Not quite top step pace for the AMR crews around the street circuit of Nashville

Tuesday, August 08, 2023


Wrapping up last weekend’s events had the SRO GT America Series revisit Nashville in support of the IndyCar Series with two races around the very tight street circuit for their GT3 and GT4 powered entries.

Just three Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT4 cars made their way to the Music City Grand Prix as part of a modest fourteen strong grid, but with all three Astons listed within the top 4 in class they kind of had no choice but to.

With the sun setting behind the skyscrapers, race one on Saturday finally got underway around the 2.1-mile circuit with Jason Bell starting P2 with the #50 Chouest Povoledo car of Ross Chouest and the #25 Heart of Racing AMR of Gray Newell just behind with times set within Practice after Qualifying got washed out earlier in the day.

Lights ablaze from the off, Bell was forced to go defensive as Chouest pushed for position, allowing the Porsche of pole setter Rob Holland to inch away as the first forty-minute race finally got underway. Like any street circuit, trouble was never far away and that came within the first ten minutes for the #25 Aston Martin of Newell as he found himself in the way of a faster GT3 car with resulting rear contact to the GT4 forcing the car into immediate retirement.

As the light dropped even more, the gaps between the top three GT4 cars increased with over three seconds between them as the halfway stage and by the end, the dominant Holland went on to secure his third success class win around the circuit with Bell and Chouest finishing second and third respectively.

Sundays second race was under the full heat of the day where the starting order was a replica of the first with Holland again starting upon pole.

This time Chouest went for the move earlier and snatched second from Bell before the first corner with Newell dropping one to fifth as misfortunate soon came the way of the #7 Porsche ahead that struck the wall heavily immediately in front of Newell, stopping on track and bringing out the Safety Car.

Losing ten minutes to that clean up exercise, the race went back to green with still twenty minutes remaining before a further incident involving a GT3 again slowed things down. That left a minute dash to the flag at the restart but there was no stopping Holland who would go on to secure yet another class win but with Chouest and Bell again the bridesmaids on the podium with Newell finishing in fourth.

These results see Chouest retain the class championship lead over Bell but with Holland now really in contention just 23 points behind the leader and with six races still to hand.

Next stop for the series will be at Road America in the middle of August.

Photo credits – Teams / Series
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