Scant returns for the Aston Martin runners from not the best of GT4 America meetings from VIR

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Whilst there was healthy and competitive racing during the two GT America races from VIR at the weekend, the same sadly cannot be said for the parallel GT4 America Series which saw both of its two-hour long races red flagged due to barrier damage.

Featuring a larger grid of thirty-seven cars (with six Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT4 crews again amongst them), the opening half dozen rows of Saturday’s grid were occupied by cars not including any of the AMR entries from GMG Racing, Flying Lizard, Heart of Racing, Chouest Povoledo, Zelus and for the first time this season, the #55 Accelerating Performance Aston of Moisey Uretsky and Justin Piscitell.

Indeed, only one racing lap was completed before an incident led to a Porsche leaving the track and impacting into a tyre wall. That lead to an immediate Safety Car period but that was later changed to a red flag as further track infrastructure repairs became required.

A fifteen-minute delay there before racing finally got back underway just ahead of the start of the mandatory pit stop window which, when it came about lead to a split in strategy as half the Aston runners pitted straight away but some different.

With a stranded car left on track until after the last car had completed their stop, another FCY was called for its recovery and that bunched all the field up again. On the restart, contact between the #2 car of Andrew Davis and a Mercedes led to suspension damage and an early end to the race for both before a further FCY for another tyre wall impaled car at turn five.

That effectively concluded the race with the highest placed Aston being the #24 Heart of Racing of Gray Newell and Ian James finishing in P4 in Pro-Am and a debut GT4 America race result for the #55 crew in P6 in class.

Sunday’ second race would prove to be equally disjointed as three cars collided with themselves and/or the track barriers on the opening lap bringing out an immediate Safety Car and indeed another red flag after the leaders completed of the first lap.

Based on fastest times in race 1, the #15 Bsport Racing AMR of Kenton Koch and Bryan Putt was the highest Aston starter in P3 compared to their pit lane start in race 1 after a penalty for a transgression from Nola Motorsport Park last time out.

Once getting back underway with 34 minutes on the clock, a stranded car at pit entry made for another FCY which again split the pack as the top six cars (including the #15 Bsport car) stayed out whilst the majority of the pack pitted under caution, and it wasn’t long before the proof of who was right became evident.

Having gone into pit lane from third on track, Putt would emerge down in P13 in class whilst the real benefactors would be the #25 Heart of Racing car of Ian James and Gray Newell who would emerge up in P3 overall and P2 in Pro-Am.

Whilst the final minutes counted down and Sabo’s #8 Flying Lizard car pressurised Newell for position, the #55 car of Uretsky would suffer heavy contact with the tyre after an earlier attempt to improve track position saw contact made with the Porsche and the yellow Aston spear off into the barrier. Fortunately, again no injuries to report but the race would conclude from behind the Safety Car with the #24 Heart of Racing crew securing P2 and the #8 Flying Lizard car of Sabo and Andy Lee securing P3 in Pro-Am.

The next stop for this series will also be at Watkins Glen in a month’s time.

Photo credits – Teams / GT4 America










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