Race Weekend Central

Jason Daskalos Wins COTA GT America Race No. 2 Under Unusual Circumstances

CRP Racing’s Jason Dasaklos inherited the victory Sunday morning (May 21) in GT America powered by AWS Race No. 2 at Circuit of the Americas after a 10-second penalty was assessed to SKI Autosports’ Johnny O’Connell for a pre-race infringement. It is Daskalos’s second win of the year.

“We got some luck [today], obviously,” Daskalos told SRO America’s Amanda Busick after the race. “I guess I jumped the start. Then, the rain came in and we were able to bring it to the front in slick conditions.”

Wright Motorsports’ Adam Adelson was second, then Crowdstrike Racing with Riley Motorsports’ George Kurtz. Flying Lizard Motorsports’ Andy Wilzoch was fourth, while TKO Motorsports’ Memo Gidley recovered from an early pit stop to finish fifth. After his penalty, O’Connell was credited with seventh in the SRO3 class, 11th overall.

By virtue of setting the fastest lap in Race No. 1 Saturday, Kurtz started from the pole in his Mercedes. Here, he came under immediate pressure from Adelson and Sofronas.

On the first lap, Adelson was able to take the lead from Kurtz in turn 11 with Sofronas following through. A couple of turns later, Sofronas put his Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II into the lead. By the end of the lap, Kurtz was all the way back to sixth.

Further back, Dasaklos was forced to serve a drive-through penalty for his jump start. The penalty dropped him from fourth to ninth.

Unlike Race No. 1 on Saturday, this race stayed close. Adelson tried with all his might to get back past Sofronas. He went side-by-side with the Audi multiple times, but could not get past. The battles allowed Kurtz and RealTime Racing’s Anthony Bartone to get into the battle.

With 18 minutes to go, Adelson made another move for the lead on Sofronas in turn 1. It was unsuccessful. Both drivers lost enough momentum that Kurtz was able to take second away from Adelson.

Kurtz then immediately went after Sofronas for the lead in the Esses. Contact was made, resulting in both drivers spinning out. Sofronas’s Audi ended up in the gravel, bringing out the safety car.

Bartone ended up sweeping into the lead from fourth after the crash. However, it started to rain during the yellow. Everyone was on slicks. Not the best combination.

Coming to the restart, Bartone lost control of his Mercedes-AMG GT3 and spun in turn 20. Adelson had nowhere to go but directly into Bartone. That allowed O’Connell to slip past into the overall lead.

The precipitation made things a bit dicey, allowing others to move forward. Daskalos moved up to fourth when Adelson and Bartone collided, then took third from Kurtz in the Esses. A couple of turns later, he took second from Todd Treffert.

O’Connell had a comfortable lead over Daskalos when TR3 Racing’s Paul Kiebler crashed his GT4 Aston Martin entering turn 19 with three minutes to go to bring out the second safety-car period.

During the yellow, O’Connell was notified of the 10-second penalty that would be added to his race time. He won the race on the road prior to the penalty.

In GT4, Flying Lizard Motorsports’ Elias Sabo started from the pole in his Aston Martin. The Heart of Racing’s Gray Newell was second, but quickly lost his spot to Flying Lizard Motorsports’ Jason Bell.

Most of the race in GT4 was a three-way battle between the three Aston Martin drivers. The only non-Aston Martin contender in class with anything resembling the necessary pace to keep up was Rotek Racing’s Robb Holland, but Holland had to pit early on and nearly went a lap down.

The caution for the Kurtz-Sofronas collision closed everyone back up, a real benefit to Holland in his Porsche. Over the final couple of laps under green, Sabo was able to open up a small gap over Bell in the tricky conditions, and that was all he needed to hold on for the win.

Bell ended up second, then Newell and Blackdog Speed Shop’s Tony Gaples. Holland recovered to finish fifth.


GT America powered by AWS teams will take some time off before returning to action at VIRginia International Raceway. The first race of the weekend is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET on June 17.

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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