SONOMA, Calif. – Kenny Murillo and Christian Szymczak raced to the overall victory in Sunday’s Pirelli GT4 America SprintX main event at Sonoma Raceway.
The No. 47 NOLASPORT Porsche 718 Cayman CS MR of Jason Hart (SprintX Pro-Am) would lead the field to the green flag for the final Pirelli GT4 America SprintX race of the weekend at Sonoma Raceway.
It was the No. 34 Murillo Racing Mercedes of Murillo and Szymczak (SprintX West Pro-Am) who would grab the headlines however, moving from fifth to first.
Just prior to the green flag, SprintX Race 1 winner Jeff Burton (SprintX West Am) would head to pitlane in the No. 91 Rearden Racing Audi R8 LMS GT4 to change a tire that was losing air pressure. The team would change the Pirelli rubber and get the car back on track without losing a lap to the leaders. The team would fight back through the field and finish eighth overall.
Thirteen minutes into the race the No. 51 Panoz of Matt Keegan (SprintX Am) pulled along-side the No. 19 Cameron Racing BMW M4 GT4 of Gregory Liefooghe (SprintX Pro-Am) and would out-brake the BMW at the turn seven hairpin via the outside line for second place. Keegan would then chase down the leading No. 47 NOLASPORT Porsche and grab the lead at the final hairpin one lap later.
Behind the leaders, the No. 33 Rearden Racing Audi R8 LMS GT4 of Owen Trinkler (SprintX West Pro-Am) would also choose the final hairpin to make a pass over the No. 67 TRG Porsche 718 Cayman CS MR of Kevin Woods (SprintX West Am) to grab seventh position.
During the mandatory pit stops for driver changes, the first and second place cars would pit together early in the pit window, with Preston Calvert getting in to the No. 51 Panoz and Matt Travis in the No. 47 Porsche. Third place Gregory Liefooghe would stay out in an attempt to over-cut his rivals and pit with 26 minutes remaining, turning the No. 19 Cameron Racing BMW over to Sean Quinlan. The stop was just a little too quick compared to the minimum required time and the No. 19 would face a drive through penalty for the error.
The No. 34 Murillo Racing Mercedes AMG of Christian Szymczak (SprintX West Pro-Am) would be the fastest car on track after switching drivers, as the bright orange machine would move from fifth to second in just a matter of laps before chasing down the race-leading Panoz. With 20 minutes remaining the No. 34 would slip stream past the No. 51 at the turn seven hairpin and take the overall lead and victory.
“I was actually going back and forth on racing this weekend, but I knew it was going to be a great time so I had to,” said Szymczak. “The mercedes was really good all weekend. I’ve been racing with Murillo for years now and the team is great and gave us a great car.”
Half a lap later Colin Mullan (SprintX Pro-Am) in the No. 36 Andretti Autosport McLaren 570S GT4 would pass the No. 47 NOLASPORT entry on the outside of turn one to take over the final podium position.