Park Place Motorsports may have only entered themselves in the GT4 East competition, but the combination of Trent Hindman and Alan Brynjolfsson was able to take the overall lead on Lap 17 and held on to win Race No. 2 of Pirelli GT4 America SprintX at Circuit of the Americas.
For Brynjolfsson, Sunday was the first time that he’d ever won a race that he finished at the wheel of the car. He likes that quite a bit.
“It’s always going to be special [to clinch your first win on track],” Brynjolfsson stated after the race. “I sort of like it better because you don’t have to drive gingerly. You don’t have to hand over a car in good shape. You just have to go out and do your thing.”
Jason Hart, winner of Race No. 1 on Saturday, started on pole in his Porsche and showed that NOLAsport was just as fast as they were on Saturday. That said, the rest of the pack was waiting for them. On the start, Flying Lizard Motorsports’ Robby Foley was able to get the jump and got past to take the lead. Hindman followed by into second and immediately put the pressure on Foley. Half a lap in, Hindman was able to take the lead away himself.
It took Hart a matter of only a couple of laps to get back into the overall lead. He was content to pull away, but a full course caution flew for Jeff Burton crashing the Rearden Racing Audi that won GT4 West Am Saturday on Lap 4. Burton walked away from the crash, but he was out on the spot.
After the restart, Hindman was able to pressure Hart, but could do nothing with Hart until the mandatory mid-race pit stop. Here, teams have to make a driver change and spend no less than 81 seconds on pit road. NOLAsport had an excellent stop. It turned out to be too good as the team exited pit road seven-tenths of a second too quickly.
When Matt Travis brought the No. 47 Porsche in to serve their drive-through penalty, it gave Brynjolfsson the overall lead. Michael Dinan in the Flying Lizard Porsche was close behind and putting pressure on the VOLT Racing Porsche. Further back, Murillo Racing’s Matthew Fassnacht was quickly approaching as well.
Despite the penalty, Travis was far from out of the hunt. Travis began turning laps two to three seconds quicker than the leaders after his penalty to get back into the hunt. By the closing laps, Travis had come all the way back to Brynjolfsson and Dinan. He was able to get second, but could not quite nab the weekend sweep for NOLAsport.
Brynjolfsson and Hindman’s margin of victory was a more 0.155 seconds over Travis and Hart, really not much more than a car length. NOLAsport did still win the GT4 SprintX Pro-Am class. Fassnacht and Christian Szymczak were third in their Mercedes despite a spin for Szymczak on the pace lap. That performance was good enough to give them victory in the GT4 East Am class. ST Racing’s Harry Gottscaker and Jon Miller were fourth in their BMW M4 GT4, good for victory in the GT4 West Am class. Dinan and Foley ended up fifth.
Recovering from their disqualification on Saturday, Jarret Andretti and Karl Thomson won the SprintX Am class with an 11th-place finish overall, third in SprintX. Their margin of victory was nearly 26 seconds over NOLAsport’s No. 46 Porsche of Mike Vess and John Capestro-Dubets.
In addition to winning the race overall, Brynjolfsson and Hindman won GT4 East Pro-Am by 26.688 seconds over the RENNtech Motorsports Mercedes of Reinhold Renger and Parker Chase, who finished sixth overall. Fassnacht and Szymczak won GT4 East Am by 35 seconds over the Epic Motorsports BMW of Randy Mueller and James Clay.
Gottsacker and Miller won GT4 West Pro-Am by 96 seconds over USRD’s Jeff Bader and Casey Dennis, while The Racers Group’s Kevin Woods and Chris Bellomo won GT4 West Am by 3.54 seconds over the Ginetta of Ian Lacy Racing’s Frank Gannett and Drew Staveley. The Ian Lacy team raced their Ginetta up from the rear of the field to finish 10th overall.
Pirelli GT4 America SprintX teams are off until the end of April at VIRginia International Raceway. They’ll be joined there by GT4 East. However, the Pirelli GT4 America Sprint calendar starts next weekend in St. Petersburg, Fla. with two races on the undercard of the NTT IndyCar Series’ Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. GT4 West teams are off for the next three weeks before returning to action at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on the undercard of the Intercontinental GT Challenge California 8 Hours.