Other Aston Martin Racing powered success at SRO America's season opener at Sonoma

Monday, April 08, 2024


The Heart of Racing team were not the only Aston Martin Racing GT4 powered team to enjoy success at the opening rounds of SRO America’s GT series at Sonoma last weekend, although it did turn out to be a tough day at the office for their Vantage GT3 counterparts.

In a race meeting severely affected by track issues that necessitated the complete resurfacing of large sections of the track at the expense of Free Practice and Qualifying sessions for the three GT America, GT4 America and GT World Challenge America Series – all teams were on something of the back foot going into the first of their two-race weekend.

Within the mixed class bronze rated GT America Series, it was a podium winning return for the #25 Heart of Racing AMR of Gray Newell who finished second in class as well as the guesting #69 Archangel car of Todd Coleman who claimed third. That improved for Coleman in Sunday’s race as he claimed the middle step position in second whilst the #13 Flying Lizard AMR of Todd Parriott claimed third spot.

Sonoma proved to be difficult for the two former Vantage GT4 runners who have this season stepped up to the SRO3 class (GT3) as reigning GT4 Champion Jason Bell (#2 Flying Lizard) and Tim Savage (#007 Prosport Competition) as each ended up P7 at best by the end of their two forty-minute races.

Then in GT4 America, a disappointing decline in GT4 numbers (both overall and with Aston Martin) saw just three AMR’s entered – two from the Heart of Racing team for the #24 Pro-Am class car of Gray Newell and Roman De Angelis, the #26 Am Class for Hannah Grisham and Hannah Greenameier as well as the #13 Flying Lizard Pro-Am entry for Todd Parriott and Tom Dyer.

Whilst the #24 and #26 Heart cars scored a season opening 1-2 in race 1 on Saturday with a P5 for the #13 car, it was to be a P4 in Am for the all-female crew in the #26 car and a P4 in Pro-Am for the #13 car on Sunday.

However, it was to be a disappointing GT3 audition for the solo #8 Flying Lizard Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT3 of Elias Sabo and Andy Lee as those returning GT3 drivers proved to have more than an edge over the former AMR Vantage GT4 pairing of last season. An error on the opening lap for Sabo left his car stranded on the field where he lost over four laps to his competitors – still valuable track time on a track time starved opener which did improve to a P9 overall and P5 in class finish at the end of Sundays ninety-minute race.

Hopefully, the next round of the series at Long Beach in two weeks’ time for the GT America Series will prove more fruitful (although again more challenging as a street-based circuit) for the Aston Martin runners before all three series reconvene again at Sebring at the beginning of May.

Photo credits – Teams / series
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