saturday, the GT4 America Series race did get to start and conclude on upon a damp to drying track but was punctuated with a long armco barrier repair delay following a significant impact with it by the #00 AMR Vantage GT4 of Matt Dalton on the opening lap of the GT4 America race.

Seen unexpectedly spearing off the circuit, the former beautifully livered car nosed into the barrier being pirouetting in mid-air before landing heavily on its side/roof in a crumpled heap. Very fortunately the roll cage stood up to the forces involved and Dalton was seen removing himself from the steaming wreckage of his car with only the slightest of help from the attended safety teams before being seen walking to the medical car – again under his own steam.

With that car looking like a write-off, his team mate Pat Gallagher was rightly more concerned as for Dalton’s welfare than what that would mean for the remainder of their race meeting. They do have a second chassis, but everything now will depend upon Dalton being passed fit to drive by series medical officials on Sunday morning. CSJ Motorsport’s Cy Jary did report back to us that he is sore but otherwise ‘OK’ for his journey.

Once the race finally got back underway with little over half of the allotted 60-minute race remaining having already lost time to a Safety Car period on track for that incident, once the race did resume and all the Am drivers had immediately swapped over to their respective Pro’s, it became a simple 25-minute dash to the flag for the remaining 35 cars.

With Bryan Putt already having made up over 12 places on the opening lap alone, Kenton Koch was looking good for another Pro-Am podium finish aboard their #15 car before a power steering issue saw their car plummet to P18 overall with just two laps remaining.

Jason Bell aboard his blue #2 AMR GT4 finished the highest of the six Astons that entered the race in 6th in class whilst the Paul Terry/ B Davis #59 car finished P12 despite their early promised in testing. The #24 Heart of Racing car of Gray Newell and Ian James continued to show Newell’s progress behind the wheel finishing in P20 whilst the #062 Silver Cup car of the Dexter brothers had a reality checked (after their successes at Sonoma last time out) finish in P25 overall and P7 in class.

Hopefully, Sunday’s race will be a better day!

Photo credits - GT4 America / Teams

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