DANVILLE, Virginia – A first-time Mercedes-AMG GT3 Pro-Am class winner in Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS competition, along with the first overall Pirelli GT4 America victory of the season for the Mercedes-AMG GT4, highlighted a successful day of SRO America Championships competition on Saturday for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing teams at VIRginia International Raceway. Erin Vogel became the first female driver to secure a North American race win in a Mercedes-AMG GT3, co-driving with Michael Cooper to the duo’s first World Challenge victory in the #19 DXDT Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3. Saturday’s other race winners were Christian Szymczak and Kenny Murillo, who co-drove the No. 72 Murillo Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4 to the overall Pirelli GT4 America win and their third Silver-class victory of 2021.
Exceptional driving, flawless pit stops and strong team execution were at the foundation of both victories, which anchored a solid six podium showings on the day for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport customer teams across three SRO America series.
As they have done all season, Murillo and Szymczak were in contention from the start of the one-hour Pirelli GT4 America race.
Despite being knocked off track momentarily in the opening laps frenzy, starting driver Murillo soon worked his way back into the top-three battle. He pitted at half distance to give the No. 72 to Szymczak, who was soon back in the race in second place after the Murillo crew’s outstanding pit work.
Szymczak caught and passed the race leader with just over 12 minutes remaining and held the lead to the finish for a 2.532-second victory.
The win extends the Silver-class championship lead that the No. 72 team and drivers hold heading into Sunday’s second and final Pirelli GT4 race
The day’s other podium players included the No. 16 Capstone Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT4 team and co-drivers John Allen and Kris Wilson and Chris Cagnazzi in the No. 39 RENNtech Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT4.
Allen and Wilson finished third in the Pirelli GT4 Am class while Cagnazzi, in just his second weekend competing in a Mercedes-AMG GT4, finished third in the GT4 class of the GT America powered by AWS 40-minute race that brought Saturday’s full schedule to a close.
Sunday’s final day of competition at VIR begins with the second GT America race at 9:10 a.m. EDT. Pirelli GT4 America follows at 11:10 a.m. EDT for its second of two races that set the stage for the featured and final GT World Challenge race that closes out the weekend with a 1:45 p.m. EDT start.
Sunday’s GT World Challenge America race will be featured in live coverage on the CBS Sports Network (CBSSN) beginning at 1:30 p.m. EDT in addition to worldwide livestreaming of all Sunday races on the SRO GT World YouTube channel.
Live timing and scoring, as well as session reports and one-stop video viewing for GT World Challenge, are available at gt-world-challenge-america.com.