Kurtz, Grossberg, Sherman win in GT America Race 1 at Sebring

A scorching sun beamed down over Sebring International Raceway and the on-track battles heated up in Race 1 in the GT America powered by AWS championship, with competitors getting their elbows out in an effort to claim important podium positions.

George Kurtz led from start to finish in the SRO3 class to claim the overall win. Alan Grossberg took the win in the GT2 class, and Isaac Sherman drove to victory in the GT4 class after completing a daring Lap 1 overtake.


George Kurtz started from pole position in his No. 04 Crowdstrike by Riley Mercedes-AMG GT3 and got a clean start as the green flag waved to kick off Race 1. Points leader Jason Daskalos followed in his mirrors in the No. 27 CRP Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3, attempting to keep the gap between the two of them minimal.


The battle for third was a heated one between Johnny O’Connell in the No. 3 SKI Autosports Audi R8 LMS GT3 and Justin Rothberg in the No. 29 Turner Motorsport BMW M4 GT3. Things got dicey in the last 15 minutes of the race as the battling duo encountered some GT4 class traffic. Both drivers made daring moves to pass the slower cars, dipping their wheels in the dirt in order to overtake. The advantage swung in O’Connell’s direction as he was able to utilize the opportunity to move up into third place with eight minutes remaining.

Kurtz continued his dominant drive all the way to the finish line, claiming his first victory of the season in triumphant fashion. Jason Daskalos accompanied him in second position, further extending his championship points lead. O’Connell completed the podium in third following his thrilling battle with Rothberg.

“It’s really satisfying, we had a great pace,” said Kurtz. “We’re coming off a bit of bad luck at Sonoma and we missed the race at Long Beach, so this is a really good win for us.”

Meanwhile, O’Connell could hardly contain his excitement coming out of the car. “That was so much fun! I knew I’d need a little bit of help to get this podium,” he said. “They had a little bit more out of the corner and all that. And I was hoping that when I cleared that guy (Rothberg) by going through the grass, that he wouldn’t be there, but he was! That was such beautiful racing and what a great young talent he is. That kid’s got a great future. We made our car a little bit better. We’re not where the two guys in front of us are yet, but tomorrow’s another day.”


Alan Grossberg, as the sole GT2 class entry this weekend, was entangled in some inter-class battles aboard his No. 102 TPC Racing Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo EVO2, but kept it smooth and steady as he powered through the bumpy track terrain.


There was action from the very start in the GT4 class, as polesitter Curt Swearingin, driving the No. 7 ACI Motorsports Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport, came under threat from Isaac Sherman in the No. 098 Rotek Racing Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport. Sherman applied pressure early, pulling off the overtake for first place by the end of the opening lap.

Sherman went on to power ahead for the remainder of the race, maintaining a four-second gap to keep the lead all the way to the checkered flag. He also set the CrowdStrike Fastest Lap of the race in the GT4 class, securing pole position for Sunday’s Race 2 in the process.

Swearingin completed the race to secure second-place, earning his second podium of the season. Gray Newell drove a strong and steady race to finish in third position, marking his fourth podium result thus far.

“Sebring is very technical and very bumpy,” said Sherman. “You have to know exactly where to position the car, even an inch can make the biggest difference. It kind of took me a little bit of time to get up to speed, but yesterday things started to click for me, and today we pulled off the win.”

If you can’t make it to Sebring, be sure to tune-in to SRO’s free live streams all weekend long on YouTube (GTWorld) and Twitch (SROMotorsports) and follow all the action through our social media channels and the event hashtag #GTSebring.


Story originally appeared on Racer