Ian James Takes Team Panoz Racing Panoz Avezzano GT to GTS Pole in Pirelli World Challenge Qualifying Saturday at Sonoma Raceway

Top 6 qualifiers with 6 different auto makes in GTS action

SONOMA, Calif. – Veteran Ian James of Paradise Valley, Ariz., continued his impressive performance in the second half of the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge GTS class by provisionally taking his No. 50 Team Panoz Racing Panoz Avezzano GT sports car to the pole position during Saturday morning qualifying at Sonoma Raceway.

James, the English native, is a five-time 2017 GTS race winner with the all-new Panoz creation and posted his third pole of the year in the first-year machine. Currently second in the GTS point standings, James clocked a best lap of 1:39.951 (85.90 miles per hour) to easily better the old Sonoma Raceway GTS track qualifying record of 1:40.961 (85.04 m.p.h.) of Andy Lee set in 2015.

The top four in GTS qualifying bettered the old track mark and the top qualifiers were in six different auto makes – Panoz, KTM, Porsche, Chevrolet, Ginetta and Aston Martin.

“That was an exciting qualifying session there and we’re glad to grab pole position for today’s GTS race,” said James, a veteran in many worldwide sports car events. “The Panoz Avezanno is really well-suited to this track. The team has done a great job all weekend. It’s great to have Don Panoz here this weekend to support our effort. We are going into Race 1 today and hopefully will get another race victory. I’m looking forward to the race.”

Second in GTS qualifying Saturday was veteran Martin Barkey of Huntsville, Ont., Canada in the No. 80 Mantella Autosport KTM X-Bow GT4 at 1:40.390 (85.52 m.p.h.) followed by four-time 2017 race winner Rodrigo Baptista of Brazil in the No. 3 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR at 1:40.511 (85.42 m.p.h.), newly-crowned GTS champion Lawson Aschenbach of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., in the No. 10 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R. at 1:40.601 (85.34 m.p.h.) and 16-year-old Parker Chase of New Braunsfels, Tex., in the No. 19 Performance Motorsports Group Ginetta G55 at 1:40.970 (85.03 m.p.h.)

The leading GTS Am division driver Saturday and sixth overall was the personable Derek DeBoer of Ashland, Ore., in the No. 007 TRG-AMR Lasalle Solutions/BRM Chronograph/Auto LeafStar/Castrol/FastLife TV Aston Martin Vantage GT4 with a best lap of 1:41.518 (84.57 m.p.h.).

Placing second in the GTS Am category was point leader George Kurtz of Paradise Valley, Ariz., in the No. 04 CrowdStrike/GMG McLaren 570S at 1:42.361(83.87 m.p.h.) Kurtz now provisionally clinches the GTS Am drivers’ championship entering this afternoon’s Round 17 event set for 5:15 p.m. PDT.

GTS Round 18 is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 17, at 1:30 p.m. PDT. Both 50-minute races this weekend can be viewed live on www.motortrendondemand.com and www.world-challenge.com. All results are provisional until posted Final.


SONOMA, Calif. – Qualifying results for Saturday’s Pirelli World Challenge GTS 50-minute Round 17 event at the PWC Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. All results are provisional until posted Final.

Pos,PIC,Class,Name,Hometown,Car,Laps,Status,Fastest Lap Time,Fastest Lap Avg. Speed
1,1, Pro,Ian JAMES,Paradise Valley, AZ,Panoz Avezzano GT,1:39.951,85.9
2,2, Pro,Martin BARKEY,Huntsville, ON,KTM Xbow GT4,1:40.390,85.5
3,3, Pro,Rodrigo BAPTISTA,Sao Paulo, Brazil,Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR,1:40.511,85.4
4,4, Pro,Lawson ASCHENBACH,Palm Beach Gardens, FL,Chevrolet Camaro GT4,1:40.601,85.3
5,5, Pro,Parker CHASE,New Braunsfels, TX,Ginetta G55,1:40.970,85.0
6,1, Am,Derek DeBOER,Ashland, OR,Aston Martin Vantage GT4,1:41.518,84.5
7,6, Pro,Drew STAVELEY,Salt Lake City, UT,Ginetta G55,1:41.817,84.3
8,7, Pro,Nate STACY,Tulsa, OK,Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR,1:41.881,84.2
9,2, Am,George KURTZ,Paradise Valley, AZ,McLaren 570s GT4,1:42.361,83.8
10,8, Pro,Alex LLOYD,Livermore, CA,Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR,1:42.510,83.7
11,3, Am,Mark KLENIN,Lone Tree, CO,McLaren 570S GT4,1:43.195,83.2
12,4, Am,Tony GAPLES,Libertyville, IL,Chevrolet Camaro GT4,1:43.209,83.1
13,5, Am,Bob MICHAELIAN,Seal Beach, CA,SIN R1 GT4,1:43.273,83.1
14,6, Am,Frank GANNETT,Steamboat Springs, CO,Ginetta G55,1:43.554,82.9
15,7, Am,Carter YEUNG,Los Angeles, CA,Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR,1:44.813,81.9