Sunday’s Pirelli GT4 America Sprint race will mark the end of an era for one of the longest-running teams in North American sports car racing, with Robinson Racing set to shutter operations after nearly 30 years.
The George Robinson-owned team, which has enjoyed a storied past in IMSA, Trans-Am, HSR and most recently SRO Motorports America competition, will be closing its doors as Gar Robinson shifts his focus to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with Riley Motorsports next year.
The Michigan-based team, led by longtime team manager Jimmy Fraser, has fielded Chevrolet Camaro GT4.Rs for Robinson and Shane Lewis in the last two seasons of GT4 America.
For the second-generation driver, it proved to be a difficult choice as the 24-year-old looks to advance his career.
“These guys have been family to me for 24 years of the 29 years they’ve been working with us,” Gar Robinson told Sportscar365. “It’s definitely going to be an emotional race today.
“You might see some tears out of us but I’m pretty confident today. I’ll do the best we can to get us out on top.”
Robinson said costs were the driving factor for ending its GT4 Sprint campaign one event early, with the team to not make the trip to Las Vegas Motor Speedway next month.
“That was another big thing, with the costs of IMSA, we really couldn’t afford to keep this [team] afloat,” he said.
“For what I want to do in racing and my career, it’s something I needed to do. We all have to make sacrifices for success and stuff like that. It was a hard choice but a choice I made.
“We’re selling the cars. Everything’s for sale.
“These guys have been great to me. I can’t thank them enough for making me good enough to get an opportunity [with Riley].
“It’s a tremendous opportunity to be given and really special. I don’t think I could have done it without any of them.
“I definitely thank them a lot and today is going to be a pretty special race.”
Robinson Excited for Encore Debut With Riley
Robinson said he’s looking forward to working with the Bill Riley-led team for the first time in November’s Michelin IMSA SportsCar Encore at Sebring International Raceway, in what will mark the Texan’s first race with the championship-winning GT Daytona class team.
It comes on the heels of a partial-season GTD program for Robinson and 2020 co-driver Lawson Aschenbach in a Lone Star Racing-run Mercedes-AMG GT3 this year.
“I don’t think you ever want the first race with a new team to be Daytona,” he said. “Granted, Riley would be fine as they have all the experience in the world.
“I think getting me and Lawson together with that team, getting more familiar with everyone, will really help.
“It will be pretty good. The Encore seems like a pretty good event so I’m looking forward to it.”