Motorsport News

George Kurtz, Colin Braun Win NOLA GT World Challenge America Race No. 2

Colin Braun during Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS practice at NOLA Motorsports Park, 4/28/2023 (Photo: Fabian Lagunas/SRO Motorsports Group)

Crowdstrike Racing with Riley Motorsports’ George Kurtz won the race off of pit road Sunday (April 30) at NOLA Motorsports Park. From there on, he was able to hold on to win Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS Race No. 2 on the 2.748-mile road course for himself and teammate Colin Braun.

“It was an exciting race today,” Kurtz told SRO America’s Amanda Busick. “We had a rough day [Saturday], but we put it all together today. [Colin Braun] had a great drive, then it was ‘how many restart do we have to do?’ We’d get a gap, then [the caution would come out] and we’d have to build it up again.”

Crowdstrike Racing’s margin of victory was 2.669 seconds over BimmerWorld Racing’s Bill Auberlen and Chandler Hull. Rennsport One’s Eric Filguerias and Stevan McAleer were third, followed by The Racers Group’s Derek DeBoer and Valentin Hasse-Clot. Wright Motorsports’ Jan Heylen and Charlie Luck were fifth.

Hasse-Clot started from pole in his Aston Martin and got out to a quick lead. ST Racing’s John Edwards, who set the fastest lap overall during Race No. 1 on Saturday, quickly dispatched Heylen for second. Heylen was able to stay with Edwards after losing the spot, but was penalized for a start procedure violation that dropped him to the rear of the field.

Edwards began to challenge Hasse-Clot hard for the lead 20 minutes in. He was almost able to get alongside exiting turn 4. Edwards then went wide and nearly lost second to Braun.

Eventually, the margin between Hasse-Clot and Edwards stabilized at a little more than a second. It remained as such until the mid-race pit stops.

Hasse-Clot chose to pit at the first possible opportunity for tires, fuel and to hand over to DeBoer. Edwards waited an additional lap, while Braun stayed out to the absolute last second.

The result of the pit stop sequence was that when Kurtz got in his Crowdstrike Mercedes, he inherited a lead of nearly 10 seconds over TR3 Racing’s Ziad Ghandour. Samantha Tan was right on his tail.

Tan was able to get past Ghandour for second, but was unable to make any real ground on Kurtz. Further back, Racers Edge Motorsports’ Ashton Harrison and Rennsport One’s Eric Filguerias ended up catching the DXDT Racing entries of teammates Jeff Burton and Scott Smithson.

The Mercedes AMG-GT3 log jam got Filguerias up to Harrison’s rear bumper. The time was right to attempt a move for the class lead in turn 6. However, contact was…

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