SANTA ANA, Calif. – Returning to the traditional sprint format of The Pirelli World Challenge during this weekend’s round at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, Global Motorsports Group (GMG) will once again prove the depth of the team with a four-car program. While the organization has been competing with three entries during the opening two sprint events of 2017, SprintX driver Preston Calvert will now join the team in the series’ GTA category, creating four entries across three divisions.
“It’s a busy weekend for sure, but one that really highlights the strength of our team,” stated Sofronas. “Running four cars in three different classes is no easy feat, but the key has always been in the quality and talent of our guys, and we’re confident that we can deliver a strong weekend for everyone. It’s good to get back to sprint racing, the core of the series. It’s crazy to think we haven’t run a race in this format since April, but we had some great results and look to repeat that. Alec has shown really well in his step up to the GT ranks, and I’m confident he will continue to do so, and George is already a proven winner in GTS. It’s great to have Preston with us for additional races. We’ve enjoyed a great working relationship through the first three SprintX weekends, and it’s a testament that we’re now able to continue in to GTA. Personally I’m always anxious to get back to this sort of format, where it all began for myself and the team, and after the last sprint race in Long Beach we have a lot of momentum.”
Leading off the team in the premier GT category, Alec Udell will take to the wheel of his No. 17 Euroworld Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R. After being promoted from the GTA class to GT for the most recent Grand Prix of Long Beach, the Clemson University Engineering Student will arrive at the track with a heavy focus on delivering with some of the best in the series. Competing against factory drivers and an international roster of talent, Udell will look to prove his status among the best in the world.
“Although the black and yellow of the Calvert Dynamics Porsche is very menacing, I’m excited to be back in my Blue and Orange Euroworld Porsche!,” stated Udell. “We’ve had good runs at the first few Sprint rounds and I’ve gotten more comfortable in the 911 GT3 R. I think Road America will be a good event for us.”
In the GTA category, James Sofronas will head the charge in his No. 14 Mobil 1 / The Thermal Club / 5.11 Tactical Porsche 911 GT3 R. While the team had mixed fortunes during the last three SprintX weekends, James’ last “sprint” round took place at the Grand Prix of Long Beach, where he took a flag-to-flag victory. So far in 2017, the GTA class has proven a strong one for the team owner, who in three races has had two podiums, including a win, all culminating in a current second-place in series’ point standings.
New to the team’s GTA program, Preston Calvert will join after a great experience with the team during the first three SprintX weekends. Teamed with Alec Udell for the two-driver events that took place over the last two months, Calvert will drive solo for this weekend’s Sprint rounds, once again returning with the No. 77 Calvert Dynamics Porsche 911 GT3 R. While Preston has driven in the GTA category before, most notably at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course last year, this will be his first run in the division for 2017.
After a strong experience with GMG in SprintX, Calvert looks forward to the opportunity.
“I’m excited about this weekend,” stated Calvert. “There will be 11 cars in the GTA class, so it will be fun to mix it up and try to chase James around. The racing here is very intense, and I really enjoyed my experience at Mid-Ohio trying to push with everyone else. The sprint format is back to the traditional roots of World Challenge racing, and it’s always a unique discipline.”
Finally, running in the GTSA rank of the production-based GTS category, George Kurtz and the No. 04 CrowdStrike McLaren 570S GT4 will return to action in search of continued results. So far Kurtz has enjoyed a remarkable 2017 in his first full season of category competition, taking class victory at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park as a top highlight.
Headed in to Road America, featuring long straights and fast corners, Kurtz looks forward to the opportunity.
“Road America is one of the most famous circuits in all of motorsports,” stated Kurtz. “A circuit this fast is a real challenge, but based on our experience at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park we know we’ll have a car capable of running well. Everyone at GMG has done a great job getting us prepared, and headed in to the race we look forward to entertaining our fans and clients.”
Running in conjunction with the Verizon IndyCar Series, official practice begins this Thursday, June 22, with a double-header of events taking place on Saturday and Sunday. GT/GTA will race at 5:30 ET on Saturday, June 24, and 10:55 ET on Sunday, June 25. GTS racing will take place at 6:45PM ET on Saturday, and 3:45PM ET on Sunday. All races will be streamed live at world-challenge.com/streamvideo/ .
Founded in 2001 by James Sofronas, GMG has quickly established itself as North America’s premier performance tuning and racing facility. What began as a small 1,200 sq. ft. shop, maintaining two race cars, has grown into a 30,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art performance tuning, racing and service facility located in (Orange County) Santa Ana, California. The staff’s experience, attention to detail, and passion are what make GMG the choice of professionals and enthusiasts world wide. Whether you want to maximize the performance of your street car, or race wheel-to-wheel on both amateur and professional racing series across North America, GMG’s reputation for service and quality is unmatched.
Learn more at www.gmgracing.com
About The Thermal Club
The Thermal Club is the premier private motorsports facility in the world. In addition to 4.5 miles of members-only racetrack, the Club facilities include a fully amenitized Clubhouse and Village unrivaled in the motorsports world. All 4.5 miles of our exquisite racetrack are designed to push both amateurs and professionals to their limit, giving members the thrill of driving at peak performance amidst the endless desert skies. Featuring three different private circuit configurations, trackside villas, a motorsport village with a state-of-the-art clubhouse, tuning shop, a fuel island, as well as member storage garages, The Thermal Club will bring the country club lifestyle to Southern California’s diverse car culture.
Learn more at www.thethermalclub.com
About Mobil 1
Conventional oil is simply refined crude oil. Mobil 1 synthetic oil, however, is not only refined, but it is also distilled, purified, and broken down into its basic molecules. It is then rebuilt and added to, so that it can better protect against wear, high heat, cold weather and sludge buildup. Ultimately, this process helps your car’s engine run better for longer. You can explore more about these benefits below.
Learn more at www.mobiloil.com.
With an extensive client base of leading global brands, CrowdStrike will be utilizing the Pirelli World Challenge as a hub for experiential entertainment, B2B networking, and as a forum for meeting with a litany of customers, prospects and partners. Race weekends will include executive-level security industry roundtables, combined with VIP access to the most compelling aspects of each racing venue. With a premium on forging and solidifying relationships, the utilization of both the series and GMG offers a great opportunity for the company to extend their platform.
You can learn more about CrowdStrike’s involvement in motorsports at crowdstrikeracing.com.
About 5.11 Tactical
5.11 Tactical. 5.11 Tactical is an Irvine, California-based brand of clothing consisting of uniforms and tactical equipment for military, law enforcement and public safety personnel. The company also operates a chain of retail stores, with 13 locations as of January 2017.
Learn more at www.511tactical.com.