LEXINGTON, Ohio – The Pirelli World Challenge’s GT/GTA, GT Cup presented by MOMO, and GTS classes head to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, July 31-August 2 as the series’ 2015 season heads into the homestretch. Over 50 drivers across four of the series’ seven classes will compete in the StopTech Grand Prix at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course presented by MOMO. GT/GTA drivers will compete in Rounds 14 and 15 of the championships, while GT Cup competitors will race Rounds 12 and 13. GTS competitors will race Rounds 11 and 12.
The World Challenge series first competed at Mid-Ohio in 1994 and this season’s visit marks the 18th time PWC competitors will race at the 13-turn, 2.258 mile road course. With 2015 being the inaugural season for GT Cup, this is the first time the class will compete at Mid-Ohio.
Pirelli World Challenge GT: Beretta Continues to Lead in Class, Can Dalziel Repeat His 2014 Performance to Close the Gap?
Olivier Beretta, of Monte Carlo, Monaco in the No. 61 Ferrari of Ontario/Toronto/Alberta Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia, comes into the Mid-Ohio weekend continuing to lead, as he has done for a good portion of the season, in GT drivers’ points (1125) after scoring a 3rd, 24th and a 4th in the three races at Road America. Beretta has recorded three wins on the season and he makes his first PWC series start at Mid-Ohio. The former F1 pilot has raced at Mid-Ohio before with another sports car racing series.
Beretta leads over Ryan Dalziel, of Windermere, Fla., who scored a 24th, 3rd and 2nd at Road America. Last year, Dalziel swept the weekend at Mid-Ohio winning both races. He will pilot the No. 31 EFFORT Racing/World PMO Porsche 911 GT3 R. Dalziel has four runner-up finishes, three thirds and a fourth place finish in 13 races and he’ll look to get his first win of the season at Mid-Ohio. Dalziel’s teammate Michael Lewis, of Laguna Beach, Calif., was promoted from the GTA class to GT at Barber and sits 9th overall in the standings. He will drive the No. 41 EFFORT Racing/Curb-Agajanian Porsche 911 GT3 R.
Johnny O’Connell, of Flowery Branch, Ga., comes into the weekend third in GT Drivers’ Championship points with 1009. O’Connell had a 7th and two 8th place finishes at Road America to stay within striking distance of both Beretta and Dalziel. He’ll pilot the No. 3 Cadillac Racing Cadillac ATS-V.R. O’Connell’s teammate, Andy Pilgrim, of Boca Raton, Fla., in the No. 8 Cadillac Racing Cadillac ATS-V.R, has had a hard luck 2015 season and sits 17th overall in GT.
Kevin Estre, of Lochau, Austria, in the No. 9 K-PAX Racing with Flying Lizard Motorsports McLaren 650S GT3, enters the weekend 4th in the drivers’ standings with 972. After winning at Detroit, Estre had a disappointing Road America and will look to change that making his first career start at Mid Ohio. Teammate Robert Thorne, of Littleton, Colo. will pilot the No. 6 K-PAX Racing McLaren 650S GT3 Thorne finished second to his teammate Estre in Round 7 at Barber (Thorne’s best result thus far of the season).
JD Davison, of St. Petersburg, Fla., in the No. 33 AE/Replay XD Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 sits 5th overall in the GT Championship coming into Mid-Ohio after scoring his second win of the season at Road America. Davison’s previous experience at Mid-Ohio includes a 15th place IndyCar series finish in 2014.
Bentley Team Dyson Racing heads into the weekend carrying some positive momentum with Butch Leitzinger, of Rebersburg, Pa. piloting the No. 20 Bentley/Breitling/Mobil 1 Bentley Continental GT3 and Chris Dyson, of Pleasant Valley, N.Y. behind the wheel of the No. 16 Bentley/Breitling/Mobil 1 Bentley Continental GT3. Dyson recorded his first career Pirelli World Challenge win in Round 12 at Road America and sits 6th in the championship. After a disappointing Detroit weekend, Leitzinger scored the pole for Round 12, and recorded a 5th, 4th and 6th at the Elkhart Lake course.
