Podium success for the AMR runners in GT4 America from Road America

Monday, August 22, 2022


If the GT America Series was anything to go by, the supporting GT4 America Series was to be equally entertaining as they saw out their fifth round of their seven-round season from Road America at the weekend.

Conveniently supporting the same seven Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT4’s as GT America but just with the addition of a Pro driver, the opening headlines again went to Gray Newell in his #24 Heart of Racing car who scooped his first competitive class pole position ahead of Saturdays opening hour long race with Bryan Putt starting P5 in class and what should have been Moisey Uretsky in P7 with his #55 AP Racing car (although damage prevented him from taking the start).

In this series, the cars are again sub-divided into Pro-Am, Silver and Am classes to add to the excitement of thirty-five similarly performing cars competing within the same racing arena but Newell stood up to the pace of the silver drivers around him to hold onto his overall position during the opening laps.

Despite then falling off the pace to become something of a cork in the bottle with the volume of cars behind, Newell did what he needed to do to be able to hand the #24 car over to Ian James for the second half of the race. Sabo and Putt meanwhile were unable to move forward at all and were unsurprisingly some of the first to pit.

Straight in the heat of the battle for James as he heavily defended their third position with two faster Porsches behind but with early gains overall for both Kenton Koch in now in the #15 and Andy Lee now aboard the #08 Flying Lizard car.

Ten minutes remaining saw Koch enter pit lane with a front puncture allowing Matt Guiver to move his #888 Zelus Motorsport AMR up to eighth going into the final few minutes.

Big pressure was still being put onto James near to the head of the field but contact with one of the Porsches as it passed him into turn one going into the final lap would come back to bite post-race with a two place drop for the Heart of Racing crew.

Lee would eventually bring the #8 car that he shares with Elias Sabo home in fourth with the Chouest Povoledo car in eighth, the #2 GMG Racing car of Jason Bell/Andrew Davis P9 and the #888 car P6 in their Am class at the end.

Sundays second race has the Pro drivers starting first (where applicable) with Koch starting on the second row in third with Lee alongside in fourth. James was supposed to be starting from P10 for this race but being after the second GT America race where Newell had his accident and had been transferred to hospital for observations, the #24 car was obviously a non-starter.

Another busy opening lap ensued as Koch pressed for early progression as the #18 Porsche again showed a clean pair of heels to break away from the pack behind to lead Koch by over three seconds by the end of the first ten minutes.

Trouble however was soon to strike the #18 car down with suspension failure just ahead of the pits top window, but the resulting FCY and Safety Car annulled things as the race reached mid distance.

Having pitted third in class, Bryan Putt was able to capitalise upon an error of those head to push for and then pass for the lead of the race with Sabo towing along behind as well as the #50 car of Chouest received a drive through penalty for a pit stop infraction – something that would obviously destroy any hopes in this race.

Going into the final quarter, Sabo tests Putt for the lead but goes in far too fast into turn one and puts his own position under threat as he recovered the situation. That three-way battle for the lead would have continued to the end had it not been for an incident through the Kink that left a Mercedes strewn across the racetrack bringing out the Safety Car and an eventual early curtailment of the race.

That gave the AMR crews of the #15 Bsport Racing and the #08 Flying Lizard cars an overall P1 and P2 finish respectively to end their weekend on a high. The early pit stop gamble from the #55 Uretsky/Justin Piscitell failed to work out for them as they came home P8 in class with the #2 GMG crew continuing their depressing weekend down in P9. With the #888 Zelus Motorsport Aston also a non-starter, the #50 Chouest/Povoledo car concluded the AMR runners in P12 in class.

The next round for this series is again at Sebring at the end of September with the results from Road America also still be to be verified at this moment.

Photo credits – Teams / GT4 America



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