Mercedes Factory Driver and RealTime Racing driver Adam Christodoulou joined the Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS series at VIRginia International Raceway for a revamp of the No. 427 RealTime Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 entry. He and teammate Anthony Bartone moved the No. 427 Mercedes-AMG into the PRO-AM Class and are an anticipated mainstay for the front of the field.
Christodoulou is a name well-known in the GT racing world, having found success in endurance racing on some of the world’s largest stages. He began his race career karting before moving into open-wheel racing in his home country of the United Kingdom. He became British Formula Renault Champion in 2008 and USA Formula Star Mazda Champion in 2009. In 2010, Christodoulou made his foray into sports car racing and never looked back. Over a decade later, he’s adding another first to his name.
“This is my first time racing in SRO America,” Christodoulou said. “I’ve been part of the European championship I’ve done selected one-off races within the SRO series. I’ve raced the Spa 24 hour and ran all over the world, including China, Australia and America and Europe. But this is my first time running sprint races in the U.S.”
Adding something new to the resume is not easily done for a driver like Christodoulou. The driver has spent nearly a decade as a Mercedes Factory Driver as he races around the globe.
“I signed with Mercedes in 2016,” Christodoulou said. “This is after I was picked up or noticed by Mercedes in 2014 and 2015 at the Nürburgring. My biggest race each year has been the 24 Hours of Nürburgring, and I made a pretty good name for myself there. I’ve been very fortunate to be a part of the development for the current GT3 and GT4 Mercedes and the track series in the GT2 as well. I know the cars inside and out, so I like to think that gives me an advantage.”
The Nürburgring has been good to Christodoulou. He won his third attempt in 2016 and has followed that performance up with two additional podium finishes and many more appearances that have seen him take the checkered flag in the top five of his class.
The iconic European track is one most impressive to make a name for himself. This weekend, he has the opportunity to start a streak at the fan-favorite Road America. While he has tested at the Elkhart Lake circuit, he has yet to make his race debut.
“It is also my first time racing at Road America,” Christodoulou said. “It’s a track everyone absolutely goes crazy about. Road America is known as one of the best tracks in the world. I had my first experience with a test last week. The track is crazy quick, and there is no room for error. You have to keep your wits about you. It’s an old-school circuit. It reminds me of a crazy fast Oulton Park, a circuit we have in the U.K.
“I’m also looking forward to going back to Sebring. Sebring was my first American race in 2009. So, it brings back memories from being my first event in the US. I have a feeling that will be a good track for us. So that’s the next one I’m really looking forward to.”
He has been working with Bartone to prepare for Road America. Outside of being a factory driver Christodoulou also acts as a driving coach. Under the RealTime Racing banner, Christodoulou acts as both co-driver and coach.
“I also do a lot of coaching and working with drivers on their technique,” Christodoulou said. “I’ve been able to practice with Anthony, and that’s the main game. The closer and closer I can get him to the true professional pace, the easier it makes my job. We had a good run at VIR. We deserved the podium there; we should have finished second, but we had a small fuel pump failure. Hopefully, at Road America, we can get straight on it. I’m looking forward to fighting for our first podium.
Christodoulou and the Fanatec GT World Challenge powered by AWS kick off the Road America weekend Thursday, Aug. 17 at 5 p.m. with a parade into Elkhart followed by a celebration at Siebkens Resort featuring live music from BBMC & Friends along with the 143 cars entered. Things heat up on track Friday with two free practice sessions. Race One takes place Saturday at 3:10 p.m. CT, with a final Race Two Sunday at 2 p.m. A fan walk open to all attendees’ prefaces Race Two at 1:30 p.m.