TKO Motorsports’ Memo Gidley led flag-to-flag Saturday afternoon (Sept. 23) to win GT America powered by AWS Race No. 1 at Sebring International Raceway. It is Gidley’s seventh win of the year and expands his points lead in the SRO3 class.
Gidley won by 10.394 seconds over CRP Racing’s Jason Daskalos. Wright Motorsports’ Adam Adelson was third, followed by Crowdstrike Racing by Riley Motorsports’ George Kurtz. RealTime Racing’s Anthony Bartone was fifth.
Gidley started from the pole, but Daskalos tried to squeeze him on the start. Gidley was able to fend off this pressure to take the advantage in turn 1.
Once out front, Gidley was able to turn in laps that were very close to what he qualified at Saturday morning. The rest of the SRO3 field really couldn’t match that. As a result, Gidley began to pull away at a rate of nearly half a second per lap.
Daskalos and Adelson fought among themselves for second with Kurtz giving chase. They were able to more or less equalize lap times until they caught the back of the GT4 class.
Gidley was able to get through the GT4 traffic better than his adversaries, which allowed him to increase his advantage once more. Gidley was also better on his tires, which also expanded his lead.
The battles continued over the final laps as Gidley pulled away to take the win. He was never seriously challenged in the 40-minute race.
In GT4, Rotek Racing’s Robb Holland started from the class pole, but lost his advantage to Flying Lizard Motorsports’ Jason Bell in the first turn of the race. Bell’s teammate Elias Sabo qualified third and tagged onto the back of the lead duo. These three drivers would drive away from the rest of the GT4 field.
Further back, Chouest/Povoledo Racing’s Ross Chouest was a little off the pace in his Aston Martin. The reason was attributable to a combination of Sebring International Raceway’s legendary bumpiness and contact with Adelson.
The rear diffuser on Chouest’s car came loose and was grinding on the track, hurting his rear downforce and slowing him down. A late spin in Sunset Bend completely ruined Chouest’s race. He would eventually finish ninth in class and lost a significant number of points to Bell.
Bell was ultimately able to break away from Holland. Holland ended up spending the entire second half of the race fighting Sabo to keep second, which allowed Bell to easily take the win.
With a lap at 110.394 mph, just seven hundredths of a second slower than his pole time, Gidley had the fastest lap of the race. That gives him the overall pole for Race No. 2. That race is scheduled for 8:40 a.m. ET Sunday morning.
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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