The GTD Pro field at the Northeast Grand Prix was kicked off by Ross Gunn in the #23 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3. He managed to establish an early lead, leaving behind Jack Hawksworth in the #14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 and Antonio Garcia in the Corvette Racing C8.R. In the non-Pro class, Mike Skeen in the #32 Korthoff Motorsports Mercedes AMG GT3 took the lead but faced immediate competition from Frederik Schandorff in the #70 Inception Racing McLaren 720S GT3 EVO. Although the two drivers made contact at the chicane, Skeen managed to maintain his lead. Meanwhile, Madison Snow, the GTD points leader, started from a disadvantageous position but impressively gained three positions in the #1 Paul Miller Racing BMW M4 GT3.
First Pit Cycle and Incident at Turn 1
As the first pit cycle began, Gunn initially maintained control of the GTD Pro class but ended up falling behind both Hawksworth and Garcia. About 30 minutes into the race, a major accident occurred at Turn 1, resulting in the first full-course caution. Alan Metni in the #91 Porsche 911 GT3 R attempted to overtake in the first corner but misjudged the braking point, causing a collision with Jarett Andretti’s #94 Aston Martin Vantage GT3. Metni managed to return to the pits with his damaged car, while Andretti came to a stop against the tire barrier, causing a FCY (full-course yellow). Many drivers took advantage of this yellow-flag period to pit, allowing Gunn to reclaim the lead and extend his advantage to over six seconds at one point. However, in the GTD class, Madison Snow’s team suffered a setback as they received a drivethrough penalty for pit contact, eliminating them from contention. As a result, Roman De Angelis in the #27 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3 took the lead in the GTD class, giving the team control over both classes with the #23 and #27 Astons.
Final Pit Stops and Intense Battles
With just over an hour remaining, the final set of green-flag pit stops began, leading to driver changes throughout the field. Another full-course yellow occurred when Brendan Iribe’s #70 McLaren crashed into the tire barriers near the pit entry. Green-flag racing resumed with 48 minutes left, with Alex Riberas now driving the No. 27 GTD Pro Aston. While Riberas took the overall lead, the #23 Aston, driven by Marco Sorensen, maintained its dominance in the GTD class. The #32 Mercedes, which had started from the GTD pole position, encountered a setback as Mikael Grenier spun through the infield grass, losing some time. At the front of the field, Riberas faced pressure from Ben Barnicoat in the Vasser Sullivan Lexus, who remained within striking distance with less than 30 minutes on the clock. A similar battle took place in the non-Pro class, with Sorensen defending his lead against his pursuers, who were less than a second behind. The No. 92 Kellymoss with Riley Porsche 911 GT3 R made an effort to catch up to Sorensen for the GTD class victory, but their left-front fender appeared to be loose, hindering their progress.
Heart of Racing Claims Victory
In the overall competition, Barnicoat made a mistake in Turn 1, giving Riberas a comfortable lead with five minutes remaining. No one was able to mount a significant challenge, allowing Heart of Racing to secure victory in both classes and claim the overall win at the Northeast Grand Prix.