PWC Grand Prix of Lime Rock powered by M Comes to the Northeast With Annual Memorial Weekend Sports Car Classic May 25-28
Stellar field of race cars set to battle on tight 1.5-mile Lime Rock road course
LAKEVILLE, Conn. – The popular GT and GTS SprintX Rounds 5 and 6 will headline the famed Lime Rock Park road circuit this weekend (May 25-28) when all eight Pirelli World Challenge categories compete in the annual Memorial Weekend sports car classic, the PWC Grand Prix of Lime Rock powered by M.
The tight 1.5-mile, seven-turn permanent track in northwest Connecticut has attracted a strong field of PWC racers in a doubleheader race weekend on Saturday (May 26) and Monday (May 28). The Monday action marks the first time since 2011 that racing has taken place on Memorial Day at Lime Rock Park. The eight divisions — GT/GTA/GT Cup SprintX, GTS/GTSA SprintX, TCR, TC and TCA – bring some of the most competitive sports car racing in North America including the exotic machines in GT and GTS action.
Racing action begins Friday with all PWC classes taking to the Lime Rock Park road course including practice and qualifying rounds in the TCR, TC and TCA classes and practice for the GT and GTS SprintX categories.
All Pirelli World Challenge races this weekend will be live streamed on www.world-challenge.com, and eight feature races will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network; the GT SprintX weekend will be televised on CBS Sports Network on June 3 at 2:00 p.m. EDT.
GT SprintX fight includes Ferrari, Bentley, Mercedes, Porsche — GT SprintX Preview
The GT SprintX competition in Rounds 1 – 4 have already seen the likes of Ferrari, Bentley and Mercedes-AMG in victory lane and the Porsche teams just a step away of the victory lane celebration in the Pirelli World Challenge races at Circuit of the America (COTA, March 23-25) and VIRginia International Raceway (VIR, April 27-29).
At COTA, Toni Vilander of Finland and Miguel Molina of Spain were impressive with the double win weekend in the opening GT SprintX 60-minute events in the No. 61 R. Ferri Motorsport Ferrari 488 GT3.
At VIR, it was the No. 3 K-PAX Racing Bentley Continental GT3 pairing of GTA racer Rodrigo Baptista of Brazil and Maxime Soulet of Belgium with the Round 3 overall victory followed by the No. 80 Lone Star Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 duo of Mike Skeen and Scott Heckert both of Charlotte, N.C., with the triumph in Round 4.
Canadian Scott Hargrove, the current GT Overall point leader, must be listed as a contender at Lime Rock Park with his teammate Wolf Henzler in the No. 96 Pfaff Motorsports/Castrol Porsche 911 GT3 R. Hargrove and Henzler trail the Vilander/Molina combo by just two points in the current GT SprintX points.
Also a challenging team at Lime Rock Park is the Porsche Pro-Pro pair of Denmark’s Michael Christensen and Atlanta’s Spencer Pumpelly in the No. 24 Alegra Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R. Christensen is a worldwide endurance star and Pumpelly was a GT SprintX winner last year at Lime Rock Park.
Recent CTMP GT Sprint race winner Daniel Morad of Toronto, Ont. Canada, is third in the overall GT standings in the No. 2 CRP Racing/DeVilbiss Mercedes-AMG GT3 teams with Germany’s Fabian Schiller this weekend.
The 2016 GT Sprint champion Alvaro Parente of Portugal returns to Lime Rock Park after a superb winning drive last week at CTMP in the No. 9 K-PAX Racing Bentley Continental GT3. Parente is a two-time GT Sprint winner at Lime Rock Park (2016) and survived a spectacular incident in the streets of St. Petersburg last month when his race car lost its brakes on the back straightaway. This weekend, Parente with co-drive with factory Bentley driver Andy Soucek of Spain in the Pro-Pro class.
With GT SprintX Pro-Am champion James Sofronas moving to the GTS division in 2018, a strong lineup of professional and amateur drivers come to Lime Rock Park with GTA star Baptista and Soulet as the Pro-Am favorites at Lime Rock Park.
Veteran GT racer Ryan Dalziel of Scotland has proven to be a strong GT SprintX racer with two wins last year and now teams with 17-year-old driver Parker Chase of New Braunfels, Tex., in the No. 19 TruSpeed Audi R8 LMS. Chase recently scored his first PWC win at CTMP, taking the GTA Sprint event.
