Race Weekend Central

George Kurtz Wins Crash-Strewn COTA GT America Race No. 2

CrowdStrike Racing by Riley’s George Kurtz led flag-to-flag Sunday morning (May 19) to win GT America powered by AWS Race No. 2 at Circuit of the Americas. It is KurtzDue to incidents, there were less than five laps run under green.

“It’s a great day for us in the points, hope everyone’s ok,” Kurtz told SRO America’s Amanda Busick after the race. “You want to see the race finish under green, but given the challenges [Saturday] with the broken suspension, we were lucky to finish third. [Winning today] and having a bigger gap to my other competitors is big.”

Kurtz won under yellow over GMG Racing’s Kyle Washington. GMG Racing’s James Sofronas was third, then Turner Motorsport’s Justin Rothberg and Chouest-Povoledo Racing’s Ross Chouest.

By virtue of the fastest lap in Race No. 1 Saturday, Kurtz started from the overall pole in his Mercedes. The run up to turn 1 is extremely bumpy these days and Daskalos lost control under braking. He was able to keep himself from outright spinning out, but he ended up in the runoff and had to turn around to keep going. That dropped him from second to the rear of the SRO3 class.

Daskalos then showed just how fast he was by getting back to seventh in the first lap and a half of racing. The race was then put under the safety car when Farhan Siddiqi spun his Audi R8 LMS GT4 in turn 13 after his left rear tire went down. Siddiqi pulled his car off the track, but was considered to be in a dangerous position. He would eventually return to the race, but was not classified as a finisher due to failing to complete 70% of the race.

Daskalos’ charge continued after the race restarted. A move to the inside got him back up to sixth in turn 1. However, the officials did not like that he crossed over the pit lane exit blend line. This was a point of emphasis in the driver’s meeting earlier in the weekend and resulted in a drive-through penalty.

Washington was able to drive up to second overall in Porsche 911 and was not all that far off of Kurtz’s pace. Then, another safety car came out when Alan Grossberg in the sole GT2 Lamborghini spun and hit the wall in the Esses, then got stuck in the gravel. Grossberg was ok, but done for the day.

The safety car came out while Daskalos was serving his drive-through penalty. However, you can’t get bailed out by the safety car when serving a penalty. Daskalos had to wait until the green came back out to serve the penalty.

The green came back out with just over 10 minutes remaining. Washington attempted to put pressure on Kurtz for the lead, but it was all for naught.

Half a lap after the restart, Tim Savage and John Roberts came together right before the braking zone for turn 11. Both drivers then spun and went hard into the wall, throwing debris around everywhere and bringing out the race’s third safety car period. Both drivers were ok.

The cleanup could not be completed in time to resume the race before time expired. That gave Kurtz the win.

Due to the last safety car period coming out, Daskalos, Johnny O’Connell and Jason Bell were unable to serve the drive-through penalties that they had been assessed. As a result, their penalties were converted to time penalties.

In GT4, ACI Motorsports’ Curt Swearingin started from pole in his Porsche and successfully managed to hold off a charging Isaac Sherman. With all of the time spent under the safety car, he only had to hold off the Rotek Racing Porsche for a few laps to break Sherman’s streak and take his first win of the year.

Sherman was third, then The Heart of Racing’s Gray Newell. Carrus Callus Raceteam’s Nick Shanny was fourth.

GT America teams are now off for a couple of months. The next race will be July 18 at VIRginia International Raceway.

About the author

2021 Phil Allaway Headshot Phil Allaway

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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