Ryan Eversley, of Atlanta, Ga. in the No. 43 RealTime/Acura Motorsports/HPD Acura TLX-GT enters the weekend 8th in points. Eversley has one win on the season (St. Petersburg) and he has previous experience at Mid-Ohio having competed at the track in another sports car racing series. Eversley’s teammate Peter Cunningham, of Milwaukee, Wis. in the No. 42 RealTime/Acura Motorsports/HPD Acura TLX-GT holds almost every statistical series record. In 35 PWC events encompassing 60 class wins at Mid-Ohio, only one driver has scored four Mid-Ohio World Challenge wins – Cunningham will look to build on that statistic.
Mike Skeen, of Charlotte, N.C., has won previously at Mid-Ohio (GT – 2010). Piloting the No. 2 DeVilbiss/Hawk Performance Audi R8 LMS ultra, Skeen sits 7th in the championship.
The 15-driver GT field is rounded out by series veteran James Sofronas, of Pound Ridge, N.Y., in the No. 14 GMG Audi R8 LMS ultra GMG Racing/Spyder/Mobil 1, and Duncan Ende, of Los Angeles, Calif. in the No. 64 Merchant Services Ltd./Linospresso USA Ferrari 458 Italia GT3. Ende has experience at Mid-Ohio in another sports car racing series, while Sofronas has 18 career PWC starts at Mid-Ohio including a win in 2010.
Pirelli World Challenge GTA: Cisneros Continues to Lead. Montecalvo and Heitkotter in Pursuit
Henrique Cisneros, of Miami, Fla. in the No. 30 MOMO NGT Motorsport Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 enters Mid-Ohio continuing to lead in the GTA Drivers’ Championship after scoring a couple of 2nds and a 4th at Road America. He enters the weekend with 1248 points. Cisneros has previous experience at Mid-Ohio having raced at the track in another sports car series. Cisneros’ brother Eduardo, of Miami, Fla. is also entered in GTA for Mid-Ohio piloting the No. 29 MOMO NGT Motorsport Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia.
Frankie Montecalvo, of Highlands, N.J. enters the Road America weekend 95 points behind Cisneros (1153). Montecalvo scored his second and third wins of the season in Rounds 12 and 13 at Road America in the No. 66 Bayshore Racing DragonSpeed Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3.
Bryan Heitkotter, of Fresno, Calif., comes into the Mid-Ohio weekend sitting 3rd in the class Drivers’ Championship after scoring his 4th win of the season at Road America. Heitkotter has been on a march up the standings having scored his four GTA wins in the last seven races. He will be in the No. 05 Nissan GT Academy Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3.
Martin Fuentes, of Mexico City, Mexico in the No. 07 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 comes into the weekend 4th in class points with 1059. Fuentes won the Round 6 race at Barber.
Montecalvo’s DragonSpeed teammate Eric Lux, of Buffalo, N.Y. equaled his previous season high third in Round 5 at Long Beach in the No. 08 Rembrandt Charms/Monticello Motor Club Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 with a third in Round 11 at Road America. Lux comes into the weekend 7th in class.
Turner Motorsport teammates Bill Ziegler, of Ponte Vedra, Fla., in the No. 95 Swisher Racing BMW E89 Z4 GT3 and Bret Curtis, of Austin, Texas, in the No. 32 Turner Motorsport/SPECTRA Resources Corp/United Steel Supply/Valspar Paint BMW E89 Z4 GT3 are entered in GTA. Curtis sits 8th while Ziegler sits 10th.
Two Audis are entered in GTA for Mid-Ohio. Drew Regitz, of Denver, Colo. will be in the No. 19 WWW.IRACERCOACHING.COM Audi R8 LMS ultra, while Jeff Courtney, of Milwaukee, Wis., will be in the No. 99 Kenda/RecStuff.com JCR Motorsports Audi R8 LMS Ultra. Courtney sits 9th in the drivers’ championship, while Regitz is 13th.
Blancpain Racing welcomes one of American motorsport’s most promising young talents into its ranks at Mid-Ohio as 16-year old Austin Cindric will make his GT class debut at the wheel of the No. 25 Reiter Engineering developed Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 R-EX. Cindric last year competed in his first Pirelli World Challenge race in GTS at Mid-Ohio.
