Sonoma, Calif – Matt Travis and Jason Hart took the #47 NOLASPORT Porsche to a dominant green to checkers season-opening victory for the 2021 Pirelli GT4 America championship, similar to how the pairing kicked-off the 2020 season one year ago in Austin, Texas. “My heart was beating on those last couple of laps working through traffic, but we’re all about excellence here at NOLASPORT, so it’s great to start the season with a victory,” said Jason Hart.
Travis led the 33-car strong field to the first green flag of 2021 in his #47 NOLASPORT Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 with Derek Deboer and the #66 LaSalle Solutions TRG Porsche second and #36 BimmerWorld BMW M4 GT4 of James Clay third.
Clay would waste no time getting ahead of his TRG rival and take the second overall position with an inside pass at the Turn 9 chicane. Silver class leader Kenny Murillo and the #72 Murillo Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4 would then begin to pressure DeBoer for third overall.
On the next lap however DeBoer would dart for pit lane and fall through the order for an apparent flat tire. Murillo would inherit the third overall position with the #062 Dexter Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT4 of Ryan Dexter fourth overall, second in Silver. The #89 RENNtech Mercedes-AMG GT4 of Ross Chouest would round out the top five overall, sitting third in Pro-Am.
As the clock ticked down to the half-way point of the 60 minute race, Travis extended his overall and Pro-Am lead to over 12 seconds as the teams prepared for the required pit stops for driver changes. Murillo and Dexter continued to battle for the Silver class lead with the #46 NOLASPORT Porsche 718 Cayman of Patrick Byrne leading in Am.
As the driver swaps completed the #47 NOLASPORT machine, now with Jason Hart driving, remained in the lead with the #062 Dexter Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT4 jumping the #72 for second overall, first in the Silver division. Christian Szymczak in the #72 Mercedes-AMG would also get past the #36 BimmerWorld entry with Nick Galante driving for third overall with the BMW sitting comfortably fourth overall, second in Pro-Am.
The #46 NOLASPORT entry would keep the Am lead and run an impressive fifth overall with Russell Walker behind the wheel. Walker’s closest Am competitor would run twelfth overall.
With 18 minutes left on the clock Galante would be forced to serve a drive through penalty for an unsafe release during the pit stop, dropping the car from third overall to eighteenth, tenth in the Pro-Am class. The #46 Porsche would inherit fourth position overall, the #119 Stephen Cameron Racing BMW M4 GT4 fifth overall, second in Pro-Am, while battling with the #15 BSport Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT4 of Kenton Koch who ran sixth overall, third in Pro-Am.
While Koch attacked Liefooghe BMW legend Bill Auberlen, in the #34 BimmerWorld Racing entry, would move his M4 GT4 into seventh overall after starting sixteenth. Koch’s pressure would prove too much for the #119 BMW and see the #15 Aston Martin move into the fifth overall position, second in Pro-Am.
Koch would then get past the #46 on the next lap for fourth overall.
As the checkered flag flew, the #47 NOLASPORT entry would take the overall and Pro-Am victory with the #15 BSport Racing Aston Martin second in class and #119 Stephen Cameron Racing BMW M4 taking the third position. The #34 BimmerWorld Racing BMW M4 would come home fourth in class with the #59 WR Racing Aston Martin Vantage fifth.
The #062 Dexter Racing Aston Martin Vantage would take the Silver class victory with the #72 Murillo Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4 second and #22 CCR Racing/Team TFB BMW M4 GT4 third. Marco Polo Motorsports and the #71 KTM X-Bow GT4 Evo would finish fourth with the #94 BimmerWorld Racing BMW M4 GT4, who started at the very back of the grid, ending the day fifth in Silver.
The Am category win would go to the #46 NOLASPORT Porsche with the impressive #16 Capstone Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT4 second and #68 Smooge Racing Toyota GR Supra GT4 third.
Pirelli GT4 America Round 2 takes place on Sunday, March 7th at 10:55 AM local. Follow all of the action live at https://www.gt4-america.com/live.