RS1 completes perfect Sunday at Sebring with GT4 America win

Sunday was a perfect day for the RS1 team, who claimed the overall win in Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS earlier in the day. This time around in GT4 America, Eric Filgueiras and John Capestro-Dubets brought back some hardware of their own, taking the Silver class win.

Max Root and Tony Gaples claimed the Pro-Am win, in addition to finishing in the Top 5 overall. Paul Sparta and Kris Wilson put their heads down and clinched the Am win after a nail-biting 60-minute race.

Silver Class

Parker Thompson started on the front row in the No. 999 Hanley Motorsports Toyota Gazoo Racing GR Supra GT4 EVO, with Filgueiras and Michai Stephens occupying the second row in the No. 28 RS1 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport and the No. 23 TechSport Racing Nissan Z NISMO GT4. Stephens ran into some trouble in the opening corners, going wide and off-track, which left him tumbling down the order.


There was a fierce battle between Kenton Koch in the No. 97 Random Vandals Racing BMW M4 GT4 (G82) and Zac Anderson in the No. 51 AutoTechnic Racing BMW M4 GT4 (G82) for third place in the Silver class.

As the driver changes began to take place shortly before the halfway mark, Daniel Hanley took  over from Thompson and returned to the track in the class lead. A safety car emerged shortly after, bringing the field back together, and unleashing an intense multi-car fight that unfolded throughout the entire second half of the race.

Capestro-Dubets took over the Silver class lead for RS1 on the race start, and further moved himself into first place overall with 18 minutes remaining. Behind him, there was a very tight battle between four different competitors for the final podium positions. Colin Garrett continued to make moves in the AutoTechnic Racing machine, slotting himself into second in class after a series of successful overtakes. Meanwhile, Jonathan Neudorf was back in the mix in the TechSport Racing Nissan after making a strong comeback drive for the team.

Capestro-Dubets cruised to victory, clinching back-to-back victories for the RS1 team. Garrett and Neudorf kept each other honest for the final few laps and engaged in a drag race to the finish line. Garrett just managed to claim second place for AutoTechnic Racing, in addition to earning the SUPERFUEL Hard Charger Award after the team gained 10 positions overall. Neudorf took home third for TechSport Racing in a well-fought comeback drive.

“I really have to thank this team for this opportunity,” said Capestro-Dubets. “I couldn’t be happier to be driving alongside Eric Filgueiras. The racing has been great at every venue so far, and I think it’s going to get more exciting as we go down the road. Eric and I are ready for the challenge. The cars behind looked like they had some pace, but we got our Porsche out front and I was enjoying the view.”

Filgueiras expanded on the nature of the new driver pairing, saying, “I think we’ve had a lot of success so far. It’s a brand new program for us as teammates, but it’s kind of similar to what we’re used to here at RS1. It’s a fantastic organization. We’re really excited to have JCD along with us, we’re looking forward to more wins.”


Root took the green flag from the overall pole in his No. 9 Blackdog Speed Shop Nissan Z NISMO GT4, comfortably leading in the opening half of the race and gradually growing his gap. He maintained the overall lead for the entirety of his stint, extending his time on track as much as possible before handing over the car to teammate Gaples.

A safety car came out immediately after Gaples returned to the track, which brought the overall field back together for the race restart. Gaples, who still maintained the overall lead, fended off numerous Silver class competitors for numerous laps before settling into a solid rhythm for the remaining laps.

Gray Newell and James Walker Jr. were fighting hard for second place further behind in the No. 24 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 and the No. 82 BimmerWorld BMW M4 GT4 (G82), but it was Curt Swearingin who was making significant progress through the field in the second half of the race on board his No. 7 ACI Motorsports Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport. Swearingin soon moved up into podium position and began challenging Newell for second place.

Gaples thrived under pressure and crossed the finish line to take the race two win for Blackdog Speed Shop, with Root also securing the CrowdStrike Fastest Lap of the race with a time of 2m11.991s, as the only driver to go under the 2m12s mark.

Newell finished in second alongside teammate Roman De Angelis, but received a 5s post-race time penalty, which dropped them to third behind ACI Motorsports’ Kay van Berlo and Curt Swearingin.

When reflecting on Nissan’s first win in the series, Gaples elaborated by saying, “When you’re a veteran, it feels good to do it first. We’re proud to do this for Nissan and Blackdog Speed Shop, and I’m really proud to have Max with us.”

“This is really special,” echoed ] Root. “To be the first winner with Nissan in this series and to do it with Tony and Blackdog Speed Shop, it’s super special. Sebring is a bumpy place and Tony did a phenomenal job bringing it home for us today. I’m super proud of the whole team.”


Austin Krainz set sail in his No. 18 RS1 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport and never looked back, leaving the rest of the Am field to battle it out. The closest competitor behind him was Wilson in his No. 98 Random Vandals Racing BMW M4 GT4 (G82), who had his hands full with Matt Million in his No. 53 AutoTechnic Racing BMW M4 GT4. Eventually, Million got the better of Wilson and took over second place in class.

As drivers were coming down pit lane, Krainz handed over his machine to his father Roland. The No. 18 RS1 Porsche remained in the lead, with Paul Sparta closing on him in his Random Vandals Machine.

With 10 minutes remaining in the race, Krainz gave in to the pressure of Sparta, who took over the Am class lead. It was an intense last few laps as the No. 26 The Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 of Hannah Greenemeier was in the mix for a top spot on the podium.

Ultimately, Sparta remained in the lead until the checkered flag, earning Random Vandals Racing’s first win of the season. Krainz was able to hold on to second place for RS1, with The Heart of Racing team rounding off the podium.

“This is the best start to the season we’ve ever had and I was really getting tired of finishing second,” stated Paul Sparta. “They say one’s a lonely number. I don’t think it’s lonely, but the crew just executed perfectly all weekend.”

Up next

The Pirelli GT4 America field will return for round five at Circuit of The Americas from May 17-19, consisting of a unique three-hour race.


Story originally appeared on Racer