Race Weekend Central

Memo Gidley Wins Wreck-Strewn GT America Race No. 1 at VIR

TKO Motorsports’ Memo Gidley took the lead when pole sitter Adam Adelson had mechanical issues early on. He then held on to win a wreck-strewn GT America powered by AWS Race No. 1 at VIRginia International Raceway Saturday (June 17). It is Gidley’s fifth win of the year in nine races. Only 15 laps were completed in the 40-minute race, most of which were run under yellow.

“I knew we were going to be good in the race,” Gidley told SRO America’s Amanda Busick afterwards. “Limited green flag laps, but it was great to have the TKO [Motorsports Mercedes] up at the front.”

CRP Racing’s Todd Treffert was second, then Crowdstrike Racing with Riley Motorsports’ George Kurtz. Turner Motorsport’s Vin Barletta was fourth in his GT3 debut, while OnlyFans Racing with P1 Groupe by MRS’ Alex Vogel was fifth.

Wright Motorsports’ Adam Adelson started from pole in his Porsche and was able to lead early on. Meanwhile, there was trouble in the Oak Tree turn when CRP Racing’s Jason Daskalos spun out. SKI Autosports’ Johnny O’Connell also cut a tire and had to limp back to the pits.

While Daskalos’ Mercedes appeared undamaged, he tried to restart and the car died. Daskalos stalling on the long straight known as Madison Avenue brought out the first safety car period of the race. It appeared that Daskalos was out on the spot, but the CRP team was able to get Daskalos back out to finish the race and complete enough laps to score points.

On the restart, Adelson immediately came under pressure from Gidley. Gidley was able to make the pass just as the second safety car period began.

Back on the frontstretch, Flying Lizard Motorsports’ Elias Sabo spun and hit the inside wall after apparent contact from TR3 Racing’s Paul Kiebler. Sabo’s Aston Martin was significantly damaged and littered the frontstretch with debris.

It was unclear at first whether Gidley’s pass for the lead on Adelson came before the yellow. However, that ultimately didn’t matter as Adelson stopped on-track with a mechanical failure that put him out of the race towards the end of the lap.

Additional cautions meant that when the green came out for the final time, there were less than eight minutes to go. Gidley was able to open up a small gap over Anthony Bartone before disaster struck.

Exiting turn 10, Bartone lost control of his Mercedes and spun into the tires to bring out another yellow. With three minutes remaining, that meant that the race finished under yellow and Gidley took the win.

In GT4, The Heart of Racing’s Gray Newell started on pole and was able to clear Robb Holland at turn 1. However, Holland wasn’t going to take that sitting down. He was able to retake the lead early on the second lap, but Newell was able to get him back again.

On the restart after Sabo’s crash, Holland tried to go for the lead again, but he was blocked by the GT2 Audi of CJ Moses. Newell attempted an aggressive move on Moses to put some space between himself and Holland, but contact was made, resulting in both Moses and Newell spinning out.

Both drivers attempted to restart, but their cars were significantly damaged. Both cars pulling to the right side of the track resulted in the third safety car period.

Holland ended up with the GT4 lead with Ross Chouest and Jason Bell giving chase. However, Bartone’s crash eliminated any change of a battle for the win as Holland took his second win of the year.

Chouest was second, then Bell and Kiebler. Tim Savage was fifth.

GT AMERICA POWERED BY AWS: VIR RACE NO. 1 RESULTS

By virtue of the fastest lap of the race, Gidley will start from the overall pole for Race No. 2 on Sunday. That race is scheduled to start at 8:45 a.m. ET and 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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