#TeamAMR move on to VIR for round three of SRO America

Monday, May 31, 2021

It’s the third round of the SRO America family of races this weekend from the beautiful Virginia International Raceway as sixteen GT3 cars from the GT World Challenge America Series join up in the paddock with twenty-nine GT4 cars from the GT4 America Series and further twenty-four GT3 and GT4 cars that make up the GT America Series.

Now five weeks since they last all battled out their respective races from the Circuit of the Americas, few of the seven Aston Martin Racing Customer and Partner teams that help to make up this colossal grid have been resting on their laurels, testing hard as many still have work to do to get themselves up to where they want to be.

The Notlad Racing with RS1 team unfortunately claimed the most ‘column inches’ in race reports from CoTA last time out after a high-speed barrel roll destroyed one of Matt Dalton’s AMR Vantage GT4’s in the first GT4 America race before seriously damaging the other in the second of the GT America races. From our own social media ‘chats’ with Dalton after the event, he confirmed that he was otherwise OK other than a bit bruised in both body and in wallet as one car was obviously a write off but at least the other was repairable.

We are not aware if his recently acquired chassis replacement from Prodrive will be with the team in time for them to make use of it at VIR or not!

In the amateur only GT America Series, CoTA was a good event for both the GMG Racing car of Jason Bell who secured his first double with a P2 and P3 finish as well as the #25 Heart of Racing car of Gray Newell who progressed from a P7 finish in R1 through to a P4 position in R2 – a great continuation of improvement from the otherwise novice racing driver.

In the larger grid of the GT4 America Series and despite there being six AMR’s listed within it, only the #062 Dexter Racing of brothers Ryan and Warren Dexter came away from Texas with any silverware after another P3 Silver Cup finish for them in R2.

The Notlad Racing #00 car obviously failed to finish in R1 nor did the #2 GMG Racing car of Bell and Andrew Davis in R2. Out of the other five Pro-Am entered cars, it was the #59 WR Racing car of Paul Terry/Brandon Davis and the #15 Bsport Racing car of Kenton Koch/Bryan Putt who otherwise had the more consistent of meetings for #TeamAMR with two goo finishes apiece, unfortunately just off the podium each time.

The remaining #24 Heart of Racing car for Newell and Ian James continued along Newell’s learning curve and should improve exponentially from now on as driver coach James has since passed over on his IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship seat in the teams AMR Vantage GTD to factory driver Ross Gunn to see out that season – in theory giving the son of the team owner more time to develop in the two SRO series in which he races this year.

Finally, and certainly by no means least sees the #12 Ian Lacey Racing AMR Vantage GT3 of Drew Stavely and Frank Gannett return after two very different races from CoTA – one under torrential rain, red flagged before the end because of track conditions mirrored by a second race under clear blue sky and sunshine.

Having had Prodrive engineers and technicians in attendance again at the circuit in Texas, the team says that they again learned lots more about the car both in set up and in race trim to be able to travel to VIR on their own to a circuit (hopefully) more suited to the cars characteristics than Sonoma and CoTA. Featuring only a bronze and silver graded driver in a highly competitive Pro-Am class, the team hope that their inter race develop so far will allow them to improve upon the P8 in class positions earned last time out.

Being SRO sanctioned series, all three series will have their two races streamed live via their respective social media channels. VIR is a beautifully unique circuit in the USA but despite that, the racing there never fails to disappoint.

Photo credits – GTWCA / GT America / GT4 America
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