Another drama filled GT America visit to Road America

Monday, August 22, 2022


There was again plenty of incident, accident and everything in-between at the latest rounds of the GT America and GT4 America Series this weekend from the Road America circuit in Wisconsin and if that wasn’t enough, there was also plenty of post-race results adjustments to boot!

Featuring this time around as the sixth round out of their eight-round season, seven Aston Martin Racing teams again helped populate another healthy GT3, GT2 and GT4 grid for the Bronze ranked drivers only series for their usual two rounds of fourth minute races across the weekend.

Going into the weekend as GT4 Championship leader, the #2 GMG Racing AMR Vantage GT4 of Jason Bell was to eventually endure another difficult day at the office as a spin during Qualifying prevented him from inputting any competitive time for him to start at the back of the grid for race one. Bryan Putt meanwhile, was having a good start to the proceedings by claiming the GT4 pole position with Gray Newell, Ross Chouest and Moisey Uretsky all not too far behind in their Heart of Racing, Chouest Povoledo Racing and AP Racing Aston Martins respectively.

With the staggered class start, the #2 car of Bell and the #55 car of Uretsky were quickly caught up in someone else’s accident and whilst Bell was able to continue, Uretsky’s race was already run with a terminal visit to pit lane at the end of the opening lap.

An early FCY for a stranded GT3 car allowed temperatures within the GT4 cockpits to cool with Putt running second in class with Chouest, Newell and the #8 Flying Lizard car of Alias Sabo behind.

A spin at the restart saw Newell drop out of contention, Putt have no answer for the dominant Porsche ahead but at least Bell was making some progress up the leader board as the race entered its final ten minutes.

Putt’s hope for his first GT America podium was dashed as the end as he eventually dropped to P4 in class at the chequered flag with Chouest, Sabo and Bell completing the top twelve overall and top seven in class.

Then came Sundays second race which turned a whole new level of something for these seven Aston Martin Racing crews.

With the grid this time being set with their respective fastest laps from the opening race, it was the #8 car of Sabo who would head the AMR field from second in class with all bar Sean Whalen in his #888 Zelus Motorsport car and Uretsky within the top eight.

Again with a Porsche beating the Aston’s to turn 1, the #15, #50 and #8 cars went for a bit of side-by-side contact with one another around the opening lap before Putt forces his way past only to spin out at the next corner.

As the leading Porsche suffers a puncture, another incident through the Kink brings out the Safety Car as the race is neutralised until the eight-minute mark.

Newell this time forces his way past Chouest who in turn spins out as well under acceleration and an overzealous Putt T-bones the #888 of Whalen which in turn takes out the #2 of Bell to leave three Aston Martin’s out on the spot but all of this was going on just as Newell was involved in a massive accident along the pit straight – something that would ultimately end the race prematurely due to the vast debris field across the track.

Whilst provisional results were initially called after the race, post-race evaluations of the circumstances around Newell’s crash found that he had ignored the yellow flags of the Bell/Whalen incident FCY. That in turn affected the results by removing an indicated class win for Sabo but giving a P2 class finish to Uretsky instead.

Thankfully all involved in both incidents were otherwise not seriously hurt although Newell would need hospital evaluation for a shoulder injury but would be released later in the day.

The GT America now moves onto its penultimate round at Sebring later in September. Race results are still to be verified by the Series.

Photo credits – Team / GT America
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