While Robby Foley and Vin Barletta in the #96 Turner Motorsport M4 GT4 finished fourth in the GT4 class in the four-hour IMSA Michelin SportsCar Encore at Sebring International Raceway, the race was not without bad luck and misfortune. The #96 car, the only BMW in the race, was not running at the end; it had run as high as second in the four-car class, but a mechanical problem took it out early in the fourth hour. The GT4 class win went to Dylan Murry and Jim Cox in the #35 Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT4.
The SportsCar Encore is a unique program, in that the three classes that ran in the race do not compete against each other in the regular IMSA season. The Encore includes the LMP3 Prototypes cars, which run in the Prototype Challenge series; the GT3 cars that run in the GTD class in the WeatherTech Series; and the GT4 cars that run in the Grand Sport class in the Michelin Pilot Series.
The overall and LMP3 wins went to the #47 Forty 7 Motorsports Norma M30 driven by Jonathan Jorge, Joel Janco, and Tristan Nunez, and the GT3 win went to another Riley Motorsports car, the #74 Mercedes-AMG GT3 driven by Lawson Aschenbach and Gar Robinson.
Prototype racer Dr. Tim George, 59, a neurosurgeon, fell victim to a medical issue mid-way through the race, ending in tragedy. He was able to drive into pit road, where he stopped the car and received immediate medical attention, and was transported to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. We wish the family of Dr. George, and the families of all racers who have experienced medical emergencies on-track, our best wishes during this time.—Brian Morgan
[Photo of Turner #96 M4 GT4 at Road Atlanta courtesy Brian Morgan.]