The No. 31 TR3 Racing/Ferrari of Vancouver Ferrari 488 GT3, a three-time 2017 GT SprintX winning machine, competes in the Pro-Am class this weekend with drivers Jeff Segal of Miami, Fla., and Wei Lu of Vancouver, B.C., Canada. Segal took the overall pole at COTA in March.
Veteran Tim Pappas of Boston, Mass., and Jeroen Bleekemolen of Monte Carlo, return to Lime Rock Park in the fast No. 54 Black Swan Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R in the Pro-Am division after the Black Swan team was third overall in the 12 Hours of Bathurst in Australia earlier this year.
Long Beach GTA class winner, Yuki Harata of Japan, is a contender in the No. 55 Dream Racing Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan GT3 to VIR, with pro driver Alessandro Bressan of Italy. The 2016 GTA champion Martin Fuentes of Mexico City, Mex., a double Am-Am race winner at COTA, will be the leading contender in the Am-Am division this week as he co-drives with Caesar Bacarella of Miami, Fla., in the No. 07 Squadra Corse Garage Italia Ferrari 488 GT3.
Ryan Hardwick will drive solo in GT Cup SprintX this weekend in the No. 27 Dream Racing Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo.
The GT SprintX field will compete this weekend with two 60-minute races on Saturday (May 26) at 11:45 a.m. EDT and Monday (May 28) at 11:25 a.m. EDT in the GT Pro/Pro, Pro/Am and Am/Am categories as well as GT Cup.
Point leaders Sofronas/Welch top 35-car field Lime Rock Park field – GTS SprintX Preview
The solid 35-car GTS SprintX lineup is set for this weekend’s Lime Rock Park and, as usual, the wild wheel-to-wheel, bumper-to-bumper action should thrill the racing fans on Saturday and Monday.
Leading the field will be the two-time race winning pair of GTS overall point leader James Sofronas teaming again with Am racer Alex Welch in the No. 14 GMG Racing Audi R8 LMS machine after an impressive 60-minute victories at COTA and VIR.
Another duo to look for is defending and three-time GTS champion Lawson Aschenbach in the No. 1 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R as Aschenbach, a GTS four-time sprint race winner in 2018, co-drives with former PWC GT champion Andy Pilgrim of Bowling Green, Kent. Lawson and Andy have six PWC series titles between them.
The second Blackdog Speed Shop team car features 2017 GT SprintX Pro-Pro champion Michael Cooper pairing with veteran Tony Gaples in the No. 11 Camaro GT4.R.
Other challengers at Lime Rock will include the No. 13 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR with former SprintX race winner Kyle Marcelli and Orey Fidani. defending GTS Sprint champion George Kurtz and endurance racing star Colin Braun will co-drive the No. 04 CrowdStrike/GMG Audi R8 LMS. Also watch the duo of Mark Klenin and former SprintX race winner Max Riddle in the No. 62 KPR/Premiere Copier McLaren 570S, and Vinnie Allegretta and J.R. Pesek in the No. 10 PF Racing Ford Mustang GT4 in the Pro-Am division.
The other PF Racing team cars at Lime Rock Park are the team of Jade Buford, who won COTA in March, and Patrick Gallagher in the No. 55 Ford Mustang GT4 and the No. 40 Ford Mustang GT4 of James Pesek and Indy Lights driver Shelby Blackstock.
Teenager and recently-awarded Eagle Scout Harry Gottsacker of Texas won a pole and finished second in the Pro-Am class at COTA and could be a contender at Lime Rock Park GTS SprintX 60-minute races with the No. 69 Racers Edge SIN R1 GT4.
Six-time 2017 GTS race winner Ian James and Matt Keegan in the No. 50 Panoz Avezzano GT are in the challenger role this weekend in the Pro-Am division as well as the Classic BMW squad of Pro-Am entrants Justin Raphael/Steven McAleer in the No. 17 Raphael & Associates BMW M4 GT4. Raphael and McAleer finished second at COTA.
