George Kurtz and Colin Braun, driving the #04 DXDT Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 won Race Two in the GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS double-header at Virginia International Raceway, finishing less than a quarter of a second ahead of the #80 Racers Edge Motorsports Acura NSX GT3 piloted by Martin Barkey and Kyle Marcelli.
The #1 Squadra Corse Ferrari F488 Gt3 of martin Fuentes and Rodrigo Baptista completed the overall podium positions.
Ryan Gates, behind the wheel of the #311 311RS Motorsports Porsche 911 GT2 RS, took his second class victory of the weekend, finishing over a minute ahead of Jason Bell in the #2 GMG Racing Porsche.
Trent Hindman, driving the #93 Racers Edge Motorsports Acura NSX GT3, led the field away from the grid, followed by Colin Braun in the #04 DXDT Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3.
Hindman started to pull away at the head of the field and, after two laps, had a lead of nearly 1.5 seconds over Braun in the #04 car.
Ryan Gates, winner in Saturday’s Race One in the #311 311RS Motorsport Porsche, led the four-car Sports Club field with Jason Bell, behind the wheel of the #2 GMG Racing Porsche, second in the class for the category’s 40-minute sprint event.
As the 90-minute race approached the one-third distance, Hindman in the #93 Acura held the lead but had been unable to extend it by more than 2.2 seconds ahead of Colin Braun’s #04 Mercedes. Race One winner Kyle Marcelli, behind the wheel of the #80 Acura, was in fifth place, 1.321 seconds behind Max Root in the #20 Am category Wright Motorsports Porsche.
A delay in the #93 car’s driver change meant that, after the pit stops had cycled through, the lead was held by the #04 DXDT Racing Mercedes, now with George Kurtz at wheel. with Shelby Blackstock in the #93 Acura in second. However, with 34 minutes remaining, the #93 car was served with a drive-through penalty for a pit-lane speed violation by Trent Hindman.
Blackstop served the penalty to rejoin the field in seventh place after a short pause when the pit-lane speed limiter was hit by accident on pit-out.
With less than 25 minutes remaining, George Kurtz was extending his lead and was over 7.5 seconds ahead of Martin Barkey in the #80 Acura. Fred Poordad led the Am category and held fourth place overall, over 5.5. seconds ahead of Martin Fuentes in the #1 Ferrari. However a technical issue hit the #20 Porsche and Poordad slowed to a crawl on Lap 41.
A Full Course Caution was thrown as the leader completed his 41st lap and the field slowed behind the Safety Car with less than 15 minutes remaining.
Shelby Blackstock brought the #93 Acura back to the pitlane during the Safety Car due to damage to the suspension on the left rear corner.
Green flag racing resumed with 11 minutes remaining and immediately Martin Fuentes was on the pace in the #1 Ferrari, passing David Askew in the #62 Mercedes for third.
As the race entered the final five minutes, the battle within the first three was intense, Martin Barkey putting leader George Kurtz under pressure as the #80 driver was himself defending from Martin Fuentes in the #1 Ferrari.
On the last lap, Kurtz went wide and reduced the gap to Barkey to less than half a second but but held on to take the chequered flag by .226 seconds. Martin Fuentes completed the podium positions.
George Kurtz was delighted at the win.
“We had a pretty good race,” said George Kurtz. “Obviously Colin did a fantastic job and gave me a big lead. I extended it and then I saw the car on the back straight and I knew we were going to have a re-start and I knew the fight was going to be on. With a couple of minutes left, I just buckled down and just focused on pulling away from Barkey.”
Kurtz and Braun now lead the Pro-Am drivers standings on 71 points, four ahead of Baptista and Fuentes.
The GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS gathers next convenes at Sonoma Raceway on August 7 – 9.