The Pirelli GT4 America series continues its 2022 season at a new track for SRO Motorsports America. Teams are heading to the NOLA Motorsports Park in Avondale, Louisiana on May 20-22. The 2.75-mile road course features 16 turns and a 5,800 ft. straightaway.
The Louisiana-based NOLASPORT Porsche team claims home track advantage for the weekend with three cars, including the Pro-Am entry of Scott Noble and co-driver Jason Hart in the No.47 car. Driving in the Am class are drivers Sean Gibbons and Sean Owen in the No.7, and Alan Staid and Thomas Merrill in the No.19 car. The NOLASPORT team hopes to continue its success from Sonoma, where Noble and Hart placed in second and third place in the Pro-Am Class in Races 1 and 2 respectively, while Staid and Merrill placed second in Am for Race 1.
Teams look to follow up on Sonoma success
Meanwhile, the No.18 RS1 Porsche team of Eric Filguerias and Stevan McAleer will look to continue their podium dominance from Sonoma where they swept both weekend races, winning both overall and in the Silver class. McAleer recorded the CrowdStrike Fastest Lap for both Races 1 and 2 with times of 1m46.124s and 1m47.022s respectively.
Also looking to return to the top of the podium after sweeping both races at Sonoma in the Pro-Am class is the No.15 BSport Racing Team with drivers Kenton Koch and Bryan Putt behind the wheel of the Aston Martin Vantage AMR. Koch said, “NOLA is actually the first place I ever worked with my teammate Bryan Putt. We haven’t been back in the last five years, so we’re excited to go back to enjoy the track and some good food!”
The team of James Clay and Charlie Postins in the No.38 Bimmerworld BMW M4 hope to repeat their first place finish in Race 1 at Sonoma in the Am class. Also vying for a return to the top of the podium are Race 2 winners, the Dexter Racing Team of Matt Rivard and Ben Anderson in the No.60 Ginetta G56.
Three races within GT4
Three categories race within the Pirelli GT4 America series. Silver, Pro-Am, and Am. They are differentiated by the drivers and their FIA Driver categories and pairings. Drivers are rated as Bronze – A racer in the early stages of their career, Silver – An accomplished club racer, Gold – a professional racer, and Platinum – The highest level of a professional racer; typically a factory driver. The pairings for the GT4 driver categories are as follows.
Silver – Two Silver drivers Pro-Am – One Bronze and one Silver or above class driver Am – Two Bronze drivers
Here’s how the field of 32 will break down during the Pirelli GT4 America races at NOLA Motorsports Park.
Silver – Teams have already shown their talent with exciting wheel-to-wheel racing between the current overall and in class points leaders No.18 RS1 of Eric Filguerias/Stevan McAleer and the No.34 Conquest Racing/JMF Motorsports of Gavin Sanders/Michai Stephens for the majority of both Races 1 and 2 at the season-opener in Sonoma, sweeping the top two overall spots on the podium.
The No.51 Auto Technic Racing Team of Austen Smith and Zac Anderson also had a strong showing with third place in category finishes in both races. The Smooge Racing No.68 (Kevin ConwayJohn Geesbreght) and Dexter Racing No.122 (Dominic Starkweather/Ryan Dexter) teams hope to improve on their races at NOLA.
Pro-Am – With the most entries in the category, the talent is undeniable with 2021 GT America champion Jason Bell teaming up with Andrew Davis in the No.2 GMG Racing team. They will be looking to challenge current points leaders Koch and Putt already landing atop the Sonoma podium, the No.47 NOLASPORT team (Scott Noble/Jason Hart), the No.8 Flying Lizard Motorsports (Elias Sabo/Andy Lee), and No.50 Chouest Provoledo Racing Team (Ross Chouest/Aaron Povoledo) have also claimed podium finishes this season.
Fast Track Racing has two entries in the Pro-Am Category with the No.10 piloted by Tim Horrell and Raphael Matos, and the No.11 with Damon Surzyshyn and Gregory Liefooghe behind the wheel. Of three Auto Technic Racing cars, only the No.52 of Capestro-Dubets and Capizzi competes in the Pro-Am class.
Hattori Motorsports (Seth Lucas/Matt Plumb) in the No.016 is the only Toyota GR Supra racing in the category as is the No.26 Thrive Motorsports/Topp Racing (Michael O’Brien/Thomas Surgent) McLaren 570S.
Coming off a top 10 finish in Race 1 at Sonoma, the No.930 Carbahn with Peregrine Racing (Mark Siegel/Tom Dyer) team will work toward strong finishes at the NOLA races.
The No.24 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin (Grey Newell/Ian James), BimmerWorld No.82 BMW M4 (Devin Jones/James Walker Jr.)and No.120 Premier Racing (Adam Adelson/Elliott Skeer) Porsche 718 Cayman will all look to gain points on the season the rounds three and four NOLA races.
Am – The No.36 Bimmerworld team of Clay and Postins claimed first place honors in Race 1 at Sonoma, and followed with a second place finish in Race 2. They were followed on the podium by the No.19 NOLASPORT team of Stad and Merrill in Race 1 and the No.66 The Racers Group with DeBoer and Alexandridis behind the wheel. Meanwhile, the No.60 Dexter Racing team of Rivard and Anderson took their debut of the Ginetta G56 all the way to the top of the podium followed by No.19 NOLASPORT and No.98 Random Vandals Racing in third place with drivers Sparta and Carter.
With the top podium finishes at Sonoma, the No.36 BMW M4 has a commanding points lead in category with a total of 43. They are followed by the NOLASPORT team that is represented in class by Stad and Merrill in the No.19 and No.7 of Gibbons and Owen respectively.
In addition to the No.36, the BMW M4 is strongly represented in the field by competition from the No.53 Auto Technic Racing (Alex Filsinger/Rob Walker), and No.80 Rooster Hall Racing (Todd Brown/Johan Schwartz) teams respectively.
The Carrus Callus Raceteam No.21 of Shanny and Borcheller with field the only Toyota GR Supra in class.
Porsche regulars The Racers Group also support the No.17 Porsche 718 Cayman driven by Dr. James Rappaport and Robert Orcutt. Also representing Porsche on the track is the RS1 No.83 (Nelson Calle/Juan Martinez) and Regal Motorsports with Anthony Bartone and Andy Pigrim taking turns in the driver’s seat.
As part of an Invitational class, the No.49 Team Saleen (Steve Saleen/Eric Curran) will continue to put the Saleen 1 to the test on the track against the rest of the GT4 field.