Murillo/Mercedes Take Round 5 Victory at VIRginia International Raceway

Murillo/Mercedes Take Round 5 Victory at VIRginia International Raceway
  • Murillo Racing Mercedes win Silver Class
  • NOLASPORT take fifth-straight Pro-Am victory
  • Smooge Racing Toyota take third Am win
  • GT4 Am Race 1 Results

Alton, Virginia - After falling to fifth overall on the opening lap, the #72 Murillo Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4 of Kenny Murillo and Christian Szymczak would fight back to take the overall and Silver-class win in Round 5 of the 2021 Pirelli GT4 America season at VIRginia International Raceway, their third win of the season. “This is a big family effort and I can’t thank everyone enough,” said driver Kenny Murillo, “Christian did a great job in his stint and I couldn’t be happier how the team and car performed!”

The #47 NOLASPORT Porsche of Matt Travis led the Pirelli GT4 America field to the green flag for Saturday’s Race 1 but it was Nick Wittmer’s #38 ST Racing BMW that made the move to snag second position overall and first in Silver as the #72 Murillo Racing Mercedes-AMG would fall to fifth overall in a hectic but clean opening lap.

Going into turn 1 on the second racing lap Steven McAleer and the #11 BMW would push Wittmer out of the way and grab second overall, first in Silver as Kris Wilson’s #16 Mercedes-AMG would follow McAleer through to take third overall, sitting first in Am.

McAleer’s charge was not over as he would then power past the overall leading #47 Porsche down Madison Avenue with the three class leaders in Silver, Pro-Am, and Am running 1-2-3 overall.

Further back in Silver Tim Barber and the #22 BMW would grab fourth in class, sixth overall ahead of Ryan Dexter’s #062 Aston Martin with the #94 and #36 BimmerWorld entries of Jon Miller and James Clay stalking Dexter going into the turn 3-4-5 complex. Miller would get past Dexter for fifth in class.

With 43 minutes left on the clock the #16 Mercedes would get past Travis’ #47 Porsche for second overall, both cars remaining in their class leads. Kenny Murillo and the bright orange #72 Mercedes would regroup after his disappointing opening lap and would hook to the back of the #47 not wanting the #11 car to extend his class and overall lead any further. Murillo would get past Travis for third overall, but would sit behind the McAleer by nearly 6 seconds.

As the pit window closed for the required driver swaps Toby Grahovec, now behind the wheel of the #11 BMW, would remain in the overall and Silver-class lead with Jason Hart in the #47 Porsche sitting third overall, first in Pro-Am with John Allen and the #16 Mercedes leading Am, sixth overall. 

With 13 minutes left on the clock the leading #11 BMW of Grahovec would spin the tires coming out of turn 3, allowing the #72 Mercedes of Christian Szymczak to slip through at turn 4 taking the overall and Silver-class lead. The #47 NOLASPORT Porsche of Jason Hart would gain on the #11 as the two fought for second overall, allowing the #72 to pull out a comfortable cushion on its rivals.

Two laps later Hart would dive to the inside of the #11 for second overall going into turn 1 as the leaders would then catch lapped traffic going into Oak Tree. At the same time Am leader John Allen would see a slight off-track excursion and fall to third in class with the #68 Smooge Toyota of Kevin Conway taking over command of the class with the #98 Random Vandals Racing BMW of Andrew Wiksrtrom inheriting second.

Both Brandon Davis in the #59 Aston Martin and the #119 Pro-Am BMW of Gregory Liefooghe would get past the #11 for third and fourth overall with Davis closing on the class leader of Jason Hart with 2 minutes remaining. On the white flag lap the #119 BMW would power past Davis for second in Pro-Am with Hart holding on to the win by .121 seconds, their fifth-straight to open the season.

Kevin Conway and the #68 Toyota would take the Am win, a mere .142 seconds ahead of Wikstrom and the #16 Capstone Mercedes of John Allen.

The #72 Murillo Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4 would take the overall and Silver-class win with the #11 Classic BMW finishing second in class, fifth overall with the #22 CCR Racing/Team TFB BMW third in class, seventh overall.

Round 6 of the 2021 Pirelli GT4 America season sees the green flag fly on Sunday, June 6th at 11:10am ET, streaming live on the GT World YouTube channel and on SiriusXM Channel 392 and WebApp channel 992.