SONOMA, California - Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing teams secured a Pirelli GT4 America SprintX Am-Class race win and a runner-up result in a competitive SRO Motorsports Group America race weekend at Sonoma Raceway, August 7 – 9. The No. 16 Rearden Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4 was co-driven by John Allen and Kris Wilson to the Pirelli GT4 SprintX Am-Class Race win on Saturday and a second-place finish Sunday.
Allen and Wilson came to Sonoma fresh off a pair of SprintX race wins last month at VIRginia International Raceway (VIR) in their debut weekend of competition in the Mercedes-AMG GT4.
The team worked hard to fine-tune the setup on the No. 16 Mercedes-AMG GT4 during practice and were dialed in and ready to go by the first of the weekend’s three races on Friday.
Unfortunately, a pit speed violation penalty knocked Allen and Wilson from contention and took away what was on pace to be another victory or likely top-three finish.
Shaking off Friday’s disappointment, the No. 16 team and drivers turned in a nearly perfect performance Saturday for the victory.
Starting driver Wilson took control of the race early and pitted from the lead for the team’s driver-change pit stop. Allen took over and briefly battled in the overall top 10 while defending the Am-class lead straight to the checkered flag.
A repeat win looked promising for Allen and Wilson in Sunday’s final race of the weekend before a driver change issue during the team’s pit stop put Allen back into the race in the thick of the GT4 field. Despite the setback, the team persevered to a second place Am-class finish.
The SRO GT World Challenge America and Pirelli GT4 America series next return to action at Road America, August 28 – 30.
John Allen, Driver – No. 16 Rearden Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4: “I think we have a pretty good handle on how to make changes to the Mercedes-AMG GT4 because the setup that was needed for here was way different than VIRginia International Raceway one race ago. All in all, it was just a fantastic weekend. Saturday’s race win was great, but we came close to making it two for the weekend. I had a good drive in the first two races on Friday and Saturday, and we would have won the first one too, but I had a penalty for speeding in pit lane. That was unfortunate, but it was still a good drive, we kept up the pace, and Kris fought back up through the field after he served the penalty. We have won three of the six races since the season restarted but missed the year’s opening race weekend at Circuit of The Americas in March. We will need some luck in the championship points, but we’ll keep chasing it. We need more wins.”
Kris Wilson, Driver – No. 16 Rearden Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4: “When we got to Sonoma, we didn’t have the right setup, but together we found something that worked. We had a starting point, and it just got better from there. The Mercedes-AMG GT4 is working great now that, as a team, we are figuring it out. We are just getting better and better every weekend. Two weekends into it and we have learned a lot. The Mercedes-AMG GT4 is coming along great. We have won three races in the last two weekends and I think it may have something to do with the whole combination of team, car, and driver. By the race on Sunday, I would say our Mercedes-AMG GT4 was the best it had been all weekend long. Everything went well for Saturday’s race, including our pit stop, and we got the ‘W’ there. Sunday, I honestly don’t know what happened. We had a pit stop issue where the belts got hung up, and John ended up going out in a swarm of bees and got thrown off there. That set us back. I think the pit stop cost us the win and we were fortunate to finish second. How many times have you heard ‘a race is won or lost in the pits?’ That is so true.”