More packed grids as the GT World Challenge and GT4 America kick off in Sonoma with the GT America Series too

Saturday, March 25, 2023


The two remaining SRO America series kick off their 2023 season next weekend from the Sonoma Raceway for what will undoubtedly be another season of highly competitive GT3, GT4 and mixed class racing.

Whilst the GT America Series for single, bronze ranked drivers started their own season around the street/airfield circuit of St Petersburg in Florida at the start of the month, next weekend sees the remaining GT World Challenge America and GT4 America Series kick off their season action as the trilogy of series reconvene in California.

For the GT World Challenge America Series for the solely GT3 runners, 2023 sees the rekindling of the relationship between The Racers Group (TRG) team and the Aston Martin Racing organisation as Kevin Buckler’s team get their hands upon a newer turbo charged generation of AMR Vantage GT3 for the first time since those heady V12 GTD days in IMSA a few years ago.

This time around it will be their longstanding driver/driver coach Derek DeBoer who is the lucky one as he will race alongside the former IMSA Heart of Racing AMR Vantage GTD Sprint Cup Champion Ross Gunn in the #007 car for the first-time next weekend.

This car replaces the former Ian Lacey entered AMR Vantage GT3 of Drew Staveley and Frank Gannett who championed the brand with this series for the previous two years without not much success. Indeed, the tight connection between the two AMR customer teams continue as we believe the #007 is the former Lacey prepared car.

Moving into the second round of the GT America Series sees six Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT4’s compete this time over the five that entered the first round at St Petersburg, but then many of those six are from different squads as well.

Race winner last time out Jason Bell returns with his #2 Flying Lizard prepared car alongside new (for him) teammate Elias Sabo in his #8 Flying Lizard car who races his first 2023 GT America event as well as the return of Gray Newell, Ross Chouest and Todd Coleman in their #25 Heart of Racing, #50 Chouest Povoledo and #69 Archangel Aston Martins respectively.

The #77 TR3 AMR of Paul Kiebler is another new listing this season after he has elected to race a mixture of both IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge and GT America/GT4 America events this year. The #55 Accelerating Performance AMR of Moisey Uretsky is not listed this time around.

Finally, we have the opening round of the dual driver, multi-classed GT4 America Series again kick off its 2023 season at Sonoma as seven Aston Martin powered teams return and/or debut within this hour long – pit stop punctuated series.

Returnees for 2023 sees the #8 Flying Lizard car of Sabo and Andy Lee, Ross Chouest and Aaron Povoledo in their #50 car of the same team and the #24 Heart of Racing AMR of Gray Newell and Ian James mix it up amongst the new for 2023 names within a second Heart of Racing car and new entries from the Archangel, TR3 and the Van Der Steur teams.

The #26 Heart car is something special as the team give two young ladies (Hannah Grisham and Rianna O’Meara-Hunt) the opportunity to perform on a larger stage for the first time after the America and New Zealander beat off similarly abled ladies in a head-to-head test weekend to win this fully supported prize of a GT4 America full season entry.

The #69 Archangel car of Todd Coleman gets another co-driver for this series in Billy Johnson whilst the #428 Van Der Steur team enters Brady Behrman and Coby Shield as they step up from the International GT Series. The #77 TR3 of Paul Kiebler has yet to confirm a second driver but we do suspect that it will be Jon Branam again.

All series will feature two races apiece over the Saturday/Sunday weekend.

Photo credits – Teams / social media
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