Rounding out the 14-car GTA field are Jorge De La Torre, of Mexico City, Mexico, in the No. 4 De La Torre Racing Motor LLC Aston Martin Vantage V12, Christina Nielsen, of Aarhus, Denmark, in the No. 7 Royal Purple/Orion Energy/LaSalle Solutions/PassTime USA TRG-AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT3, and Joseph Toussaint, of Houston, Texas, in the No. 90 Prisms.org/The National Ability Center Autometrics Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R.
Pirelli World Challenge GT Cup presented by MOMO: Thompson Looks to Continue His Dominating Performance
Colin Thompson, of Doylestown, Pa. continued his domination of the GT Cup class with three straight wins at Road America. Thompson has scored nine wins on the season and will look for more at Mid-Ohio behind the wheel of No. 11 Porsche of Bucks County/Penn Valley Constructors/Sherwin Williams Automotive Finishes/Austin Hatcher Foundation Kelly-Moss Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
Thompson leads the GT Cup points race over Lorenzo Trefethen, of Napa, Calif., who heads into the weekend second wih 960. Trefethen scored his first career Pirelli World Challenge win at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. He will drive the No. 13 Trefethen Family Vineyards Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
TruSpeed Autosport’s Sloan Urry, of Salt Lake City, Utah sits third only a point behind Trefethen on the strength of five runner-up finishes, and two thirds on the season. He will pilot the No. 02 Security National/Engel & Volkers Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. Teammate Bret Sandberg, of Allendale, N.J., will pilot the No. 18 Zoro/TruSpeed Autosport Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
Preston Calvert, of Potomac, Md. in the No. 77 Phoenix Performance/Calvert Dynamics Porsche 911 GT3 Cup sits 4th in the championship – Calvert equaled his best result thus far with a 4th in Round 11 at Road America. Victor Gomez Jr., of San Juan, Puerto Rico in the No. 81 Porsche San Juan Porsche 911 GT3 Cup sits 5th in the drivers’ championship.
Rounding out the field of eight GT Cup entries is Mitch Landry, of Lake Charles, La. in the No. 97 Landry Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, and Alec Udell, of The Woodlands, Texas in the No. 17 Amsource Capital/Panther Pipeline GMG Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
Pirelli World Challenge GTS: Teammates Aquilante and Rezzetano Vie for Lead in Class
Andrew Aquilante, of Chester Springs, Pa., recorded his first career Pirelli World Challenge win at Road America in Round 10 and heads into the Mid-Ohio weekend first in the GTS Drivers’ Championship with 911 points. He will pilot the No. 32 Calvert Dynamics Phoenix American Motorsports Ford Mustang Boss 302. Aquilante’s teammate Kurt Rezzetano, of Phoenixville, Pa., in the No. 37 Calvert Dynamics/Phoenix American Motorsports Ford Mustang Boss 302 comes into Mid-Ohio second in GTS Drivers’ points with 898. Rezzetano scored his first PWC career win at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
Phoenix American Motorsports will also campaign the No. 35 Calvert Dynamics Phoenix American Motorsports Ford Mustang Boss 302 with Preston Calvert, Potomac, Md. behind the wheel. Calvert will do double duty over the weekend competing in both GT Cup and GTS.
Dean Martin, of Westland, Mich., continues to sit in third place in the standings coming into Rounds 11 and 12 in the GTS Drivers’ Championship with 824 points on the strength of four top 5 finishes and a win at St. Petersburg. All of Martin’s five career Pirelli World Challenge wins have come on street courses. Martin continues to look for his first career road course win through this coming weekend. He will pilot the No. 50 Rehagen Racing/Picture Cars East Ford Mustang Boss 302. Teaming with Martin will be Dan Martinson of Medina, Minn. in the No. 33 Gear Tie/Nite Ize Ford Mustang Boss 302, 15-year-old Nathan Stacy from Owesso, Okla. who has moved up from TC to GTS fulltime, in the No. 14 Rehagen Racing Ford Mustang Boss 302, and Ray Mason, of Columbus, Ohio, in the No. 51 Forgeline Wheels Rehagen Racing/Picture Cars East Ford Mustang Boss 302.
