Race Weekend Central

George Kurtz Dominates Sebring GT America Race No. 1

CrowdStrike Racing by Riley’s George Kurtz led flag-to-flag Saturday (May 4) to win GT America powered by AWS Race No. 1 at Sebring International Raceway. It is the first victory of the season for the 2022 champion.

“[Winning] is really satisfying,” Kurtz told SRO America’s Amanda Busick after the race. “We [have] had the car to beat all weekend and we had bad luck in Sonoma to overcome. It’s really good.”

Kurtz’s margin of victory was 2.329 seconds over CRP Racing’s Jason Daskalos. SKI Autosports’ Johnny O’Connell was third in his Audi, then Turner Motorsport’s Justin Rothberg and Mishumotors’ Mirco Schultis.

Kurtz won the pole earlier in the morning and was able to take control of the race early. Daskalos was able to give chase in his similar Mercedes.

It did not take long for the safety car to make an appearance. On the second lap, the yellow came out when Flying Lizard Motorsports’ Jason Bell stopped his Aston Martin in the runoff of turn 1 due to a mechanical issue.

Once the green came out, the race very quickly became a two-man duel between Kurtz and Daskalos. Daskalos was able to hang with Kurtz for the first half of the race. However, in the second half of the event, Kurtz was able to open up the gap.

Further back, Rothberg and O’Connell had a big fight for third. At one point, both drivers all but drove off the road while trying to avoid GT4 traffic. In the closing laps, O’Connell was able to take the advantage away.

At the front, Kurtz was able to comfortably drive to the victory. The team was forced to withdraw from Long Beach due to a family emergency for Kurtz, so the victory is very beneficial for their championship chances.

In GT4, ACI Motorsports owner/driver Curt Swearingin started from pole in his Porsche, but he immediately came under pressure from Rotek Racing’s Isaac Sherman.

It did not take long for Sherman to take the class lead away from Swearingin as the class traversed the ultra-bumpy Sunset Bend towards the end of the first lap.

Once out front, Sherman slowly opened up the gap over Swearingin. This was despite Swearingin having the local knowledge advantage.

After the restart, Sherman was never seriously threatened en route to his fifth straight victory to start the season. Sherman’s margin of victory was 4.602 seconds over Swearingin. The Heart of Racing’s Gray Newell was third in his Aston Martin, then Carrus Callus Raceteam’s Nick Shanny.

There is only one entry in GT2 this weekend, the Lamborghini of TPC Racing’s Alan Grossberg. Grossberg ended up finishing seventh overall.

The grid for Race No. 2 is set by the quickest laps set in Race No. 1. During the race, Kurtz turned in a lap at 109.264 mph, which ended up being the fastest lap of the race. As a result, Kurtz will start on pole in Race No. 2 Sunday. Sherman claimed the pole for Race No. 2 in GT4.

Race No. 2 for GT America teams is scheduled for 8:40 a.m. ET Sunday morning. 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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