Kurtz Is GT America Winner In California

George Kurtz on his way to victory Saturday at Sonoma Raceway.
George Kurtz on his way to victory Saturday at Sonoma Raceway.

SONOMA, Calif. – George Kurtz took home the first checkered flag of the year in the GT America powered by AWS series Saturday afternoon at Sonoma Raceway.

Charlie Luck finished second with Jason Harward in third.

Sean Quinlan was the winner in the GT4 class over Robb Holland and Jason Bell.

Kurtz and Jason Daskalos started on the front row and took off at the start. Stewards deemed Kurtz’ start was a bit premature and issued him with a drive-through penalty. During the fourth lap, Daskalos’ Audi experienced a mechanical issue, forcing the car and driver to retire from the race.

Dmitri Novikov started fourth overall due to a post-qualifying penalty assessed to former fourth-place qualifier Harward, who was moved to seventh. A lap-six incident saw Novikov spin, allowing teammate Jeff Burton and Harward to move up in the running order.

Black Swan Racing’s Tim Pappas  also suffered a mechanical issue that ended his run on lap seven. Soon after, Kurtz’ served the his drive-through penalty and dropped to sixth.

While Luck and Harward battling for the top spot, several competitors lost positions after on-track spinouts, including Burton, Gray Newell and Alex Welch.

The battle for the GT4 class commenced from start to stop as the top-three class qualifiers closed out the race in slightly shuffled order. Top qualifier Holland qualified first, but second-place starter Quinlan managed a mid-field pass and held on to the lead to take the checkered flag first.