After a tough start to the 2015 season, Jack Baldwin, of Marietta, Ga., got back on track with a strong showing at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, scoring his first win of the season and a second and third at Road America. Baldwin pilots the No. 73 RESET-MD GTSport Racing Porsche Cayman and sits 4th overall in class. Buz McCall, of Boca Raton, Fla. will again team with Baldwin as the pilot of the No. 72 RESET-MD GTSport Racing Porsche Cayman.
Michael Cooper, of Syosset, N.Y., in the No. 10 Blackdog Speedshop Chevrolet Camaro Z28, sits in fifth place in the GTS Drivers’ Championship with 763 points. Cooper won at Circuit of the Americas in Round 2 and looks to get back into victory circle at Mid-Ohio. Cooper’s teammate is series veteran Tony Gaples, of Libertyville, Ill., who will pilot the No. 11 Blackdog Speedshop Chevrolet Camaro Z28. Gaples has 142 series starts coming into the weekend. Also campaigning the iconic Chevrolet Camaro Z28 in the series is Best IT Racing’s talented driver Andy Lee, of Colorado Springs, Colo., in the No. 20 Chevrolet Camaro Z28.
Mark Wilkins, of Toronto, Ont., comes into the weekend 6th in points with 751. He will pilot the No. 38 Kinetic Motorsports PutOnTheBrakes.Org Kia Optima. Partnered with him will be teammate Ben Clucas, of Northampton, England. Clucas pilots the No. 36 Kinetic Motorsports DonorsChoose.Org Kia Optima and comes into the weekend 7th in drivers’ standings with 748 points.
Jack Roush Jr. of Livonia, Mich. will pilot the No. 60 ROUSH Performance Capaldi Racing Ford Boss 302. Roush Jr. enters Road America 9th overall in the class drivers’ standings.
Three-time series champion and winner of Round 9 at Road America, Lou Gigliotti, of Dallas, Texas will drive the No. 28 LG Motorsports Aston Martin Vantage GT4. Gigliotti sits 10th in class.
TRG-AMR brings a single Aston Martin Vantage GT4 to the GTS battle with Kris Wilson behind the wheel. Wilson, of Monument, Colo., will pilot the 07 Orion/Royal Purple/LaSalle Solutions/PassTime USA car. Wilson has scored three wins on the season.
Series veteran Nick Esayian, of San Diego, CA, pilots the No. 34 Special Operations Warrior Foundation/Justap Stephen Cameron Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT4 after having been in a Ford Mustang Boss 302 to start the season. Esayian sits 11th in class.
Mark Klenin, of Lone Tree, Colo., returns to GTS with his own team. Klenin will pilot the No. 62 Schomp Auto/Invisible Glass/Premier Copier Klenin Performance Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT4.
Rounding out the 20-car GTS field is Brandon Gdovic, of Yorktown, Va., in the No. 68 Wolverine Bronze Co/Roush Performance Capaldi Racing Ford Mustang Boss 302. Gdovic will make his first career start in Pirelli World Challenge.
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, 13-turn road course, 2.258 Miles
Friday, July 31
• 1:45 – 2:15 p.m. GTS qualifying
Saturday, August 1:
• 8:50 – 9:35 a.m., GT/GTA/GT Cup qualifying
50 minutes (GT/GTA/GT Cup, GTS)
Live Internet Telecast (on www.world-challengeTV.com and www.torque.tv):
Friday, July 31:
• GTS Race 1: 5:35 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 1:
• GTS Race 2: 11:45 a.m.
• GT/GTA/GT Cup Race 1: 4:25 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 2:
• GT/GTA/GT Cup Race 2: 11:40 a.m.
Television (on CBS Sports Network):
• Sunday, August 9, at 4 p.m. Eastern: GT/GTA, GT Cup presented by MOMO. Wednesday, August 12, 9 p.m. Eastern: GTS.
All times listed above Eastern.