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Pirelli GT4 America

Murillo Mercedes Wins Chaotic Rain-Affected SprintX Race 1

Murillo Racing emerges as winners in controversial Pirelli GT4 America SprintX Race 1…

Photo: Gavin Baker/SRO

Christian Szymczak held off Guy Cosmo to take victory in a chaotic opening Pirelli GT4 America SprintX race of the weekend at Road America.

The Murillo Racing driver led a Mercedes-AMG GT4 1-2 in the rain-impacted race, which was controversially restarted following an initial green flag period.

While being declared a wet race prior to the start, SRO Motorsports America officials called a red flag following an accident involving Michael Dinan and Greg Palmer on Lap 1 and mandated a switch to wet-weather Pirelli tires for all competitors.

It led to a reset of the 60-minute clock, prior to a single-file restart with 48 minutes to go.

Szymczak, in the No. 34 Murillo Racing Mercedes, emerged as the leader following the round of pit stops, which were delayed due to the chaotic start.

The pole-sitting No. 16 Auto Technic Racing BMW M4 GT4 of Kris Wilson had led the opening stages until co-driver John Allen spun on his out lap.

Cosmo, in the No. 89 RENNtech Motorsports Mercedes, initially mounted a challenge to Szymczak although faded as the four-mile circuit began to dry. He finished 4.963 seconds behind the orange-colored Mercedes.

With the win, Szymczak and Matt Fassnacht have taken over the lead of the GT4 East Am championship heading into tomorrow’s season finale.

Cosmo and Patrick Bryne, meanwhile, picked up GT4 East Pro-Am class honors with a second place overall finish, ahead of the GT4 SprintX Pro-Am class-winning No. 19 Stephen Cameron Racing BMW of Sean Quinlan and Gregory Liefooghe in third.

Quinlan and Liefooghe extended their points lead over Nolasport’s Matt Travis and Jason Hart, who finished sixth overall after carrying front-end damage to their No. 47 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport from the opening-lap accident.

Hart initially rejoined in the defacto overall lead but struggled with handling-related issues.

The No. 2 GMG Racing Porsche of Jason Bell and Alec Udell finished fourth overall and second in GT4 SprintX Pro-Am, while Matt Keegan and Preston Calvert picked up GT4 SprintX Am class honors.

An accident between David Donohue and Alan Brynjolfsson brought out a second full-course caution immediately following the restart with 48 minutes to go, which led to a delayed opening of the pit window and confusion in the pit lane.

The second SprintX race of the weekend, which will serve as the season finale for GT4 East competitors, takes place on Sunday at 12:10 p.m. CT with live coverage on the series’ official website.

RESULTS: Race 1

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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