Only a P2 finish in race 1 means for a GT America GT4 winner takes all race at IMS on Sunday

Friday, October 06, 2023


Another exciting round, another double Aston Martin Racing powered podium but that wasn’t all quite enough to clinch the GT America GT4 Drivers Championship earlier today for the #2 Flying Lizard AMR Vantage GT4 of Jason Bell as the season goes down to a winner takes all race tomorrow morning.

Racing out their ninth and final round of the season from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend, what was a three-horse race for the GT4 Drivers Champiosnhip soon became just a two-horse race as the #50 Chouest Povoledo Racing AMR of Ross Chouest failed to secure enough points during race one today to continue his championship defence this season, despite having led it in the early stages.

With the #25 Heart of Racing AMR Vantage GT4 car of Gray Newell upsetting the script somewhat in Qualifying by taking class pole, Bell completed the front row of the class for Aston Martin whilst the main championship contender Robb Holland in his #99 Porsche was on the second row and Chouest alongside him whilst the #009 TRG AMR of Tim Savage and the #13 Flying Lizard AMR entry of Todd Parriott completing the AMR entry in P5 and P7 on the grid respectively. Whilst the #8 Flying Lizard AMR of Elias Sabo did participate in class Qualifying earlier today – he did not start the penultimate race of the season.

A clean start and some sensible driving by across the board allowed this forty-minute race to get underway and stay green throughout as both the GT3 and GT4 classes still had Championship scores to settle. Despite holding the lead at the start, Newell was quickly passed by Bell who then put some distance between himself and Holland to look comfortable as the race progressed.

Needing more points to keep his own championship chances alive, Holland also moved ahead of Newell who wisely kept out of the way of the 1-2 championship battle whilst Chouest looked unable to do likewise.

With a couple of scares for the AMR field along the way, it was all looking good for Bell as the race entered its final ten minutes but slowly the #99 Porsche of Holland latched onto the rear of Bell’s car to place him under real pressure. Guarding a sixteen-point lead going into the race, a win for Bell would have given him twenty-three-point advantage going into tomorrow’s race and with only twenty-five points available per race – that was looking good for Bell.

However, as the GT3 leaders came through to lap the GT4 leaders again, Holland took his chance to tightly follow a GT3 passed the car of Bell and into the corner to secure the class lead for the first time. Despite the best of efforts, Bell was unable to respond and was forced to be contented with yet another P2 finish in class to see his points lead slashed to just nine points and with Holland having a better championship position by the time that both drop their worst points score from the season.

That means Sundays final race of the season will be a GT4 Drivers Championship winning race for either Bell or Holland but with the Flying Lizard team already having secured the GT4 Teams Champiosnhip, they obviously hope to make it a double winning season.

Photo credits – Series / teams
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