Seven Aston Martin's claim just one podium finish at second round of GT America from Sonoma

Tuesday, April 19, 2022


The second round of the GT America Series from Sonoma finally saw a grid of seven Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT4’s take to the Sonoma Raceway for their two, forty minute solo bronze ranked drivers.

With some having already opening their 2022 account with the opening pair of races around the street circuit of St Petersburg last month, this was for several others their first competitive race aboard their AMR GT4 this season.

Newcomers from the Flying Lizard team for Elias Sabo and Moisey Uretsky with his #55 API prepared Aston were more than welcome to join the more established runners from GMG Racing, Heart of Racing, Bsport Racing and a renamed Chouest Povoledo Racing teams amongst the combined GT3/GT4 grid of twenty-five cars.

Unfortunately for the spectacle of racing around the undulating and sometimes expansive circuit of Sonoma, the untimely rain and ‘first day at the office’ mentality lead to both races becoming something of a caution ‘fest as track issue after track issue blighted the efforts of many.

Spinners on the warmup laps as well as the opening lap of race 1 on Saturday proved the point for some as others proved that side by side racing was possible as both Ross Chouest and Jason Bell ran neck and neck for P2.

Unfortunately for Bryan Putt, his introduction to the single driver series continued along its low ebb of St Petersburg as a spin and resulting visit to pit lane saw off his early chances in California. Further spins for Sabo and an untimely visit to the tyre wall for Sean Whalen ended with race one in a state of confusion as a false start for many was called and Chouest lost out on his seeming first series win passed the chequered flag.

Amended results meant that only Chouest, Gray Newell and Sabo were listed as timely finishes with Bell, Uretsky, Putt and Whalen all failing to finish on the lead lap if at all.

Sundays second race was better weather wise but that was about it as fastest laps in race 1 again decided starting positions making for a bizarre position of the top AMR places being represented by both Sabo in P3 and Whalen in P6!

Another dubious start behind another not so level GT4 grid let Whalen lead the race on lap 2 aboard his #888 car whilst Sabo quickly faulted with technical issues.

Halfway through the race and big front end damage to Newell’s Heart of Racing AMR after a collision saw the Safety Car come out to retrieve the debris losing a further twenty four minutes of race time as the #15 Bsport car of Putt had further problems on track.

Another spun car (Whalen) and Safety Car later and a final dash to the flag allowed Bell to claim his second podium of the season so far with a P3 with Chouest close behind in P4.

A better race this time however for Uretsky as he brought his bright yellow coloured Aston home in P7 in only his second competitive race in it.

Next round of the series takes us to the Virginia International Raceway in mid-June.

Photo credits – Teams / GT America
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