Anthony Bartone (Miami, Fla.) and Andy Pilgrim (Miami, Fla.) will drive a pair of Bartone Bros Racing with RealTime GT3 cars in the 2023 GT America Powered by AWS Championship kicking off with the St. Petersburg Grand Prix, March 3-5.
The duo of Bartone and Pilgrim are moving into the GT America Championship full time in 2023 where they will pilot new Mercedes-AMG GT3 cars in the two, 40-minute races in each of the nine race weekends. This will be Bartone’s first full season in a sports car racing series under the tutelage of teammate Pilgrim who is a 2005 World Challenge GT Champion.
The cars will be prepared by RealTime Racing which boasts 101 World Challenge wins and will run under the Bartone Bros Racing with RealTime banner.
In 2022 Bartone and Pilgrim raced Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport cars in SRO World Challenge GT4 America, GT Celebration, and International GT events, posting wins and podium finishes. The duo is now ready for a full season of GT America competition.
“I am looking forward to running with Andy in my first full season of professional racing,” Bartone said. “My goals are simple, go faster every race without too much worry about finishing positions to start. If I focus on my driving, learn from Andy, and work with the RealTime team, I feel, the results will come.
“We had the opportunity to test at Sebring a few weeks back. The Mercedes-AMG GT3 car is big step up from the Porsche Cayman GT4 we raced last year. The Mercedes-AMG GT3 has a lot more downforce and braking ability. I felt more comfortable in the GT3 car than I felt in the GT4. The Mercedes-AMG GT3 is very confidence inspiring.”
For Pilgrim he is returning to World Challenge racing where he has competed driving Cadillacs, Porsches, and Ferraris. Pilgrim has known Anthony’s father Tony, an NHRA racing legend, since the 1990’s.
“I’ve known Tony since before Anthony was born,” Pilgrim said. “I’ve been working with Anthony for about 18 months. When he showed up the lad had zero experience on any track, no karts, no motorcycles, nothing. His pace and race craft progressed impressively throughout 2022. I’ve leveraged my nearly 40 years of racing relationships to bring all the pieces together with people like P.D. Cunningham and his RealTime team as well as engineer Jim Bell. I am honored that Tony enlisted me to help mentor his son. He has shown a lot of early speed in the Mercedes-AMG GT3 car and I am excited to see him continue his growth.
“We tested at Sebring and Anthony was immediately comfortable in the Mercedes-AMG GT3 car. The Bartone Bros Racing with RealTime crew, headed by Nathan Bonneau, had me in the car for a four hour stretch at one time making adjustments and setting up the car. The car is still somewhat new to us, but Anthony is a special talent, and we have the pieces in place to have a good year. It’s a pinch me, I must be dreaming or completely nuts moment, at 66 years old, to have the chance to run another full season in such a high-level series.”
The team will take part in the official SRO America test at NOLA Motorsports Park in Louisiana, Feb. 22-23.
The first official event will be the St. Petersburg Grand Prix, March 3-5. The 14-turn, 1.79-mile street circuit that encompasses a portion of city streets, 1st Street and Bayshore Drive, as well as the main runway of the Albert Whitted Airport.
Source. Kyle Chura
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