George Kurtz and Colin Braun claimed overall victory in the second and final GT World Challenge America powered by AWS round of the weekend at Virginia International Raceway.
Kurtz took his No. 04 CrowdStrike Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo to a 0.226-second win over the No. 80 Racers Edge Motorsports Acura NSX GT3 Evo of Martin Barkey after a flawless run for the DXDT Racing-run entry, including a near perfectly-timed pit stop.
While the No. 93 Racers Edge Acura of Trent Hindman stretched out to an early lead from pole, a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit lane during the mid-race pit stop dropped co-driver Shelby Blackstock to 9th.
Adding insult to injury, Blackstock accidentally hit the kill switch instead of the pit speed limiter after serving his penalty and briefly stopped on track before dropping out with mechanical issues.
After having built up a 11.5-second lead, Kurtz came under pressure from Race 1 winner Barkey following a late-race full-course caution and restart, which bunched up the field.
Martin Fuentes, nursing an overheating gearbox in his No. 1 TR3 Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo, was also in the mix until having a slight off-course excursion in the final ten minutes that put him into the grasp of the No. 33 Winward Racing Mercedes of Kris Wilson.
The top four finished within 1.2 seconds, in the series’ closest-fought race of the year.
The No. 63 DXDT Mercedes of David Askew faded to sixth after a strong opening stint by co-driver Ryan Dalziel.
TR3 Racing’s John Megrue and Bill Sweedler, meanwhile, swept the weekend in GT3 Am, finishing fifth overall.
It came after the No. 20 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R of Fred Poordad slowed on track to bring out the race’s one-and-only caution with 18 minutes to go.
A total of five cars finished the race after retirements for the No. 93 Racers Edge Acura, Poordad and Max Root’s Porsche and the No. 63 DXDT Mercedes, which pitted on the final lap and did not take the checkered flag.
311RS Wins Again in GT Sports Club America Debut Weekend
Ryan Gates made it a clean sweep of the weekend in GT Sports Club America, taking his 311RS Motorsport Porsche entry to victory in Race 2.
Gates, in the No. 311 Porsche 911 GT2 RS Clubsport, took the checkered flag at the 40-minute overall mark more than 1 minute ahead of the second-placed No. 2 GMG Racing Porsche of Jason Bell.
GMG teammate Stu Frederick was third and the winner in the Iron class.
The series, open to Bronze-rated drivers in GT2 and GT3-spec machinery, made its North American debut this weekend.