Race Weekend Central

Tyler Gonzalez, John Geesbreght Win Sonoma GT4 America Race No. 1

Smooge Racing’s Tyler Gonzalez was able to take the lead away from Random Vandals Racing’s Kenton Koch at the tail end of the mid-race pit window Saturday (April 6). From there, Gonzalez was able to hold off the pack to win Pirelli GT4 America SprintX Race No. 1 at Sonoma Raceway along with teammate John Geesbreght.

“The [lapped drivers] certainly played a role out there, but I just kept cool,” Gonzalez told SRO America’s Amanda Busick in victory lane. “This Toyota Supra was on rails all day, so I knew that I had the car [to win], I just had to do it. Glad we got it done.”

Geesbreght and Gonzalez’s margin of victory was .792 seconds over Koch and Kevin Boehm. AutoTechnic Racing’s Zac Anderson and Colin Garrett were third, followed by TechSport Racing’s Jonathan Neudorf and Michai Stephens. BimmerWorld Racing’s Tyler McQuarrie and James Walker Jr. were fifth.

The top-four finishers were the top-four teams in the Silver class. Fifth in Silver went to Rennsport One’s John Capestro-Dubets and Eric Filguerias in their Porsche.

The TechSport Racing Nissans of Eric Powell and Jonathan Neudorf led the 28-car field to green (Powell was the Pro-Am pole sitter, while Neudorf was on pole in the Silver class). Powell was able to clear Neudorf and open up a small gap.

As the race continued one, Powell was able to put four Silver-class cars between himself and Walker in the No. 82 BimmerWorld Racing BMW. 15 minutes into the race, he had a 15-second lead in class.

Meanwhile, the Supra of Smooge Racing’s John Geesbreght was able to dispatch of Neudorf on the first lap and take the Silver lead. That lead did not last long as Neudorf took it back four laps later.

Neudorf was able to hold onto the lead until the mid-race pit stops, where he handed over to Stephens. Stephens is a quick driver, but he cannot do much about contact.

Shortly after his pit stop, Stephens was tapped from behind by Anderson in turn 6, resulting in a spin. Stephens didn’t hit anything, but dropped back to fourth in class. The incident will be reviewed later Saturday night. If a decision is made, we will update this recap.

Random Vandals Racing’s Kenton Koch took the class lead as well. When P1 Groupe’s Matt Bell pitted the OnlyFans Racing Mercedes, Koch ended up with the overall lead…for about 15 seconds.

Shortly after Bell pitted, Tyler Gonzalez put the moves on Koch to take the overall lead in the GearWrench Toyota for Smooge Racing. Once out front, Gonzalez was able to put a couple of seconds on Koch.

However, lapped traffic allowed Koch and Anderson to run Gonzalez right back down in the closing laps. The best chance for Koch came with just under nine minutes to go when Gonzalez clipped the curb in turn 3a and briefly got up on two wheels.

Koch used that occasion to try to go to the inside in turn 4. Gonzalez was able to hold that move off and held on for the win.

In Pro-Am, Powell was one of the last drivers to make his mid-race pit stop. The stop was rather slow and teammate Colin Harrison had some trouble getting up to speed. That dropped him down the overall order, but he held the class lead with a decent advantage.

That advantage was whittled away slowly but surely by BimmerWorld Racing’s Tyler McQuarrie. The Heart of Racing’s Roman DeAngelis was right there as well. The duo ran down Harrison and started to battle. Ultimately, McQuarrie was able to take the lead with 13 minutes to go.

DeAngelis was able to follow McQuarrie past Harrison. The remainder of the race saw the two veterans battle it out. McQuarrie was able to maintain just enough of an advantage to make sure DeAngelis never put a move on him. That was enough for McQuarrie and Walker to take the win.

The margin of victory was .425 seconds over DeAngelis and Gray Newell. RENNtech Motorsports’ Michael Auriemma and former INDYCAR racer Matheus Leist were third in their Mercedes, followed by Harrison and Powell. Flying Lizard Motorsports’ Tom Dyer and Todd Parriott were fifth in their Aston Martin.

In the Am class, BimmerWorld Racing’s Charlie Postins started from the pole in his BMW. Postins dropped back a couple of positions in the opening lap overall, but was able to maintain the advantage.

Postins’ main competition early on was The Heart of Racing’s Hannah Greenemeier, who was making her series debut. The rookie racer was very competitive, keeping her Aston Martin at the tail end of the top 10 overall early on.

Postins was able to lead all the way to the mid-race stops without issue. Team owner James Clay took over, but was not quite on the same pace as Postins. That allowed the Aston Martin, now with Hannah Grisham at the wheel, to run him down despite a slower pit stop.

The two drivers battled hard for much of the second half of the race, but Grisham got the opportunity with under five minutes to go. She got a run on Clay in the Esses and managed to get alongside under braking for turn 9. That was all that was needed to take the advantage.

From there, Grisham was able to hold on to take the Am class victory in 13th overall for herself and Greenemeier. For Grisham, it is her third straight victory after having swept the weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last October with former teammate Rianna O’Meara-Hunt.

The margin of victory was .716 seconds over Random Vandals Racing’s Paul Sparta and Kris Wilson. Wilson was able to snatch second away on the final lap from Clay and Postins. Rotek Racing’s Robb Holland and Jaden Lander were fourth, while AutoTechnic Racing’s Troy Lindstrom and Matt Million were fifth in their BMW.

Pirelli GT4 America SprintX Race No. 2 from Sonoma Raceway is scheduled to go green at 1:55 p.m. ET Sunday afternoon. Coverage will start at 1:50 p.m. ET 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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