AutoTechnic Racing’s BMWs Sweep Silver and Am Class Race 2 Victories, RENNtech’s Mercedes Wins Pro-Am

AutoTechnic Racing’s BMWs Sweep Silver and Am Class Race 2 Victories, RENNtech’s Mercedes Wins Pro-Am
  • Anderson, Garrett claim overall win
  • Leist, Auriemma tops Pro-Am
  • Million, Lindstorm sweep Am
  • Final Results 

Race 2 was a thrilling conclusion to the opening round of the Pirelli GT4 America Championship for the Sonoma Raceway Protected by CrowdStrike Racing weekend. Despite finishing under caution, the 40-minute race saw action across the board as all three classes saw endless battles for podium positions. 

Silver Class

The second race of the Pirelli GT4 America Championship saw the No. 999 Hanley Motorsports Toyota Gazoo Racing GR Supra GT4 EVO starting on pole position with Parker Thompson behind the wheel, with Michai Stephens hot on their heels in No. 23 TechSport Racing Nissan Z NISMO GT4. However, the start proved tumultuous for some, as Parker Thompson experienced a setback, dropping back in the initial stages. Meanwhile, Zac Anderson showcased a strong start in the No. 51 AutoTechnic Racing BMW M4 GT4, quickly climbing to second place overall and securing the Silver class lead in the process.

As the race progressed, Anderson surpassed the No. 89 Pro-Am contender to claim the overall lead. Behind him, Parker Thompson found himself embroiled in battles with the No. 68 Smooge Racing Toyota Gazoo Racing GR Supra GT4 EVO of Tyler Gonzalez and the No. 97 Random Vandals Racing BMW M4 GT4 of Kenton Koch. 

Strategies diverged as the pit window opened, with teams opting for different tactics. During the pit stops, Jonathan Neudorf took over from Michai Stephens in the No. 23 entry and began chasing down Colin Garrett in the No. 51 AutoTechnic car, who took over from Zac Anderson for the second half of the race. 

The fight for the lead was getting tighter and tighter as the clock ticked away, but came to a sudden halt with just under 15 minutes remaining as the No. 23 TechSport Racing car experienced an issue that resulted in them having to make a trip back down pit lane. 

Colin Garrett took the checkered flag, securing the overall and Silver Class win for AutoTechnic Racing. Kevin Boehm and Kenton Koch took home more hardware with a second place finish for the Random Vandals Racing team. Despite the early challenges the team faced, the No. 999 Hanley Motorsports car managed to climb back on to the podium, finishing third in class with Daniel Hanley behind the wheel.

Additionally, the Super Fuel Hard Charger Award went to Eric Filgueiras and John Capestro-Dubets in the No. 28 RS1 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport as the duo impressively gained 17 positions overall throughout the race. 

Colin Garrett was all praise for his co-driver Zac Anderson, who had a tremendous first stint; “Zac put us in a great position at the beginning of the race. AutoTechnic Racing is the best of the best, both of our cars won today. I just can't thank these guys enough. They're an amazing group, and I'm extremely thankful to be able to work with these guys.” 

“To start a new driver pairing like this and get two podiums is amazing, though one was taken away,” said Zac Anderson. “The guys at AutoTechnic Racing did an incredible job. This car is a rocket ship. I'm so excited to see where this goes.”

Pro-Am Class

In the Pro-Am class, No. 89 RENNtech Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT4 of Matheus Leist seized the overall and class lead early on, with Kay van Berlo making significant progress in his No. 7 ACI Motorsports Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport, moving up from 9th to 3rd overall within the first lap. 

Kay van Berlo spent the majority of his stint battling with numerous Silver Class competitors as he fought hard to maintain overall position while maintaining a buffer to the train of Pro-Am cars attempting to catch up and close the gap. 

Despite intense competition and fierce battles up and down the field, it was Michael Auriemma who maintained the class lead in the No. 89 car after taking over from teammate Leist.

As the race progressed, Silver class competitors gradually began overtaking for overall positions, but Auriemma held firm in the Pro-Am lead with 20 minutes remaining and never looked back, crossing the finish line to claim the class victory in Race 2. Curt Swearingin took over from Kay van Berlo and focused on the road ahead to hold on to second position in class with the No. 7 ACI Motorsports car. 

In the meantime, all eyes turned to James Walker Jr. in the No. 82 BimmerWorld BMW M4 GT4 as he fiercely defended third position against Gray Newell in the No. 24 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin. He successfully retained the final spot in the Top 3 but it was no easy task, as the two competitors fought all the way to the finish line, separated by less than half a second as the checkered flag waved. 

Notably, the CrowdStrike Fastest Lap Award was set by Eric Powell in the No. 22 TechSport Racing Nissan Z NISMO GT4.

“It's been a long journey,” admitted Metheus Leist after the race. “The last time I raced the car was in 2020, and now we’ve won together. Michael (Auriemma) did a great job. The car was amazing, I'm just so happy and excited. I've got to thank our sponsors, RENNtech, and the whole team. Everybody did an awesome job. I’m so happy to be on the top step of the podium. We had an excellent two days of racing here in GT4 America.” 

“It was all Matheus honestly,” added Michael Auriemma. “He gave me a gap that even I couldn’t crawl out of. It was fantastic. We were holding our pace against the other Pro-Ams but then with a couple of laps to go, we had some kind of mechanical issue. We were losing about three seconds a lap. So that caution at the end helped us out a little bit.” 

Am Class

In the Am class, it was Matt Million who led the charge in the No. 53 AutoTechnic Racing BMW M4 GT4, closely followed by the No. 18 RS1 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport of Austin Krainz. Yesterday’s Race 1 winner Hannah Grisham steadily closed the gap on Krainz as the race unfolded, equipped with her No. 26 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4.

After the driver changes, Troy Lindstrom took over from his teammate and maintained the class lead all the way to the finish line for the No. 53 AutoTechnic team. Meanwhile, Paul Sparta moved up to second position in class for the No. 98 Random Vandals Racing BMW M4 GT4 entry, with Nicholas Shanny in close pursuit in the No. 20 Carrus Callas Raceteam BMW M4 GT4. 

However, the battle wasn’t over, as Hannah Greenemeier went on to move up into podium position in the No. 26 Heart of Racing Team car in the final stages of the race, securing another podium finish for the team.

“That win was a full team effort,” said Matt Million at the podium celebration. “This was an effort that came together extremely late. It's something that I've been working to put together for months and months, and can't believe that we even got here at Sonoma. This couldn't have been done without any of the team members.” 

His teammate Troy Lindstorm noted the intensity of the GT4 America field; “You know, the cars are all equal. It’s a driver series, and it is so incredibly fun. It’s my first time here. The cars are great, so are the people and the organization. I'll definitely be back, I love it!” 

Up Next 

The Pirelli GT4 America field will return for Rounds 3 and 4 at Sebring International Raceway from May 3rd to 5th. Tickets can be purchased here

To follow the action from home, be sure to tune-in to SRO’s free livestreams on YouTube (GTWorld) and Twitch (SROMotorsports) and follow all the action through our social media channels.