- Auto Technic Racing Clinches Silver Class Championship
- Heart Of Racing Team’s Newell & DeAngelis Complete Masterful Win in PRO-AM
- O’Meara-Hunt & Grisham claim first AM victory
There was certainly no shortage of action in Race One as the Pirelli GT4 America field put on a thrilling hour-long show around Indianapolis Motor Speedway. One brief yellow flag punctuated the action early into the race, but all bets were off once green flag running resumed. With crucial championship points at stake, the pressure was on the rise across the board.
Random Vandals Racing drove a controlled and patient race, moving into the lead in the final laps to claim the Silver Class win. It was a picture perfect day for The Heart Of Racing Team, who clinched the win in both the PRO-AM and AM class.
Jesse Webb took the green flag from first on the grid in his No. 34 Conquest Racing / JMF Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT4 and maintained the lead. He continued to build up a healthy gap before the yellow flags emerged a couple of laps later. As the race returned to green a few short laps later, Kevin Boehm continued to apply pressure in the No. 92 Random Vandals Racing BMW M4 GT4, but Webb responded by setting the fastest lap of the race.
Webb was the first to bite as the pit window opened, diving down pit lane to hand over the Mercedes machine to teammate Michai Stephens. As they re-emerged in the overall lead, Stephens continued to build a gap to the competitors behind.
Zac Anderson was fighting in the No. 51 Auto Technic Racing BMW M4 GT4 to retain third position over the charging No. 999 Hanley Motorsports Toyota GR Supra GT4 EVO, but a drive-through penalty for Thompson removed the impending threat.
However, Conquest Racing did not get a fairytale ending, as Stephens heartbreakingly slowed to a halt with only four minutes remaining, promoting Kenton Koch into first place with just a couple of laps remaining. He went on to secure Random Vandals Racing’s third win of the season. Meanwhile, Andrew Davis quietly but effectively moved up their rankings and overtook for second place in the No. 19 ACI Motorsports Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport, with Zac Anderson collecting another podium for Auto Technic Racing, clinching the championship in the process.
Matt Travis started first in class and second overall in the No. 47 NOLASPORT Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport and wisely avoided trouble while navigating the first few corners. The PRO-AM Class had an eventful start to the race, with some contact between the No. 82 BimmerWorld BMW M4 GT4 of James Walker Jr. and the No. 8 Flying Lizard Motorsports Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 of Elias Sabo resulting in an untimely off-road excursion for the BimmerWorld outfit, ultimately taking them out of contention in Race One.
This opened up major championship implications as BimmerWorld and NOLASPORT continue to fight neck and neck in the standings, and the points margin now tightened up substantially between the two.
Meanwhile, Roman DeAngelis was flying through the field in the second half of the race in his No. 24 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4, moving up the ranks and closing in on Jason Hart just ahead in the NOLASPORT Porsche.
DeAngelis went on to pull off the overtake with just under 20 minutes remaining, but Hart was not going to back down without a fight, going on the counter-attack as the two left each other little to no room as they muscled their way through the sweeping corners. However, DeAngelis only had eyes for the finish line, crossing it to secure the Race One win. Hart took home second place, with Andy Lee completing the podium with Flying Lizard Motorsports.
Hannah Grisham ran a smooth operation in her opening stint on board the No. 26 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 and kept herself comfortably in the mix in the Top 10. With a healthy buffer between herself and the next closest class competitor, the No. 72 KRUGSPEED Toyota GR Supra GT4 EVO of Anthony Geraci, she maintained her focus on the road ahead before passing over the reins to teammate Rianna O'Meara-Hunt.
The pit stops saw the running order shuffle around, with the No. 438 STR38 Motorsports BMW M4 GT4 (G82) of Chris Allen moving up into second position, accompanied by fellow BMW challenger Al Carter in the No. 98 Random Vandals Racing BMW M4 GT4 (G82).
However, Carter was involved in a collision in the final ten minutes with Cedric Sbirrazzuoli in the No. 35 Conquest Mercedes-AMG GT4 PRO-AM entry, dropping him down the running order and out of podium position. Terry Borcheller was ready to pick up the pieces in his No. 20 Carrus Callas Raceteam Toyota GR Supra GT4 EVO.
Grisham and O'Meara-Hunt clinched the win and set off to victory lane for the first time in the 2023 season, accompanied by Borcheller and Nicholas Shanny who secured their third Top 3 finish of the year with a second-place finish, with Allen and Mau picking up their sixth podium of the year.
The series will be back on track Sunday for Race Two at 10:35 a.m ET. 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. Stream the races live on the YouTube page, GT World or join the conversation on Twitch.