Other top GTS SprintX lineups for the Lime Rock Park doubleheader will include Gar Robinson and Shane Lewis in the No. 74 Robinson Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4; GT race winner Ryan Eversley and Adam Merzon in the No. 23 Caseit Racing by Flying Lizard Audi R8 LMS and Ray Mason and 2017 TC champion Paul Holton in the No. 78 Compass Racing McLaren 570S.
Another Classic BMW entry finds team leader Toby Grahovec, the former TC series champion, teaming with Chris Ohmacht in the No. 92 Fast Track Racing BMW M4 GT4 in the GTS Am category along with recent CTMP GTSA winner Drew Staveley in the No. 12 Ian Lacy Racing Ginetta, G55, Derek DeBoer and Sean Gibbons in the No. 66 TRG Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR and Panoz driver Preston Calvert in the No. 51 Team Panoz Racing Panoz Avezzano GT.
Several strong BMW combinations this weekend at Lime Rock Park will be with the ST Racing squad with veteran Nick Wittmer and college student Samantha Tan in the No. 38 ST Racing BMW M4 GT4 and Harvard-bound Aurora Straus and Al Carter in the No. 36 ST Racing BMW M4 GT4. Straus and Carter won the GTS Am division at COTA. Straus also teamed with Jon Miller at VIR for the victory.
Single driver GTSA entries this weekend will include Jason Bell in the No. 2 GMG Racing Audi R8 LMS, a GTSA winner last year, Jeff Burton in the No. 19 Rearden Racing Audi R8 LMS; Frank Gannett in the No. 24 Ian Lacy Racing Ginetta G55; Steve Burns in the No. 43 VP Racing Fuels/Lacy Racing Ginetta G55; veteran Mike Hedlund in the No. 45 Flying Lizard Motorsport Audi R8 LMS; Mark Pavan in the No. 54 Racers Edge Motorsports SIN R1 and Nicolai Eighanayan in the No. 71 Marco Polo Motorsports Porsche Cayman GT Clubsport MR. \
Eversley Leads TCR Points with Honda Civic Type-R at Lime Rock Park – TCR Preview
The popular debut of the all-new TCR touring car class this year has seen five TCR auto makers – Alfa Romeo, Audi, Honda, Hyundai and Volkswagen – putting on some outstanding racing with the new “hatchback” sedans in the 40-minute sprint competition.
Veteran Ryan Eversley of Atlanta, Ga., currently holds an eight-point lead through the first four rounds including a victory at VIR in the RealTime Racing Honda Civic Type-R TCR. But hot on his heels is Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb/Agajanian Hyundai i30 N TCR cars with three 2018 victories from Mark Wilkins of Canada (2) and California’s Michael Lewis (1).
The strong effort of the FCP Euro by HRD team with drivers Michael Hurczyn and Nate Vincent in the No. 71 and 72 Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR is another potential winning combination at Lime Rock this weekend.
The Audi Sport RS3 LMS contingent brings four entries to VIR with Jerimy Daniel in the No. 2 The Racing Company Audi Sport RS3 LMS, Anthony Geraci in the No. 69 Heinlein Racing Development Audi Sport RS3 LMS, 2017 TCA champion Matt Fassnacht in the No. 74 Fooji/Murillo Racing Audi Sport RS3 LMS and youngster J.T. Coupal in the No. 78 Compass Racing Audi Sport RS3 LMS.
Two Volkswagen entries will be Brian Ortiz of Puerto Rico in the No. 18 Copeland Motorsports/Tilton Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR, and TC race winner Mason Filippi in the No. 12 TFB Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR.
Point Leader Kozarov Leads TC Field at Lime Rock Park – TC Preview
Vesko Kosarov, the veteran racer from Salt Lake City, Utah, currently leads the TC point standings entering this weekend’s Lime Rock park doubleheader with his No. 3 Reardon Racing Nissan 370Z TC Spec.
Three other Nissan 370Z TC Spec will be battling Kozarov in the TC doubleheader including recent VIR race winner Steve Steimer in the No. 23 TechSport Racing Nissan, Paul Terry in the No. 33 Reardon Racing Nissan 370Z TC Spec and Steve Bottom in the No. 58 Nissan 370Z TC Spec.
