ALTON, VA – The long COVID-19 layoff from sports car racing didn’t seem to harm the performances of the Rearden Racing team last weekend at VIRginia International Raceway in the second SRO America race event, a tripleheader at the popular 3.27-mile, 17-mile permanent road circuit.
The Utah-based sports car organization came out strong early with the duo of Kris Wilson and John Allen recording back-to-back race wins in the Pirelli GT4 SprintX Am division in the No. 16 Rearden Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4 sports car. Wilson also recorded the fastest race laps in the three SprintX Am class events including the best time overall in Race 3 on Sunday.
“We are very happy for John and Kris in winning the GT4 SpintX Am class races at VIR,” said Lara Tallman, team owner of Rearden Racing. “John is learning quite bit with the Mercedes and Kris is tremendous with the new car and at VIR. We hope to continue the success at Sonoma next month.”
The double GT4 SprintX Am victories pushed Rearden Racing into second in current team points in SRO America standings.
“In the first race, we were cheering John on the whole time to the finish,” said Wilson, the Colorado veteran racer. “He was doing a great job and had a little problem in the Oak Tree (turn), but he recovered and brought it home for us. It’s unfortunate for the other guys who ran out of fuel, but we’ll take the win anytime. Because there are plenty of races that go the other way on you. The Rearden crew did a great job. This is our first year with Rearden and the Mercedes-AMG.”
For Allen, the wins were his first victories at the professional level in teaming with Wilson and the Rearden Racing team.
“It’s my first P1 at this level and I had to come to a complete stop at the Oak Tree to do it,” said the retired engineer and United States Air Force Major from Denver. “You hate it when others run out of gas, but I fought hard to get back to the front. We are excited to have this program with Rearden Racing. We are bringing interns from the University of Alabama also to learn with the team.”
In the tough GT4 SprintX Pro/Am category, the 2019 title-winning pair of Jeff Burton and Vesko Kozarov returned competition with the No. 91 Rearden Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT4 car after running their first races with the new machine at COTA.
It wasn’t the easiest of weekends for Jeff and Vesko with fifth, sixth and seventh places in the 60-minute GT4 SprintX Pro/Am class, but the duo look to continue improvement in learning the new Aston Martin Vantage setups. The famed, popular Sonoma Raceway is scheduled to be the next GT4 SprintX weekend set for August 7-9.
Highlights of the three GT4 Sprint races at VIR will be shown on CBS Sports Network on July 19 at 7 p.m. EDT with an encore showing at July 19 at 9:30 p.m. EDT. The GT4 SprintX race highlights will air on July 18 at 7 p.m. EDT with a replay at July 19 at 12 a.m. EDT.