More eventful GT4 America races that give two AMR well earned silverware at VIR

Monday, June 07, 2021


Another exciting weekend of GT4 America racing from Virginia International Raceway at the weekend with another class podium in race 1 on Saturday and an overall race win on Sunday for two Aston Martin Racing customer teams.

For the Notlad Racing team, race 1 of GT4 America would be the only race that they would complete as a dramatic off for the #00 car during the latter GT America Series would leave Matt Dalton in hospital for observation and his co-driver, Pat Gallagher unable to take up his pole position start for Sunday’s race.

Race 1 looked like it was going to be another charge for the #062 Silver Cup entered Dexter Racing car as Ryan pushed up the order from his P9 start in the manner that they did at the season opener at Sonoma. Unfortunately, electrical issues had been blighting the car all week during private testing up to this third round of the series. Sadly for this family run team and after only fifteen minutes of running, it appeared that their issues had returned as the car was left stricken on track, bringing out the Safety Car.

The #59 WR Racing AMR Vantage GT4 of Paul Terry and Brandon Davis was the next car to watch as Davis came out of the mandatory stop to slot into P5 overall and came very close to securing a Pro-Am class win in a three-way tussle going into the final corner of the final lap. In the end, they had to settle for P3 in class result.

Sunday’s second one-hour race sadly lacked both the #00 car due to its earlier accident as well as the #062 Dexter car with its electrical issues but the #15 BSport Racing car of AMR Drivers Academy driver Kenton Koch was at least starting from the sharp end from the second row of the grid. Taking P2 on the opening laps, Koch was left frustrated with an early Full Course Yellow for a stranded car on the back straight before being held up on track by the #52 BMW again once the race went back to green.

During all of this, Ian James aboard the #24 Heart of Racing AMR had quietly gained a whopping sixteen places to lift his and Gray Newell’s car up to P11 by the time of the stops.

With Koch handing over to Bryan Putt, he would assume the race lead on exiting pit lane and would quickly establish a seven second gap to the field behind just as another Safety Car was called for another stranded car. Holding his nerve on the restart, Putt would retain his well-earned lead but Newell would get mugged by the pack that would drop him all the way down in the ‘danger zone’ with only about ten minutes remaining.

Then, just ten minutes out there was contact between the KTM and a sheepishly looking Aston Martin that was seen hobbling its way back to pit lane with suspension damage. With that KTM X-Bow immovably stuck on the outside of T1, the race would eventually time out behind the Safety Car to give the #15 crew their first overall race win and their second podium finish of the season so far to lift them into second within the Pro-Am Championship.

The SRO America Series moves onto Road America at the end of August. Hopefully by then, Matt Dalton will be fully recovered, and his racing hard wear suitably replaced and Dexter Racing will have got to the bottom of their electrical issues.

Photo Credits – GT4 America
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