GT3, GT4 Entries Grow with Race-winning International Teams for California 8-Hour GT Race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
Teams from Australia, Germany join U.S. squads for Intercontinental GT Challenge
SALINAS, Calif. – Several international racing teams have filed entries along with more United States contingents for the upcoming California 8-Hour SRO International GT Challenge event set for Oct. 13-15 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Featuring GT3 and GT4 homologated sports cars in the third of the four-race International GT Challenge series, the California 8-Hour SRO entry list has gained efforts from Australia and Germany in addition to more United States squads ready to do battle on the legendary 2.238-mile, 11-turn circuit in the Monterey Bay area.
The California 8-Hour SRO event marks the inaugural event in North America for the SRO International GT Challenge series which debuted last year in four continents. This year, the events started in Australia in February with the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12-Hour event followed by the Total 24 Hours of Spa in July and the tour finale is set for December 9 with the Motul Sepang 12-hour classic.
The Audi Sport Team Land from Germany comes to MRLS after winning this year’s 24 Hours of Nürburgring in the No. 29 Land Audi RS 8 LMS GT3 sports car with a trio of top drivers including American Connor De Phillippi of San Clemente, Calif., and Christopher Mies and Christopher Haase, both of Germany. De Phillippi, 24, was a multi-time karting champion, a promising USA open-wheel racer and the 2016 ADAC GT Master Overall Champion. Mies and Haase combined to captured the 2019 FIA GT3 European championship.
Joining the entry lineup for the eight-hour contest set to begin at 9:30 am PDT on Sunday, Oct. 15, are two entries from Australia-based MARC Cars Australia Mazda operation with Keith Kassulke and Morgan Haber in the No. 93 machine and Jake Camilleri and Nicholas Rowe in the No. 94 car. Both entries will add drivers to the lineups in the near future. The No. 94 entry won the Invitational Class at this year’s Bathurst 12-Hour event in Australia.
Coming from the North American-based Pirelli World Challenge road racing series in the California 8-Hour SRO contest will be the veteran team of Tim Pappas, Jeroen Bleekemolen and David Calvert-Jones in the potent No. 54 Black Swan Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 machine. Pappas and Bleekemolen finished third in this year’s PWC SprintX Pro/Am division including a victory at VIR and three runner-up placings.
In the GT4 division at MRLS, the Utah team of Ian Lacy Racing has entered the No. 12 Ginetta G55 with Drew Staveley, Frank Gannett and Lacy at the wheel. Staveley has been impressive in the Ginetta G55 this year with a pole position and a couple of second-place finishes in the GTS class in the Pirelli World Challenge series. Gannett scored a second this year in the GTS Am division also.
More California 8-Hour SRO race entries will continue to be announced each week leading into the Oct. 13-15 weekend.
The California 8-Hour SRO event will begin Friday, Oct. 13, at 11 a.m. PDT with a practice round and pre-qualifying set for 3:20 p.m. PDT. Saturday will feature qualifying at 10:45 a.m. PDT and Super Pole qualifying at 1:40 p.m. PDT. The eight-hour race starts Sunday at 9:30 a.m. PDT and concludes at 5:30 p.m. PDT.
In addition, Round 11 and 12 of the Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car classes – TC, TCA and TCB – will be in action on Oct. 13-14 with two TC 40-minute races set for Saturday at 9:50 a.m. PDT and 4:00 p.m. PDT. The two events for TCA and TCB will take place Saturday 9:00 a.m. PDT and 2:05 p.m. PDT.