SRO America has officially restarted following Thursday’s test sessions at Virginia International Raceway, which included the pair of DXDT Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evos gaining mileage ahead of the pair of GT World Challenge America powered by AWS races.
While the No. 93 Racers Edge Motorsports Acura NSX GT3 Evo of Trent Hindman and Shelby Blackstock ended the day quickest, Ryan Dalziel led the way in the opening test session on the 3.27-mile circuit.
Dalziel laid down a best time of 1:45.706 in the No. 63 Mercedes, which put it second overall on the time charts on Thursday.
“It’s great to be back at a race weekend,” said Dalziel. “We had a great test here a couple months ago in pretty different conditions so it’s been a little bit of a struggle today to get the AMGs the way we want.
“That being said, most of it is probably track-related. Both cars are fast.
“We have a little bit of tuning to do, but more than anything, it was a good first day for the team. Nice to be back at a race track.”
Co-driver and team principal David Askew believes the rather extensive testing program the Utah-based squad underwent in the latter stages of the four-month racing pause due to the coronavirus pandemic has helped the keep the team together, both figuratively and literally.
“We had about three or four tests in here at VIR, at Road America, and out in Utah,” he explained. “I’m trying to keep the team working.
“Obviously it’s taken a big toll on the team. Everyone needs to work. A lot of my guys have young families, and I want to help as much as possible with all of that.
“Overall, today went well for the team. The 04 Mercedes AMG GT3 Evo was pretty fast, putting up some good lap times.
“We were a little off, and there’s a little something aero-wise on our car that’s off that we’re trying to chase down.”
The sister No. 04 CrowdStrike-sponsored Mercedes of Colin Braun and George Kurtz wound up third quickest on the day, thanks to Braun’s 1:45.706 lap time from the morning.
“It’s fantastic to be back to racing after a lengthy quarantine,” Kurtz said. “The team did a great job, and we’re taking all the necessary precautions.
“We’re having a great time. The car was good. It’ll be better for its race time.
“We need some tweaks here and there, but overall, we’re going to be in great shape. It was a great first day, and we’re looking forward to tomorrow.”
A total of 12 cars between GTWC America and GT Sports Club America turned laps on Thursday with official practice set to kick off activities on Friday morning.
The first race, which will see the two series combined, gets underway Saturday at 1:45 p.m. ET. with live streaming coverage on the GT World YouTube page and GTWCA America website.