The highly-competitive Pirelli GT4 America field has produced some wild road racing action already in the 2022 SRO America national tour and the same is expected this weekend (May 20-22) at the NOLA Motorsports Park with a large field of racers.
Among the contenders in the GT4 America Pro-Am division will be two strong entries by Fast Track Racing with the pairings of paraplegic racer Tim Horrell of Coral Springs, FL, and multi-time sports car champion Raphael Mata of Bota Raton, FL, in the #10 Fast Track Racing BMW M4 GT4 sports car as well as former GT4 America champion Greg Liefooghe of San Francisco, CA, and Damon Surzyshyn of Winnipeg, Manitoba, CANADA, in the #11 “Going Pro – SRO America” BMW M4 GT4 machine.
The Texas-based racing organization, sponsored by Sewell Automotive Companies, competes in its first professional racing events at NOLA Motorsports Park with practice opening on Friday (May 20) followed by qualifying at 10:25 a.m. CDT Sunday (May 21) followed by Race 1 set for 3:10 p.m. CDT. Race 2 will get underway at 11 a.m. CDT. Both feature races will be 60-minute, one-pit stop contests with each competitor driving a portion of the event.
Fast Track Racing’s GT4 racing experience gives the team added confident heading into this weekend’s doubleheader and team manager Toby Grahovec likes the performance of his squad’s M4 cars with the unique 2.748-mile, 17-turn road circuit.
“The NOLA Motorsports Park is a very unique layout and it’s our team’s first pro event at the road circuit,” said Grahovec. “Both Greg and Rafa have driven the course and their knowledge will be a key for our team’s setups as we move from testing to practice and from qualifying to the races. And we feel good about our chances with the BMW M4 GT4 cars this weekend. Most of the GT4 teams are in similar situations as ours with the new experiences at the NOLA track.”
Liefooghe, a two-time GT4 America series titleholder, has competed at the NOLA track in a BMW GT4 sports car previously and looks to tire wear as a primary issue in the two 60-minute races on Saturday and Sunday.
"It's going to be exciting to race at NOLA for the first time with SRO,” said Liefooghe. “I was recently there racing a BMW M4 GT4 in another series and had a lot of fun driving around the track. One of the big questions will be what the tire wear looks like throughout the events. But I’m sure the Fast Track Racing crew will watch that situation closely."
Surzyshyn will make his first appearance at NOLA Motorsports Park but feels the BMW M4 should suit the track well in the two 60-minute, two-driver races this weekend.
“Coming to NOLA was a last-minute switch for the teams,” said Surzyshyn. “But I feel we have an advantage coming to the track after Greg’s past experience. We learned a lot in the first races of the year at Sonoma Raceway as we teamed up for the initial time. Now, after competing together, I believe we have confidence coming to NOLA. We also think the BMW M4 is a good car for the NOLA track. We are excited to come to NOLA this weekend.”
Matos, the former open-wheel series champion, has established himself as one of sports car racing’s top contenders in a variety of machinery and the Brazil native comes to NOLA after learning the challenge track in testing.
"I'm looking forward to the NOLA track,” said Matos. “I know the track from some testing I did some years ago in a prototype race car. I also think that NOLA will be a better track for our BMW M4 GT4. Most of the corners are fast and tire degradation should be way better than Sonoma."
Horrell, driving the No. 10 BMW M4 with hand controls, was impressive at Sonoma Raceway in April by scoring the pole position in the Pro-Am division in the opening race. Now, he sets his sights on winning in the GT4 Pro-Am division in the two Pirelli GT4 America events at NOLA.
“I'm excited to continue forward with rounds three and four of the GT4 championship,” said Horrell. “This will be another new experience for me as I have not driven on this track. But I have driven it with the simulator, and I still feel confident this will be a strong rebound weekend for us. The NOLA track seems to fit the BMW M4 car well.”
Fast Track Racing will also field three TCX BMW M2 CS cars (Jacob Rudd, Garrett Adams and Olivia Askew) in the TC America competition at NOLA Motorsports Park in addition to the two Pirelli GT4 America entries this weekend.
The Pirelli GT4 America highlights will be telecast on CBS Sports Network on Sunday, May 29, at 12 p.m. EDT with an encore presentation that evening at 11:30 p.m. EDT.
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