The SRO GT4 America and TC America series opened their seasons at the beautiful Sonoma Raceway in northern California on April 6-7,2024, and it was a very successful weekend of racing for many of the BMW teams involved.

The Sonoma race weekend got off to a slow start, as the track that was recently repaved has started breaking up in places during the first test sessions earlier in the week. This prompted the track and SRO to shut down most track activities on Thursday and Friday as several corners on the track required repairs and one corner was almost completely repaved. Track action got underway again on Saturday morning, giving the teams and drivers a very compressed schedule to set up the cars and learn the track, which had significantly more grip than it did last year when the series raced there.

The GT4 America class continues to have strong entries for 2024, with 28 entries among three different classes (Silver, Pro-Am, Am) from six different manufacturers. There were seven M4 GT4 entries at Sonoma, with returning teams AutoTechnic Racing, BimmerWorld Racing, and Random Vandals Racing bringing two cars each and Carrus Callus Raceteam (which raced a Toyota Supra GT4 last year) bringing a single car.

The BMW teams picked up where they left off in 2023, with AutoTechnic Racing taking the Silver class and overall win in race two (SRO has two races per weekend) with defending champ Zac Anderson and new co-driver Colin Garrett (shown in top pic), who won the TC America TCX class championship last year in an M2 CS Racing. The duo was on their way to a strong result in the first race as well, until Anderson was involved in an incident and had to serve a penalty for avoidable contact. AutoTechnic Racing also won in the Am class, with Troy Lindstrom and Matt Million taking the class win in the #53 M4 GT4.

BimmerWorld Racing also had a strong start to 2024, with returning teammates Tyler McQuarrie and James Walker, Jr. finishing first in race one in their #82 M4 GT4 and following that up with a podium finish in third in race two. “We lost the championship last year by one point, so we’re on a mission,” said Tyler McQuarrie. “This is an amazing start and it got us in a really good position. This is my home track; this is where I grew up. I remember sitting on the hill up there and thinking ‘you have got to make this work and be a driver.’ So it’s always good to win here, and to start the season like this, when we needed some redemption.” Two-time defending Am class champs James Clay and Charlie Postins finished on the podium achieving third in the Am class in their #36 M4 GT4 in race one, but were forced to retire in race two after being hit by a Nissan, for which the Nissan had to serve a penalty.

James Walker, Jr. and Tyler McQuarrie won the Pro-Am class in race one and finished third in race two.

The Random Vandals Racing pairing of Kenton Koch and Kevin Boehm finished second in the Silver class last year and are back for 2024 in the #97 M4 GT4. They finished second overall and in the Silver class in race one, and repeated that same result in race two. In the Am class, the #98 Random Vandals M4 GT4 driven by team owner Paul Sparta and Kris Wilson finished second in both races. Random Vandals announced last week that they would be entering an M4 GT3 in the SRO GT World Challenge America championship with drivers Connor Daly and Kenton Koch later in the season, with works driver Connor De Phillippi set to join them in the Indy 8 Hour finale.

Kevin Boehm and Kenton Koch will be contenders in the Silver class in 2024.

The BMW M2 CS Racing is still a popular entry in the TC America TCX class. There were nine entries in the TCX class at Sonoma and four of them were M2s. The rest were new Acura Integra Type S entries. Chris Walsh of Carrus Callus Racing and Lucas Catania of Rigid Speed were the stars of the TCX class at Sonoma, finishing one-two in both races as they battled each other hard but clean during the race and were setting lap times within thousandths of a second of each other.

The MINI JCW Team is also back in the TC and TCA classes. Scott Thomson finished sixth in the TCA class in race one as teammate Christian Perocarpi had engine issues that kept him from racing. Perocarpi got his car fixed for race two and was challenging for third place at one point, but then fell back to fifth by the finish. PJ Groenke won both races in his MINI in the TC class, which had significantly fewer entries than the last year. There were ten entries in the class last year, but only two at Sonoma in 2024.

The next rounds of the SRO GT4 America and TC America races will be at Sebring International Raceway in Florida on May 3rd-5th. —David Haueter

[Photos courtesy SRO]




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