Shift Up Now Athlete Erin Vogel earned seventh- and sixth-place finishes, respectively, on Saturday and Sunday at Sonoma Raceway in the first event of the 2022 Fanatec GT World Challenge America presented by AWS season.
Driving the No. 43 Acura NSX GT3 Evo22 for RealTime Racing (RTR) in the Pro-Am category, Vogel qualified the car Saturday morning in the rain. After the qualifying session, the team received a grid penalty due to the car’s boost levels exceeding BOP regulations. Vogel would start at the back for the first race later that day.
From the start, Vogel advanced through the field, narrowly missing an incident that could’ve been detrimental to her progress, and earning back her original starting spot of sixth place. A battle ensued with another Acura in seventh place and even though it overtook Vogel’s No. 43 car, she was satisfied with the seventh-place finish.
“We finished almost where we qualified,” said Vogel. “We qualified sixth, started thirteenth, I brought it back in, in sixth place, and then the two Acuras battled at the end there, and Farnbacher got by us. I think seventh is a good finish considering we had to claw our way from the back.”
Sunday brought sunshine and cooler temperatures for the second race of the double-header weekend. Vogel encountered the only full-course caution of the race, which enabled her to catch the rest of the Pro-Am cars but packed up the field behind her as well. She battled hard but lost a spot on the restart and would end up finishing the race in sixth place.
“I had a good battle at the end with the TR3 Lamborghini but he had more brakes than me at the end and was able to get by me in turn seven,” said Vogel. “I think this was a solid start and I’m really looking forward to a new track, The Ozarks, next month. We’ll see how the car is there and hopefully we’ll have a good weekend.”
The GT World Challenge America series heads to Missori next month for rounds three and four,
at Ozarks International Raceway on May 20-22, 2022. Both races will be streamed live online.