The Pirelli GT4 America field lit Road America ablaze in Practice One for their opening practice session of the day, with rapid flying laps providing endless changes up and down the leaderboard as drivers sought to maximize their time at the National Park of Speed.
The 45-minute session ran mostly green, with the exception of a short red flag that came out 15 minutes into the session. The on-track action resumed with just over 25 minutes remaining, but was halted by another red flag with just under 10 minutes to go. Finally, drivers were able to return to the track for the final four minutes of Practice One.
Michai Stephens wasted no time setting off on his speedy quest as the driver of the No. 34 Conquest Racing / JMF Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT4 soared to the top of the leaderboard early in the session and clocked in the fastest overall lap time of the session with a 2:15.229. His teammate Jesse Webb took over for the second half of the session and also went on to set a time of 2:15.448, securing the two best times one after the other.
There was no shortage of action in the Silver class, with Zac Anderson and Harry Gottsacker running neck and neck throughout the majority of the session in the No. 51 Auto Technic Racing BMW M4 GT4 and the No. 88 STR38 Motorsports BMW M4 GT4. They eventually went on to finish second and third in the class standings.
They were closely followed by the No. 999 Hanley Motorsports Toyota GR Supra GT4 EVO of Daniel Hanley, who slotted into fourth, with Kenton Koch adding another BMW entry into the Top 5 with his No. 92 Random Vandals Racing BMW M4 GT4.
The PRO-AM class served up variety and unpredictability as per usual, with drivers and teams shuffling up and down the timesheets over the course of each lap. In the end, it was the No. 24 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 of Gray Newell and Roman DeAngelis that claimed the top spot in Practice One. However, Curt Swearingin and Kay van Berlo were hot on their tails in the No. 7 ACI Motorsports Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport, with the pairs only separated by a mere 0.018 seconds once the session came to an end.
Elias Sabo and Andy Lee also inched closer and closer to the front of the leaderboard in the No. 8 Flying Lizard Motorsports Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4, with the No. 50 Chouest Povoledo Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 of Ross Chouest and Aaron Povoledo and the No. 22 TechSport Racing Nissan Z GT4 of Colin Harrison and Eric Powell completing the Top 5 in class.
Nicholas Shanny made his presence known at Road America very early on, as he not only secured the fastest time in the AM class on board his No. 20 Carrus Callas Raceteam Toyota GR Supra GT4 EVO, but also secured the sixth fastest lap time overall. Anthony Geraci and Jaden Lander made it a 1-2 finish in Practice One for Toyota as they followed in second place in the No. 72 KRUGSPEED Toyota GR Supra GT4 EVO.
Chris Allen and Robert Mau continued to place their No. 438 STR38 Motorsports BMW M4 GT4 towards the front of the field in their respective class as they ended the session in third. They were accompanied by fellow BMW drivers Satakal Khalsa and Rob Walker in the No. 253 Auto Technic Racing BMW M4 GT4, and the No. 36 BimmerWorld BMW M4 GT4 of Charlie Postins and James Clay separated by just 0.034 seconds to round off the opening practice session in fifth.
Let’s Get Racing
The series returns to the track later this afternoon at 5:15 p.m CT. Fans can follow progression with Griiip Live, live timing. The studio makes it easy to follow class battles, lap times, and pit strategy for the five SRO America series.