SAUKVILLE, Wisc. (May 30, 2023) – RealTime Racing will make the move to the Pro-Am category of the Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS beginning at VIRginia International Raceway, June 16 – 18. Pro driver Adam Christodoulou will join Anthony Bartone in the No. 43 Mercedes-AMG GT3.
Christodoulou is a veteran sports car driver who has raced in the world’s most prestigious endurance events, including two wins at the Nürburgring 24 Hours. The Brit has a decade of experience with Mercedes in GT3 racing and his gold driver rating will bump RealTime up to the Pro-Am category.
“We entered 2023 knowing it would be a dynamic year for Anthony [Bartone],” driver coach Andy Pilgrim, who shared the driving duties with Bartone for the opening six races said. “He was very comfortable in the Mercedes from our first test at Sebring back in January. After his performance at St. Pete, we immediately added the SRO Fanatec GT World Challenge America series to get him more track time. He has done a superb job running in the Am class with me and now is a good time to step up to Pro-Am; that’s where Adam Christodoulou comes in. Adam is not only a fast driver who knows the Mercedes, he’s also a great instructor who can communicate what the car is doing and what Anthony needs to do to keep progressing behind the wheel.”
Bartone’s impressive pace netted him a win in only his fourth GT America powered by AWS race at Sonoma Raceway in April. His lap times in Fanatec GT World Challenge America show he is on par with the top Am-category drivers.
“My dad and I rely on Andy [Pilgrim] to guide us in this sports car racing world,” Bartone said. “Andy has worked with me from my very first time on any racetrack, in a stick shift Corvette street car, back in Bowling Green, KY. His patience, professionalism, and friendship have brought me a long way over the last two years and I’m ready for this next step and very excited to work with Adam [Christodoulou] at VIR.”
Christodoulou hasn’t raced in the U.S. since 2018 but has plenty of experience at the tracks on the remainder of the SRO schedule, except for one track, which happens to be RealTime’s home track.
“This will be my Fanatec GT World Challenge America debut and I am really looking forward to it,” Christodoulou said. “I already know two of the circuits, VIR and Sebring, but Road America is actually a new track to me. I can’t wait to go around that place, I have heard some brilliant things about it, and it has been a track I have always wanted to go to. I have always loved racing in the U.S., and VIR, where we will get started, was always one of my favorites. I always felt like it was an old school circuit with not much room for error and high-speed twists.”
For the first three events of the Fanatec GT World Challenge America, RealTime has been the sole Am-Am entry and while a default class win in every race certainly fills out the trophy case, RealTime is eager to show it can fight for podiums in the highly competitive Pro-Am field.
“Anthony’s progress this year has been phenomenal,” RealTime Racing Team Owner Peter Cunningham said. “While initially we were just looking to get him some extra track time with the Fanatec entry, he’s proven he’s ready to compete against the best. Andy Pilgrim is a class act for recognizing that his pupil needed to take the next step and bring in a decorated Pro like Adam [Christodoulou]. We’re all very eager to start working with him at VIR.”
The Fanatec GT World Challenge America and GT America rounds at VIR will take place June 16 – 18 and be streamed live on www.youtube.com/@GTWorld.