Chris Walsh demonstrates patience and determination across the weekend at Circuit of the Americas
Over the weekend Chris Walsh, Step One Motorsports ambassador, hit the track deep in the heart of Texas – Austin, Texas, to be specific – at Circuit of the Americas. This circuit also plays host to series such as Formula 1 and MotoGP and stuns with its elevation change up to turn one, a variety of turn types modeled after several race tracks, and a standout 251-foot tall observation tower that provides attendees with a 360-degree view of the track and its surroundings. The 19-turn circuit is 3.427 miles (5.513 kilometers) in length, providing plenty of opportunities for overtaking. This, in combination with hot temperatures well-known for this area of the United States, was a challenge that Walsh stepped into with confidence.
Off the track, it was a special weekend as wear blue: run to remember, a nonprofit organization that is partnered with Walsh and his No. 96 car and is dedicated to honoring fallen service members through active remembrance, welcomed 50 guests. This included almost 20 children in their Gold Star Youth Membership program, as well as their mentors, who are from nearby Joint Base San Antonio. wear blue is dedicated to helping family members of fallen U.S. military members navigate their grief. They have had a presence at each GT4 America race weekend in 2023 but this was an especially poignant time for the guests to have joined Walsh with Memorial Day just around the corner, a day which is set aside to honor the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. Military.
On the track, this weekend proved to be tough as Walsh found he and the team were unable to get his Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 car where it needed to be in terms of setup, which affected the overall pace. Saturday’s qualifying sessions saw Walsh and his co-driver secure P8 out of eight spots in the Silver Class ahead of the two races to come. In race one later that day, Walsh made several fantastic passes on track throughout his 30-minute stint, showcasing his fantastic race craft. Upon the end of race one, the no. 96 car crossed the line in the same position in which it qualified, with set-up changes imminent, the goal of improving the car’s pace in race two clear. The damp weather conditions on Sunday provided an added element of intrigue and uncertainty to the hour-long race to come, however, it ended up proving to be relatively straightforward during the first stint of the race driven by Starkweather, Walsh’s co-driver. However, when Walsh jumped into the car, an incident ahead of him involving three cars brought out the safety car and a caution period just after he had begun his green flag running. Unfortunately, the race ended under caution, reducing racing action within his 30 minutes to almost zero. The Valkyrie Velocity driver crossed the line and was classified in P4, bringing home eight points for his individual efforts. It was evident across the weekend that Walsh possesses immense patience and determination, which will surely reward him on track in the season to come.
Walsh’s next round with GT4 America will take place at the well-known Virginia International Raceway in Alton, VA over the weekend of 16-18 June 2023.