When SRO America ran the penultimate event of its 2020 season at Circuit of the Americas on September 18–20, M240iR racers Toby Grahovec and John Castro-Dubets scored a win each in the Touring Car class, Nick Wittmer and Harry Gottsacker in an M4 GT4 won the Silver class in the second SprintX GT4 race, and brothers Mat and Mark Pombo finished first and second in the third TCA race in Mini JCWs.
The M240i Racing dominated the Touring Car class in both of the 40-minute sprints run at COTA, as it has for most of the season. Grahovec in the #26 Classic BMW M240iR led the Touring Car class in Friday’s forty-minute sprint, with James Clay in the #36 BimmerWorld car finishing just behind him in second and John Castro-Dubets in the #20 Auto Technic entry finishing third. In race two on Saturday, Castro-Dubets led from flag to flag, pulling well ahead of Clay and Grahovec, who staged a race-long battle for second. Clay’s two second-place finishes keep him in the Touring Car class points lead going into the season finale at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in two weeks.
While the Touring Car class ran two races at COTA, the Touring Car A class ran three, still making up races canceled earlier in the season. The Mini JCWs of the Pombo brothers finished first and second in the third race, run on Sunday, with Mini racer Tomas Mejia finishing fifth. The Minis of Mejia and Mark Pombo finished fourth and fifth on Friday, and seventh and ninth on Saturday, when Pombo had to pit with a cut tire. Mat Pombo only ran for Mini in race three. Honda’s Kevin Boehm won TCA on both Friday and Saturday.
In the GT4 SprintX series, Wittmer and Gottsacker in the #28 ST Racing M4 GT4 led the Silver class in race one on Friday, but a stop-and-go penalty for a short pit stop set them back; they finished fifth in class in a race won by Parker Chase and Roman De Angelis in a Panoz Esperante. Chandler Hull and Toby Grahovec in the #26 Classic BMW M4 GT4 finished third in Silver, while Samantha Tan and Jon Miller in the #38 ST Racing M4 GT4 finished fourth. Wittmer and Gottsacker rebounded to win the Silver class on Sunday, finishing ahead of their rivals for the championship, Jared Andretti and Colin Mullan in an Andretti Autosport McLaren 570S GT4. Tim Barber and Cole Ciraulo in the CCR Team TFM M4 GT4 finished fourth in Silver while Hull and Grahovec finished fifth. Miller and Tan finished sixth after their car was hit on Tan’s stint.
In the GT4 SprintX Pro-Am class, James Walker and Bill Auberlen in the #82 BimmerWorld M4 GT4 finished third on Friday as Michael Dinan and Robby Foley won the class in the #21 Flying Lizard Aston Martin Vantage GT4. On Saturday, Walker and Auberlen were sixth and Sean Quinlan and Greg Liefooghe in the #19 Stephen Cameron Racing M4 GT4 finished seventh. The overall and Pro-Am wins went to Jason Bell and Andrew Davis in the #2 GMG Racing Porsche 718 Cayman GT4.
Once again, Sean Quinlan in the #119 Stephen Cameron Racing M4 GT4 was the sole BMW racer in the GT4 Sprint series. He finished third in the Am class on Friday and fifth on Saturday. On Sunday he exited the race after a contact incident. Michael Cooper in a McLaren 570S GT4 won all three races and clinched the Sprint championship for the season. Michael Dinan, who won the Am class in races one and three, clinched the Am title.
All of the SRO Americas classes finish their season in an October 1–3 event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. SRO’s Intercontinental GT Challenge Series will run an eight-hour race at Indy on Sunday, October 4.—Brian Morgan
[Photos courtesy SRO Americas.]