Guy Cosmo and Chris Cagnazzi turned around their fortunes in their debut with Steve Cameron Racing in the SRO Pirelli GT4 America Series, taking fourth in Sunday’s second race of the season at Sonoma Raceway after being eliminated in the opening event.
“Overall, it was a great weekend,” Cosmo said. “We had our bad luck on Saturday, and got that off our back today. Chris had a really strong run this morning, finishing second in GT America. Then we were fourth in class in the SprintX race – and I believe that’s our best finish so far since teaming up last year. We wanted to be on the podium, but we’ll take fourth and push forward from there.”
Saturday’s season-opening SprintX Race 1 was cut short only four corners after the green flag due to an incident that eliminated Cagnazzi’s No. 39 Presido Mercedes-AMG GT4.
“Chris was hit by another car, who was swerving to avoid a crash in front of him and didn’t realize Chris was there,” Cosmo said. “Chris was an innocent bystander, with nowhere to go. Chris took a pretty good hit that tore up the left-rear suspension and the bumper. The team did a good job putting it back together. When something like this happens, you’ve got to have a short memory. You have to put all the bad stuff behind you, and focus forward and have as much fun as possible.”
The team quickly put the bad memories behind them on Sunday, beginning with a second-place finish for Cagnazzi driving the repaired car in the 40-minute companion SRO GT America powered by AWS race.
Cosmo then started sixth overall for the one-hour GT America GT4 SprintX round that featured an impressive 39-car field and raced to fourth in class ahead of a pit stop with 25 minutes remaining.
The Steve Cameron Racing team pulled off the second-fastest pit stop of the race while installing Cagnazzi behind the wheel. Cagnazzi rejoined the fray in sixth overall and fourth in class. Dicing through a frantic fight to the finish, Cagnazzi was able to bring the Mercedes home in fourth in Pro-Am.
Cagnazzi had mixed fortunes in the two 40-minute GT America races.
In Saturday’s opening race, he pitted on the first lap to serve a penalty that resulted from an incident in the season-opening round at St. Petersburg. That put him in 21st, with a big gap to the rest of the field. Cagnazzi patiently worked his way up the scoreboard. He was 16th with 30 minutes remaining, and 13th with 20 minutes left. A lengthy caution allowed him to catch back up, and he gained three positions in the remaining five minutes to finish ninth in class and 16th overall.
Cagnazzi had better luck on Sunday morning, coming back from a pair of slow starts to finish second. Starting on the pole, Cagnazzi was freight-trained at the initial start but was able to take the lead on the second lap. The race had two lengthy cautions. On the initial restart, Cagnazzi fell back to second, but the race went back to yellow only 90-seconds later. Cagnazzi held his own on the final restart with six minutes remaining, fighting off several challenges to claim the second step on the podium.
“Chris was hit by another car late in that race, so we had to do really quick repairs between the two races,” Cosmo explained. “The handling of the car wasn’t as good as it had been before, so we weren’t at our best in the SprintX race. I was battling understeer – the car didn’t handle as well as it did before. If we hadn’t had that contact this morning, we would have been stronger. But it is what it is, and we did the best with what we had. We’ll take it.”
Currently, the next race on the SRO schedule for the team will be at VIRginia International Raceway on June 17-19. The team expects to miss the next event, the first race at Ozarks International Raceway in Varvois Mills, Missouri, on May 20-22.
Source. Sunday Group
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