ST RACING BACK ON THE GT4 TOP STEP AT ROAD AMERICAadmin
ST Racing has secured its first Silver class win of the 2021 GT4 America season following a sensational run by Harry Gottsacker and Tyler Maxson in the #28 BMW M4 GT4.
Harry, the 2019 GT4 America West Pro-Am champion, and Tyler, the reigning TC America TCR-class champion, got their first start of the year with ST Racing off to a good start with the 3rd fastest time in-class during second qualifying. Heading into the weekend, both Tyler, who made his GT4 division debut this weekend, and Harry, who helped ST Racing secure the West Pro-Am Cup in 2019, had previously taken race wins around Road America.
Despite a character-building race one, in which the #28 BMW was nudged off-track early whilst battling for 10th overall, Tyler was on an impressive charge immediately in race two. Aided by the strength of the BMW M4’s straight-six up Road America’s vaunted main straight, Tyler, still only 16 years old, scythed through the field from 16th on the grid to 9th ahead of the team’s mandatory pit stop.
Alongside a rapid 92-second turnaround by ST Racing’s experienced team of mechanics, further time was saved when a full course caution was called shortly after Tyler arrived on pit road. Years of GT4 racing experience then allowed Harry, now up into 1st in-class but with a baying pack of competitors snapping at his heels, to retain the Silver division lead and collect the chequered flag at his home circuit.
This victory marks the first win in GT4 America for ST Racing since the team’s triumph last year at the Circuit of the Americas, its third triumph of 2020. Fittingly, the second of those wins was also at Road America, and all three were secured by Harry Gottsacker.
Samantha Tan, team co-owner: “After a tough first race for both our #28 and #38 M4 GT4s, we had a classic ST Racing comeback with Harry Gottsacker and Tyler Maxson winning race two in the Silver class. Bryson Lew and Tomas Mejia also had a stellar run with a notable top five finish in the same class. I’m so proud of the team and the boys for pulling through the adversities they faced this past weekend and bringing home another well-deserved win!”
Harry Gottsacker, driver (#28): “After a rough day on Saturday, it was great to get ST Racing back on the top of the podium at Road America! Tyler did an awesome job keeping us in the lead group, and a great pit stop from the crew got us out in front. It feels so special to win in front of my family at a home race for us.”
Tyler Maxson, driver (#28): “It was a great weekend for us and it was good to be back on track in a different type of car. We started race one in 14th but unfortunately contact sent us into the gravel trap early on. In race two, we started 16th and fared much better. I was able to keep within striking distance to the class leader and the team executed a perfect pitstop, which helped us jump to P1 in-class before the full course yellow flew. Harry drove an amazing stint after that to get the win. I want to give a huge thank you to Harry for allowing me to share the wheel with him and to the team for all their hard work over the weekend.”
This weekend’s event at Road America also marked the return of Bryson Lew to ST Racing after an extended, health-related hiatus. The 18-year-old was back behind the wheel of the Silver-class #38 BMW M4 GT4 alongside fellow Californian Tomas Mejia, and on a charge from the get-go.
In a fraught battle for position in race one, Bryson and Tomas competed against faster Porsche Caymans and Aston Martin Vantages for track position, a mature drive from both youngsters eventually securing 7th in the Silver class. Putting their ever-increasing knowledge of GT4 competition to good use in their maiden season, Tomas and the returning Bryson impressed yet further in race two, going nose-to-tail with four other Silver class competitors for a shot at their maiden GT4 podium. The #38 was eventually classified 5th in-class, just a few seconds shy of the podium in the pair’s strongest showing of the season thus far.
Bryson Lew, driver (#38): “This was a crazy weekend, testing every drivers ability to adapt to changeable weather conditions. It felt great to finally get back racing after a lengthy break. The first half of race one, we were able to gain nine positions but tyre degradation limited our full potential. In race two, we had the speed but full course cautions got in the way of a possible top three result in-class. Although we didn’t podium this weekend, we’ll be fighting stronger at the next round. Thanks to Samantha Tan Racing for all their hard work and hospitality!”
Tomas Mejia, driver (#38): “Road America was tricky for us. The team did an amazing job as always to put together such a good car, and we showed good speed at the beginning of the week. But we know we had a good shot at the podium this weekend and the results just didn’t come together in the end. After gaining some positions and saving the tyres to hand-off to Bryson on Sunday, full course cautions took those chances away. On the other hand, I’d like to give a huge congratulations to our sister car for taking the Silver class win!”
After a successful weekend at Road America, ST Racing continues its first international endurance racing program this weekend with the Hankook 24H BARCELONA at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. With two class wins already under its belt with CREVENTIC, the team’s #438 BMW M4 GT4 remains well in contention for the Overall GT Teams’ title.