Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS put the welcome parade and street festival behind it and got down to business with Practice One. Elkhart Lake is abuzz with race fans who weaved around 140 race cars lining the lake and now join the series at the track for a weekend of racing.
The 60-minute session was peaceful in comparison to the test session, which took on water from a pop-up shower and saw a couple of red flags due to incidences. The session was clean and green throughout while drivers shook down and set up their vehicles for the weekend. Road America is a 4.048-mile, 14-turn circuit that includes massive elevation changes and tight turns, putting drivers and race cars through paces.
Post-session a red flag was issued for the No. 77 TR3 Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Paul Kiebler and Jon Branam. The car was stopped on track at Turn 3 and was recovered.
Chandler Hull and Bill Auberlen were the fastest in the PRO Class and fourth fastest overall in the session. The No. 94 BimmerWorld BMW M4 GT3 took the title with a 2:03.660 lap time. The No. 28 RS1 Porsche 911 GT3 R of Stevan McAleer and Eric Filgueiras didn’t trail Hull and Auberlen by much. McAleer’s Best Lap time was a 2:03.753 lap. New to the class is the No. 45 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R of Jan Heylen now paired with Madison Snow. They duo wasted no time making their prominence known. They rounded out the top three with a lap time of 2:03.822.
George Kurtz and co-driver Colin Braun topped the charts overall in the PRO-AM Class. Kurtz also held the fastest lap in the GT America powered by AWS series. Kurtz and Braun took the honors with a Best Lap time of 2:02.597. Daniel Morad was rejoined by Ziad Ghandour in the No. 9 TR3 Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 and back in the PRO-AM Class. They finished the session second overall with a lap of 2:03.081. Third overall was yet another PRO-AM entry, this time the No. 08 DXDT Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Bryan Sellers and Scott Smithson. Sellers posted a 2:03.632 lap time.
The AM Class returns with the No. 77 TR3 Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Paul Kiebler and Jon Branam entry. The duo had a clean session and posted a Best Lap of 2:05.209.
Let’s Go Racing
The day comes to completion following Practice Two set to start at 3:15 p.m. CT. Saturday, Aug. 19 kicks off with qualifying at 9:05 a.m. Race One goes green at 3:10 p.m. Both sessions on Saturday are streamed live on the GT World YouTube page. Join Ash Vandelay on Twitch for coverage of Race Two on Sunday, Aug. 20 at 2 p.m.