Pirelli World Challenge GT4 Championship Round 2: Racers Edge Motorsports’ successful weekend in Austin, Texas nets 2nd and 4th place finishes in Rounds 1 & 2 at America’s Formula One track; The Circuit of The Americas.
Starting the weekend, steady progress was made setting up the SIN R1 GT4 race cars during practice and by qualifying time, the team had the pair team machines dialed in. Pro driver Harry Gottsacker put his machine to good use, qualifying on the pole with the fastest time by .2 second. Mark Pavan in the second SIN, who was in his first race after ten years out of racing, qualified 18th in the 38-car field.
The first half of race one was dominated by pace car laps, as two separate incidents kept the field behind the pace car for the first 22 minutes of the race. Harry led easily from pole and was in control of the race until his required pitstop at half-way. A miscommunication on when to leave from the timed pit stop delayed his departure, causing him to drop back to 8th place. Running hard and his SIN handling beautifully, Harry kept the race exciting as he made it all the way back up to 2nd place before the checker came out. Mark meanwhile ran a solid first race, getting used to racing wheel-to-wheel in a highly competitive series again, coming home in 29th.
Sunday at Austin brought rainy drizzle and cooler weather. By race time the rain had stopped, but the cool damp track slowed the ability of the lighter SIN R1 GT4s generate heat in the tires at the start of the race. Harry started 5th but was losing positions rapidly early on with the lack of grip from the cool tires. As the race progressed, the tires on the SIN began to reach peak temperature and Harry began to go faster. The required pit stop was spot on perfect, the car gaining several positions during the stop. Charging hard with his car now hooked up, Harry made it up to 4th, before the race ended early, the result of damaged cars on track in unsafe locations.
Mark meanwhile also struggled with the cold tires early on and as they finally began to come in, sadly ran over the bumper from another car that had come off and was sitting in the middle of the track. The bumper caused damage to the cars underside and right rear wheel area, forcing Mark to park it and sadly not finish the race.
With a P2 and P4 finish for the number 69 of Harry Gottsacker, and a solid race for the number 54 of Mark Pavan, Racers Edge Motorsports leaves Texas with a successful GTS Sprint X Championship points weekend.
Next event for the team will be the non-points invitational round at the Long Beach Grand Prix.