WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – Christian Szymczak and Matthew Fassnacht were declared the winners of Sunday’s Pirelli GT4 America SprintX race from Watkins Glen Int’l after a late crash heavily damaged a barrier.
Karl Wittmer, aboard the No. 24 Ian Lacy Racing Ford Mustang, led the field to the green flag under cool and cloudy skies at Watkins Glen Int’l.
At turn one Trent Hindman swung around the outside of the No. 34 Murillo Racing Mercedes AMG of Szymczak to go from fourth to third and would begin his pursuit of Jan Heylen. At the same time, Heylen began reeling in the Wittmer-driven Mustang and would close to within two-tenths of a second of the leader.
With 40 minutes left on the clock, Heylen would power past Wittmer for the lead on the inside of turn 11 and instantly pull a gap of 2.2 seconds over his rivals. Trent Hindman would then close on Wittmer and begin stalking as the clock ticked down closer to the pit window opening for driver changes.
As the pit window opened, Wittmer would see an issue with his car and fall from second to sixth overall in just a few turns. While that was happening Steven McAleer would slide past Hindman for second.
With 27 minutes remaining, the leading No. 37 RS1 Porsche of Jan Heylen would unexpectedly go wide at turn six and hit the tire barriers, ending his race. Nearly the entire field would dive for the pits, expecting a safety car to be called with the #34 Murillo Racing Mercedes, now with Matthew Fassnacht driving, coming out in first.
A safety car would be called for a separate incident with 23 minutes remaining as Patrick Byrne and Randy Mueller had a massive incident at turn 10, with both cars getting into the armco barrier.
Due to armco repairs needed, race officials would call the race with eight minutes remaining, with the No. 34 Murillo Racing Mercedes AMG GT4 shared by Fassnacht and Szymczak taking the win.
“The end result was obviously good, but I would have liked more time in the car,” Fassnacht enthused. “I want to thank Murillo Racing for a great car this weekend and Christian [Szymczak] for driving a good, clean race.”
Trent Hindman and Alan Brynjolfsson were scored second, with Sean Quinlan and Gregory Liefooghe completing the podium.