ELKHART LAKE, Wisconsin – The No. 72 Murillo Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4 team, and co-drivers Kenny Murillo and Christian Szymczak, secured a Silver-class victory in Saturday’s first Pirelli GT4 America race to anchor a competitive run of six podium finishes for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing teams across three SRO America racing series this weekend at Road America. The Murillo team’s win was its fourth of the season, and Szymczak and Murillo backed it up with a second-place finish in Sunday’s second and final 60-minute Pirelli GT4 race. Murillo’s results combined with a string of additional class podium finishes by Winward Racing, DXDT Racing, RENNtech Motorsports and debuting team Conquest Racing West to complete the haul of half-a-dozen top-three finishes on the weekend for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport customer teams on the four-mile Road America circuit.
Murillo and Szymczak battled for the Silver and overall Pirelli GT4 victory from the drop of the green flag in Saturday’s race. Closing driver Szymczak crossed the finish line in tight formation with the rest of the front runners for the class win and fifth-place overall finish.
Sunday’s Pirelli GT4 finale presented a greater challenge for the Murillo No. 72 and the three other Mercedes-AMG GT4 teams in the race. All of them were caught out by a caution flag halfway through the race that prevented them from catching the lead group of competitors that had pitted a lap earlier.
An additional restart added to the challenges, but all but one of the Silver-class contenders were battling on track with Murillo in the race’s final minutes.
The group included the No. 35 Conquest Racing West entry of Michai Stephens and Colin Mullan that battled with closing driver Murillo in the race’s late stages. Stepheson eventually brought the No. 35 across the finish line third in the Silver class to score a podium finish in the team’s SRO America Pirelli GT4 debut.
The weekend’s final podium player was Chris Cagnazzi and the No. 39 RENNtech Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT4 team. Cagnazzi capped a quick and confident run in the single-driver GT America race Saturday with a last lap pass for second place.
The Saturday podium performance was Cagnazzi’s fifth in his last six GT America races, a run that started in the opening race at Circuit of The Americas (COTA) in May and includes a victory on the street of Nashville three weeks ago.
Next up for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing teams in SRO America is a full-weekend event for GT World Challenge, Pirelli GT4 and GT America at Watkins Glen International, September 17 – 19
- - - - -
Kenny Murillo, Driver – #72 Murillo Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4: “To walk away with a first and a second in class is something we’re really proud of. Our expectations were a little low because we knew it wasn’t a track that really suited us, but we got a little lucky with other competitors in our class having some trouble. We definitely got the short end of the stick for that restart, but I am just really proud of Murillo Racing and the performance of the Mercedes-AMG GT4 for the win Saturday and what felt like a win for us Sunday.”
Chris Cagnazzi, Driver – #39 RENNtech Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT4: “I am super comfortable with the car. We had it really well balanced. The RENNtech team did a great job of getting it that way and I felt really confident in the race. I kept picking up more and more pace, was closing the gap on second place and was then just watching where he was either overshooting or undershooting. Then I kind of did a set up there on the last lap to get by in turn five, it worked out well, and then I just gapped him after that. The Mercedes-AMG GT4 performed great, and we had a lot of fun.”
Colin Mullan, Driver – #35 Conquest Racing West Mercedes-AMG GT4: “For our first weekend with the car here in SRO competition, we are super happy with how much progress we’ve made. We had a lot of limited track time, given the weather conditions earlier in the weekend, but the team has been amazing at getting the car set up right. It just goes to show that with a turnkey race car the Mercedes-AMG GT4 is. All it takes is a few sessions out on track and we can really maximize all the potential the Mercedes-AMG GT4 has, Mercedes-AMG did an excellent job at building a really proper race car. There’s definitely a lot of competition in the series this year, so for us to get up there in the Silver class and be competitive straight away is very remarkable. Looking forward, the Conquest Racing West team has a lot of big things to come in the future, absolutely.”