NASHVILLE, TN (August 5, 2023) – SKI Autosports scored its first overall GT America win of 2023 tonight, with veteran Johnny O’Connell putting his street racing experience to good use to dominate the field at the Music City Grand Prix.

After a few days of rain delays, the SKI Autosport Audi R8 started P3 in race one of the weekend. O’Connell made a barnstorming start to charge into second place in the first corner of the race and was able to take advantage of contact between rivals to go through into a lead that he never surrendered.

O’Connell’s victory came despite his car’s illuminated race position panel falling from the windshield and flashing inside the car for the majority of the race.

“it took a while for my fronts to come in, and that let Jason (Daskalos) get away from me, but we got a break.  Jason is probably a little bit stronger, but you have to take every opportunity,” O’Connell said.

“As the race went on, we got stronger and stronger, but I was having gearbox issues. However, the most difficult thing was that my driver ID light fell down in my car, and I was getting blinded every corner, so it was a huge challenge. 

“I’m just so happy for everybody at SKI. It’s a little bitty team with a 2015 car. I’m getting better, I’m not where I want to be, but I’m getting there.

“Kent and Melissa (Hussey) are awesome. They are not just passionate about cars but about motorsport. They have a bunch of my old Cadillacs, not mine, actually Andy’s (Pilgrim).  

“It’s the old ‘surround yourself with good people and good things happen.”

Today’s schedule was heavily disrupted by rain, with grid positions set by yesterday’s practice times.

O’Connell will have another chance to race for victory tomorrow when the second race of the weekend goes green at 3:50 pm (US Central Time)

Sunday, August 6, 2023
3:50 – 4:30    Race #2