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Pilgrim, Bartone to Team Up in Bartone Bros Merc at Sonoma

RealTime-run squad to make first GTWC America appearance with its GT America driver lineup…

Photo: Bartone Bros Racing

Anthony Bartone and Andy Pilgrim will drive a Bartone Bros Racing with RealTime Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo in this weekend’s Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS season opener at Sonoma Raceway.

Following a strong GT America powered by AWS weekend at the St. Petersburg Grand Prix earlier this month where Bartone took home the Crowdstrike Fastest Race Lap award for race two and Pilgrim was awarded both Masters class trophies for the weekend, the duo will combine in one car for the first time.

In addition, Bartone will also compete in the two 40-minute GT America races in Sonoma. Pilgrim will coach Bartone in the short events and co-drive with him in the 90-minute GTWC America races.

“Running four races on a weekend won’t be that big of a deal,” Bartone said. “Last year at Sebring we ran all four races. My fitness level is good, and I am looking forward to logging the extra miles.”

The team had the opportunity to test at Sonoma Raceway last week.

“On the SIM, Sonoma Raceway looks pretty technical,” Bartone added. “In person, I can confirm it is technical. We had changing conditions with a cold track and even some rain. It took a good five laps to get heat into the Pirelli tires.

“We were able to get a good baseline setup on our Mercedes-AMG GT3 cars. Andy and the RealTime guys have a lot of experience there, and I was able to get up to speed quickly.

“The weather is looking about the same for this weekend, cold with rain on Sunday for the Fanatec race.”

Pilgrim will co-drive and impart his knowledge of Sonoma Raceway onto Bartone over the weekend.

“We put in a lot of laps at Sonoma Raceway last week,” he said. “It was good we did the test as the wet and cold conditions for our runs last week are looking like it will be the same for the race weekend.

“Anthony did a good job working up to speed, learning the track, getting heat into the tires, and managing traffic this past week.”

The team is the only Am team entered for the GTWC America race this weekend, as part of an 18-car overall field.

“Even though we are the lone entry for the Am race we are going to stay the course,” Pilgrim explained. “We are focused on getting Anthony quality miles and being among a field of Pro-Am entries will be good experience for him and us a team.

“I will be co-driving with him in the 90-minute races and helping him with race craft, data, and overall support in the 40-minute GT America races.”

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