- Matt Fassnacht Records 2nd VIR GT4 Sprint Overall Win Sunday for Mercedes;
- Gar Robinson Takes Chevy Camaro to 2nd Overall, Wins Pro Class over Ian James
- Andretti, Pumpelly battle early with Fassnacht before their retirement from race
ALTON, Va. – It was an impressive double win weekend for GT4 Am driver Matt Fassnacht of Madison, N.J., with a second Pirelli GT4 America Sprint victory Sunday at VIRginia International Raceway in the #53 Murillo Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4 sports car at the Blancpain GT World Challenge road racing weekend.
Starting from the pole in the GT4 50-minute feature at the high-speed 3.27-mile, 17-turn permanent road circuit in southern Virginia, Fassnacht played a waiting game in the early portions of the 24-lap event as he trailed leaders Jarett Andretti in the #18 Andretti Autosport McLaren 570S GT4 and Spencer Pumpelly in the #66 TRG/LaSalle Solutions Porsche 718 Cayman Clubsport MR GT4 car.
Unfortunately for Andretti and Pumpelly, their great drives were halted by cut tires after a superb wheel-to-wheel battle. Pumpelly retired on lap 10 challenging Andretti for the lead, while the third-generation racer and a North Carolina State grad pulled his mount off the circuit at lap 19 while holding the lead over Fassnacht.
After the leaders retired, Fassnacht was able to open his margin to some four seconds over veteran driver Gar Robinson of San Antonio, Tex., in the #74 Robinson Racing 74 Ranch Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R. A late race caution period forced the 50-minute contest to finish under the yellow flag with Fassnacht defeating Robinson by just 0.177 seconds. It was a big weekend for Fassnacht after his sensational drive to victory in Saturday’s GT4 Sprint contest.
With Fassnacht capturing the GT4 Sprint Overall honors as well as the Am class win, Robinson scored his first GT4 Sprint race win followed by another GT4 veteran Ian James of Paradise Valley, Ariz., in the #50 Team Panoz Racing Panoz Avezzano GT, Saturday’s Pro class winner Michael Cooper of Huntington, N.Y., in the #10 Blackdog Speed Shop McLaren 570S GT4 and Robinson’s teammate, Shane Lewis of Jupiter, Fla., in the #72 Robinson Racing 74 Ranch Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R.
Fassnacht also clocked the race’s fastest race lap with a time of one minute, 54.929, besting Pumpelly’s top time of 1:54.933.
Trailing Fassnacht’s Mercedes-AMG GT4 car in the Am category was 2018 GTS Am Sprint series champion Drew Staveley of Salt Lake City, Utah, in the #12 Ian Lacy Racing Ford Mustang GT4, Marko Radisic of Sarasota, Fla., in the #22 Precision Racing Tech BMW M4 GT4, Sean Quinlan of Palo Alto, Calif., in the #19 Stephen Cameron Racing BMW M4 GT4 and Jeff Burton also of Salt Lake City in the #91 Burton Lumber/Rearden Racing Audi R8 LMS GT4.
The GT4 Sprint campaign now moves to the historic Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on May 17-19 with another doubleheader of 50-minute races on Saturday (May 18) and Sunday (May 19).
MATT FASSNACHT (#53 Murillo Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4):
“I was hopeful I would pull off another win today and we made it a double weekend. I want to thank Pirelli, Murillo Racing, Mercedes-AMG and my wife, Laura, and family for letting me come out here to VIR and race. I love this track. I’m taking in the moment right now. I’m not sure if we’ll campaign the GT4 Sprint series for the rest of the year just yet. Hats off to (Jarett) Andretti and (Spencer) Pumpelly today. That was a fun race. Unfortunately, they had tires go down and I hate to see that way. This win boosts my confidence that I can run with these high-end pro drivers. It’s a big day for me.”
GAR ROBINSON (#74 Robinson Racing 74 Ranch Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R):
“The last time our team was at VIR with a Chevy, we placed 1-2. I think we have had three podium finishes this weekend. It feels great. I have to throw my hat off to Jarett and Matt. I had a great front row seat to some of the outstanding battling they were doing today. I was just hoping they would slow each other down a bit and I could close in. They were wicked fast. I just love this track and I must give my crew a big thanks after the Long Beach race. It was a quick turnaround after a brutal weekend for us there. This is a good redemption from Long Beach and I couldn’t be happier.”
Pirelli GT4 America Sprint Race 2 VIR Provisional Results - PDF Link