WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – Crowdstrike Racing with Riley Motorsports’ George Kurtz led flag-to-flag Saturday (July 23) as his rivals faltered to win GT America Powered by AWS Race No. 1 at Watkins Glen International. It is Kurtz’s fourth win of the season.
“The Crowdstrike/Riley Mercedes was great [today],” Kurtz told Frontstretch afterwards. “It was just a matter of maintaining the pace. When we needed to pull a gap, we could.”
Kurtz started from pole with Zelus Motorsports’ Jason Harward alongside. Kurtz was able to pull away quickly, but a caution erased that lead. Mirco Schultis, driving a Callaway Corvette C7/GT3, crashed on the first lap along with the Audi of Jason Daskalos. He attempted to drive away, but ended up parking in an unsafe place exiting the Inner Loop. Daskalos was able to continue, but had nose damage on his Audi R8 LMS Ultra.
Once Schultis’s car was pulled away to safety by four men, the green came back out. Kurtz was able to pull back out to a nearly three-second lead. That lead disappeared almost immediately as Harward ran him down.
Before Harward could do anything, the race’s second yellow flew when RENNtech Motorsports’ Paul Kiebler spun exiting turn 1 and hit the inside tire barrier. Kiebler was able to drive his Mercedes-AMG GT4 back to the paddock, but he was done for the day. After a somewhat expensive weekend for SRO America teams at VIRginia International Raceway last month, SRO America officials have vowed to punish contact more heavily. Flying Lizard Motorsports’ Elias Sabo was given a stop and 60-second hold for incident responsibility because of this crash.
In the closing laps, Harward tried to keep the pressure on Kurtz for the lead. Unfortunately, he went a little too hard on the accelerator exiting turn 7 and spun with just under five minutes to go. That was all Kurtz needed to take the win.
Kurtz’s margin of victory was 13.854 seconds over Jeff Burton. Daskalos had inherited second, but was given a one-minute hold in the pits with two laps to go.
Hardpoint’s PJ Hyett was third in his Porsche on debut, but a massive 51.939 seconds back. Daskalos ended up fourth.
In GT4, SRQ Motorsports’ Marko Radisic was supposed to start from pole in his BMW, but was penalized for coming up light at the scales following the morning qualifying session. That elevated Seth Lucas, making his GT America debut for Hattori Motorsports after starting the year in Pirelli GT4 America SprintX, to the pole. Note…