Three races will decide the 2017 SprintX Driver, Team and Manufacturer titles and all three will take place at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas this weekend. While Hurricane Harvey has pounded the coast of Texas as far inland as Austin, Pirelli World Challenge (PWC), organizers of the ten-race championship, expect Rounds 9 and 10 as well as the makeup Round 4 to go-off as scheduled September 1 – 3. Each race is 60-minutes and requires two-drivers to contest North America’s premier sprint format GT championship.
While these three races will determine the SprintX titlists, they also contribute directly to the Overall PWC Driver, Team and Manufacturer Champions in every category. The Overall Champions will be awarded the title of the combined 20-races of the 10-event Sprint and 10-event SprintX seasons. It is here that Porsche factory driver Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California) is ensnared with last year’s champion Alvaro Parente and Michael Cooper for the title. Long currently leads the standings in the No. 58 Porsche Consulting Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R with 259 points over Cooper’s 254 and Parente’s 251. The 2016 championship fight came down to Long and Parente and was not decided until the last half lap of the season. With three of the longer races at COTA and two more of the shorter, single-driver events to close the season at Sonoma Raceway on September 15 – 17, each lap will impact the final standings. 26 points are available to the winner of each round of the championship.
In the intensely fought SprintX Drivers’ point standings, teammates Michael Schein (Glen Cover, New York) and Jan Heylen (Tampa, Florida) lead the GT Pro/Am class in the No 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R. The pairing is seven points up on fellow Porsche ace James Sofronas (Newport Beach, California). Sofronas, who went on a mid-season tear to shrink the gap to single digits, will again share the No. 14 GMG 911 GT3 R with Porsche Young Professional Mathieu Jaminet (France).
The GT manufacturer’s battle is as close as the drivers. Porsche currently leads the overall title chase ahead of McLaren GT, 95 – 92. There are 18 Porsche Motorsport racecars competing in the Grand Prix of Texas. In the SprintX series, five Porsche 911 GT3 Rs will challenge in the GT-X races including Long and Porsche works teammate Jörg Bergmeister (Germany), Schein/Heylen and Sofronas/Jaminet. Additionally, local driver Alec Udell (The Woodlands, Texas) will share the No. 77 Calvert Dynamics Porsche 911 GT3 R with Preston Calvert (Potomac, Maryland) in the Pro/Am class. Porsche factory driver Wolf Henzler (Germany) and Jon Fogarty (Bend, Oregon) will co-drive the No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing 911 GT3 R.
Three Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR will race in GTS-X where Adam Merzon (Greenwich, Connecticut) and Trent Hindman (West Long Branch, New Jersey) have an unassailable lead in the championship driving the No. 017 Case-It Racing Porsche.
Additionally, two Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars will run the GTC-X class.
Total Car Count: 18 Porsche Motorsport racecars will be competing in the Pirelli World Challenge of Austin at the Circuit of the Americas. In the Sprint-X series (Rounds 4,9 and 10), five Porsche 911 GT3 Rs will challenge in the GT-X races, three Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR will race in GTS-X while two Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars will run the GTC-X class. Seven Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MRs will contend for the GT4/GTS honors of the Sprint Championship (Rounds 15 and 16).
GT Class – Three (3) Porsche 911 GT3 R.
No. 58 Wright Motorsports Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California)/ Jörg Bergmeister (Germany)
No. 77 Calvert Dynamics Preston Calvert (Potomac, Maryland)/ Alec Udell (The Woodlands, Texas)
No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Wolf Henzler (Germany)/Jon Fogarty (Bend, Oregon)
GTA-X Class – Two (2) Porsche 911 GT3 R.
No. 14 GMG Racing Mathieu Jaminet (France)/ James Sofronas (Villa Park, California)
No. 16 Wright Motorsports Michael Schein (Glen Cove, New York)/ Jan Heylen (Tampa, Florida)
GT4/GTS-X Class – Four (4) Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR.
No. 47 NOLAsport Jason Hart (Flower Mound, Texas)/Matt Travis (The Woodlands, Texas)
No. 03 TRG Craig Lyons (Newport Beach, California)/ Kris Wilson (Littleton, Texas)
No. 017 Case-It Racing Adam Merzon (Greenwich, Connecticut)/ Trent Hindman (West Long Branch, New Jersey)
No. 018 Case-It Racing Cameron Cassels (Canada)/ Philip Bloom (New York, New York)
GTC-X – Two (2) Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
No. 90 Autometrics Motorsports Joe Toussaint (Houston, Texas)/ Cory Friedman (Charleston, South Carolina)
No. 95 Tool Racing Andy Lee (Colorado Springs, Colorado)/ Erich Joiner (Manhattan Beach, California)
GT4/GTS Class – Seven (7) Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR.
No. 3 Flying Lizard Motorsports Rodrigo Baptista (Brazil)
No. 7 GMG Racing Carter Yeung (Los Angeles, California)
No. 14 Flying Lizard Motorsports Nate Stacy (Tulsa, Oklahoma)
No. 47 NOLAsport Keith Jensen (Dorado, Puerto Rico)
No. 64 GMG Racing Brett Meredith (Newport Coast, California)
No. 017 Case-It Racing Adam Merzon (Greenwich, Connecticut)
No. 018 Case-It Racing Cameron Cassels (Canada)