SRO America visits Nola with another combined grid of 14 Aston Martin Vantage race cars

Monday, April 24, 2023


This weekend sees another busy weekend for SRO racing with the reconvening of the three North American based series at the Nola Motorsport Park in New Orleans for the second rounds of the 2023 GT4 America and GT World Challenge America and third round of the GT America Series.

With all three series hitting the racetrack collectively at Sonoma at the start of the month, the intervening weeks has been made of car repairs for some and some more all-important testing ahead of another fast and furious venue with maybe a little intervention again from Mother Nature along the way – just to spice the racing up a little further.

International news within the #TeamAMR family today as well as other pre-arranged circumstances has led to a number of driver changes for some of the Aston Martin Racing powered runners across the three series whilst most remain constant with the driver pairing that fought out two terrific races in each series back in California.

Starting with the bigger platform-based GT World Challenge America Series, the #007 The Racers Group AMR Vantage GT3 that team racer Derek DeBoer shared at Sonoma with AMR factory driver Ross Gunn will this weekend see the young Englishman replaced with a certain young Frenchman as Valentin Hasse-Clot re-joins the team for races three and four of the season.

No stranger to the team of course, as Hasse-Clot gave the team some early season tips in testing and set up whilst Gunn was otherwise engaged with his IMSA and British GT driver duties with both the Heart of Racing and Beechdean AMR teams so a degree of consistency here should help the team improve.

Hasse-Clot arrives in the deep south very much pumped up from his Le Mans Cup race win with the Racing Spirit of Leman team last weekend in Spain but more so from his subsequent European Le Mans Series race that saw his Vantage GTE car taken out of the race on the very first lap. That could well be more than enough for the viewers to watch for themselves just what he and DeBoer could do at Nola this weekend amongst the other sixteen indicated entries.

In the GT4 America Series we see that Ian James’ position alongside Gray Newell in the #24 Heart of Racing AMR Vantage GT4 has been filled with fellow teammate Roman De Angelis as James gets to go World Endurance Championship racing this weekend at Spa Francorchamps in Belgium following the withdrawal of Paul Dalla Lana and his Northwest AMR team from the WEC today with immediate effect.

The #24 crew are again joined by the all-lady crew of Hannah Grisham and Rianna O’Meara-Hunt aboard the #26 car after they experienced just how tough this series can be for the unwary finishing with a DNF in race 1 and a P7 in their Am class finish in race 2.

A race win and another Pro-Am podium last time out at Sonoma has placed the #50 AMR Vantage GT4 of Ross Chouest and Aaron Povoledo onto a mantle for many to beat whilst a DNF also apiece for the #69 Todd Coleman/Billy Johnson and #428 Brady Behrman/Coby Shield crew will spur these guys into avoiding the trouble and making hay whilst the sun still shines!! A further entry from both the Flying Lizard and TR3 teams complete another seven car Aston Martin Racing powered entry.

Completing the trilogy is of course the solo driven GT America Series for bronze ranked drivers spread over its available GT3 and GT4 platforms.

Six crews again return for this third round of the season after Jason Bell (#2), Ross Chouest (#50), Elias Sabo (#8), and Jon Branam (#77) all took turns in securing five GT4 class podiums between them during the last round at Sonoma.

Early indications show that six Aston Martins competing within a class of just ten cars should throw up that eventuality but with every race of any type – to win it, first you have to be in it as that came home hard for former GT America GT4 Champion Bell in race 2 with a DNF that spoilt his P2 podium from earlier in the weekend but was still enough for him to retain a slender points lead from Chouest going into this weekend.

It's going to hot in more way than one this weekend!

Photo credits – Teams / Series / social media


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