Shaping up nicely in Sonoma for three exciting series of racing

Saturday, April 01, 2023


Not quite the clear blue skies and intense sunshine that many of us might expect for California but the opening round of the SRO GT4 America Series is shaping up nicely ahead of today’s Qualifying and first race.

With the earlier rains now hopefully behind them, the seven strong Aston Martin Racing powered contingent were quickly out of the blocks during yesterdays two Free Practice sessions with the #69 Archangel AMR Vantage GT4 car of Billy Johnson and Todd Coleman going fastest in the morning session but with the #50 Chouest Povoledo AMR of Ross Chouest and Aaron Povoledo being the more consistent with a P5 finish in both sessions.

Whilst some of these Am drivers will have had at least one GT America race already under their belts from St Petersburg a few weeks ago, for many this would be their first competitive track action of the year so far and for some – their first experience of the series in an Aston Martin.

The two Heart of Racing shoot out graduates of Hannah Grisham and Rianna O’Meara-Hunt showed an inkling of what they are all about with an impressive series debuting lap times taking themselves from P34 in FP1 (after some early technical issues aboard their #26 Am Class car to that of a worthy P14 finish in FP2.

We welcomed back the #8 Flying Lizard duo of Elias Sabo and Andy Lee as well as the #24 Heart of Racing entry of Gray Newell and Ian James. Competing the seven saw the return of Paul Kiebler and his TR3 crew as well as the #428 Van Der Steur line up of Brady Behrman and Coby Shield as they step up from the International GT Series to the Pro-Am world of the GT4 America Series.

Not letting the AMR powered GT4 America crews steal all the early event limelight also saw the #2 Flying Lizard AMR car of Jason Bell continue from the pace he left St Petersburg with by being the fastest GT4 driver in both of yesterday’s Free Practice sessions – sometimes faster than the slower of the GT3 runners in fact!!

Chouest, Coleman, Sabo, the additional The Racers Group GT4 entry of Tim Savage and Kiebler again populated the top half of the GT4 order during the mornings session but with Newell not being able to set any comparative times. Any issue was resolved into time for Newell to match his peers within class during the days second session.

That leaves just the #007 The Racers Group AMR Vantage GT3 entry of Derek DeBoer and Ross Gunn as they will run out within this year’s opening race of the GT World Challenge America Series.

Having had little time for preparation, this is we believe the first time that both drivers have spent any significant time together with this undertaking with Gunn being busy within his IMSA commitments and early test running being assisted with by Valentin Hasse-Clot.

For them, this is still ‘work in progress’ as all get to know just how things work either individually or as a collective as many of the GT3 runners are again full season returnees but at least progress is being made. Finishing P14 out of the eighteen runners earlier on Friday, the #007 finished the day P13 going into todays (Saturday’s) first Qualifying session later today.

All three series will be available to view live via each of their social media channels.

Photo credits – Teams / social media / H Pitman
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • MySpace
  • LinkedIn
  • Live
  • Google
  • Reddit
  • Sphinn
  • Propeller
  • Slashdot
  • Netvibes