The BMW M235iR delegation will bring a strong lineup to VIR in the TC category led by recent VIR race winner Johan Schwartz in the No. 80 Rooster Hall Racing BMW M235iR as well as second in TC points, Karl Wittmer in the No. 91 Classic BMW BMW M235iR, Jacob Rudd in the No. 81 Winding Road Racing BMW M235iR, Robert Nimkoff in the No. 20 AutoTechnic Racing BMW M235iR; Matt Travis in the No. 26 Classic BMW BMW M235iR; Jayson Clunie in the No. 27 Classic BMW BMW M235iR; and Mark Brummond in the No. 02 AutoTechnic Racing BMW M235iR.
Rounding out TC entries are veteran Jeff Ricca in the No. 78 GenRacer Genesis Coupe, Randy Hale in the No. 17 Hale Motorsports Mazda MX5 TC Spec, Nicolai Eighanayan in the No. 92 Marco Polo Motorsports Lotus Exige and Joshua Foran in the No. 93 Team HMA Honda Civic.
Subaru, Honda, Mazda, VW Fight it out in TCA at Lime Rock Park – TCA Preview
The TCA class could be a real shootout with strong efforts with Subaru, Honda, Mazda and Volkswagen machinery.
Topping the Subaru contenders at Lime Rock Park will be two-time race winner Eric Powell in the No. 95 TechSport/BRZHQ.com/P2P Subaru BRZ tS sedan along with 2017 TCB champion P.J. Groenke in the No. 25 TechSport Racing Subaru BRZ tS; Breton Williams in the No. 22 TechSport Racing Subaru BRZ tS; Spencer Patterson in the No. 79 TechSport Racing Subaru BRZ tS and 2017 TCA Rookie of the Year Jeff Sexton in the No. 89 TechSport Racing Subaru BRZ tS.
Tom O’Gorman, also a two-time TCA winner, heads up the Honda entries this weekend in the No. 94 TOMO Racing/HPD/GRIDLIFE Honda Civic Si.
The Mazda Global MX-5 Cup cars have a strong lineup with multi-time 2017 race winner Kenny Murillo in the No. 24 Fooji/Murillo Racing Mazda as well as Jenny Gannett in the No. 10 Ian Lacy Racing Mazda and Moisey Uretsky of Russia in the No. 55 Murillo Racing Mazda.
Veteran Travis Washay returns to Lime Rock Park in the No. 30 Indian Summer Racing Volkswagen Golf GTI.
1.5-mile, 7-turn permanent road circuit
Qualifying: (All times listed are EDT)
Friday, May 25, 2018
3:40 PM – 3:55 PM Pirelli World Challenge – TCA
4:00 PM – 4:15 PM Pirelli World Challenge – TCR
5:30 PM – 5:50 PM Pirelli World Challenge TC
Saturday, May 26, 2018
2:25 PM – 2:45 PM Pirelli World Challenge – GTS Sprint X
3:00 PM – 3:20 PM Pirelli World Challenge GT SprintX
Races: (All times listed are EDT)
Live Internet Telecast (on www.world-challenge.com):
Saturday, May 26, 2018
10:50 AM – 11:30 AM Pirelli World Challenge – TCR/TCA Round 5 Race (40 minutes)
12:45 PM – 1:25 PM Pirelli World Challenge – Touring Car Round 5 Race (40 minutes)
3:35 PM – 4:15 PM Pirelli World Challenge – TCR/TCA Round 6 Race (40 minutes)
5:15 PM – 5:55 PM Pirelli World Challenge – Touring Car Round 5 Race (40 minutes)
Monday, May 28, 2018 (All times listed are EDT)
9:55 AM – 10:55 AM Pirelli World Challenge – GTS SprintX Round 5 Race (60 minutes)
11:25 AM – 12:25 PM Pirelli World Challenge – GT SprintX Round 5 Race (60 minutes)
2:25 PM – 3:25 PM Pirelli World Challenge – GTS SprintX Round 6 Race (60 minutes)
4:05 PM – 5:05 PM Pirelli World Challenge – GT SprintX Round 6 Race (60 minutes)
60 minutes (GT SprintX, GTS SprintX)
40 minutes (TCR/TC/TCA)
Television (on CBS Sports Network): All times listed re: CBS broadcasts are Eastern.
GT SprintX: June 3, 2:00 p.m.
GTS SprintX: TBA
TCR/TCA: June 10, 1 p.m.
TC, June 10, 12 p.m.