NOLAsport’s Jason Hart and Matt Travis were able to jump over Conquest Racing/JMF Motorsport’s Jesse Webb and Michai Stephens during a delayed mid-race pit sequence. Once out front, Hart was able to hold on to win Pirelli GT4 America SprintX Race No. 1 at Sonoma Raceway Saturday (April 1).
Hart and Travis won by .723 seconds over ACI Motorsports’ Curt Swearingin and Kay van Berlo. Webb and Stephens ended up third, then Random Vandals Racing’s Kevin Boehm and Kenton Koch. ACI Motorsports’ No. 19 Porsche for Francis Selldorff and Andrew Davis were fifth.
In Pro-Am, behind NOLAsport and ACI Motorsports’ No. 7 was the Aston Martin of Chouest-Povoledo Racing’s Ross Chouest and Aaron Povoledo. Flying Lizard Motorsports’ Andy Lee and Elias Sabo were fourth, while OGH/Valkyrie Velocity’s Rob Ferriol and Mac Clark were fifth.
Conquest Racing/JMF Motorsport’s Jesse Webb started on the overall pole in his Mercedes-AMG GT4. A 43-car field on a relatively narrow 2.5-mile road course can be a sign of trouble and Saturday was no exception.
The first lap saw a stackup in turn 2 triggered when The Heart of Racing’s Hannah Grisham was spun out. TechSport Racing’s Eric Powell, Todd Coleman and Matt Halcome all got involved. Grisham and Coleman were effectively out on the spot.
In turn 11, NOLAsport’s Nelson Calle and TGR Hanley Motorsports’ Daniel Hanley collided on the first lap. The contact damaged Hanley’s Supra and forced him to stop on course, bringing out the first safety car period.
Less than a lap after the restart, Black Swan Racing’s Tim Pappas spun his McLaren Artura GT4 in turn 6. He was hit by Van der Steur Racing’s Brady Behrman, ripping the right front wheel off of Behrman’s Aston Martin. That brought out another safety car period for significant cleanup. Both Behrman and Pappas were out on the spot.
A bunch of fluid was dropped on the track, resulting in 20 minutes at reduced pace. That meant adjusted pit windows since the mandatory pit stop window has to open under green.
The stops began at the end of the first lap back under green with 24 minutes to go. Webb chose to stay out, but Travis and a little more than half the field came in for their driver changes. Webb came in a lap later and Hart was able to beat Stephens out of the pits.
Once out front, Hart was able to pull away from Stephens. However, ACI Motorsports’ Van Berlo was the fastest driver on the track and slowly began to pick off other drivers and reel in Hart. Van Berlo ultimately ran out of time.
In Silver, Webb started from pole and led early with no pressure. Once Stephens got in the car, he may have dropped back from Hart, but he was driving away from the rest of his class en route to an easy win.
Webb and Stephens ended up third overall, 18.732 seconds ahead of Boehm and Koch. Davis and Selldorff were third, then AutoTechnic Racing’s Zac Anderson and John Capestro-Dubets. STR38 Motorsports’ Chandler Hull and Jon Miller were fifth.
The Am class saw BimmerWorld’s Charlie Postins start from the pole in ninth overall, well ahead of his rivals. Postins led for the entire team he was in the car.
Once team owner James Clay got in the car, he came under pressure from Conquest Racing’s Paulo Carcasci. In the closing laps, Carcasci was able to get around Clay for the lead and pulled away to take the win for himself and Custodio Toledo in 14th overall.
Carcasci and Toledo ended up 2.871 seconds ahead of Carrus Callus Raceteam’s Terry Borcheller and Nick Shanny. Clay and Postins had to settle for third, followed by SMOOGE Racing’s Isabella Robusto, who ran solo. Rennsport One’s Austin and Roland Krainz were fifth.
Pirelli GT4 America SprintX Race No. 2 is scheduled for 1:55 p.m. ET Sunday afternoon. The race will be streamed live on the GT World YouTube channel.
About the author
Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.
Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.
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