20 Nov Race Report: 24Hours of COTA
Winward Racing headed out to its home-track — Circuit of the Americas — for the Hankook 24-Hour race with a dominant driver lineup this past weekend. Throughout the event, all eyes were on the No. 433 Mobil 1 Mercedes-AMG GT4, as it was a dominant machine right out of the transporter.
The Mobil1 machine, piloted by drivers Russell Ward, Kris Wilson, Bryce Ward, and Philip Ellis, was fastest in first practice and night practice in the GT4 class. Once qualifying wrapped up, the No. 433 rocket was awarded the pole for the race.
“We were fast right off the bat,” said Russell Ward. “The car had a lot of pace, and the Winward guys did a great job setting it up. We continued that dominance all the way up to the race.”
At the drop of the green flag, the No. 433 fell back to fifth for the first hour of the event. By the end of the second hour, Winward Racing had taken back the lead position and ran with it. By the seventh hour, the No. 433 Mercedes-AMG was seven laps ahead of second place.
“I didn’t have a great start,” said Ward. “I made a mistake at the end of the hairpin…but throughout my stint, I managed to work my way back up. I lost four positions and gained them all back by the end of my stint. Then I handed the car over to Kris, and we really started pulling away from those guys.”
Unfortunately, the engine expired in the ninth hour of the event. Each driver was able to complete a stint as each shift was approximately two hours each.
Winward Racing couldn’t have completed this season without the dedication of our partners including Mercedes-AMG Motorsports, Michelin, Mobil1, IBERIABANK, KW Suspension, and Techemet. The team cannot thank IMSA and its partners enough for a great season. Additionally, the team would like to thank the 24H Series for putting on an excellent event at Circuit of the Americas.
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