The Intercontinental GT Challenge (IGTC) will make its North American debut Sunday, October 15 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (MRLS) and Porsche will be heavily represented. While only 20 cars are officially entered, the SRO-sanctioned series boasts one of the highest quality entry lists for GT3-class cars anywhere in the world. Seven Porsche Motorsport-built entries are on the roster, 35 percent of the field. Four Porsche 911 GT3 R teams have entered cars for the Mazda Raceway California Eight-Hour in Monterey, three Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MRs fill-out the German marque’s faction.
In those seven cars are no less than five Porsche factory drivers including the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) GT Overall Drivers Champion Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California).
Long is joined in the PWC GT Team Championship-winning, No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R in the GT3 class by SprintX season co-driver Jörg Bergmeister (Germany) and Romain Dumas (France). All three 24 Hours of Le Mans-winners are among the best GT drivers in the world. While Long and Bergmeister are longtime driving partners, this will be only the second-time the trio has raced together. They were first teamed in 2007 at the Rolex 24 At Daytona driving a Porsche-powered Daytona Prototype for Alex Job Racing.
The Wright Motorsports entry is not the only car flush with Porsche factory driving talent. Wolf Henzler (Germany) and Sven Müller (Germany) will join Porsche Young Driver Academy and 2017 PWC GT Hard Charger Award winner Alec Udell (The Woodlands, Texas) in the No. 17 GMG 911 GT3 R that Udell piloted to two GTA class wins and a GT class podium at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Two additional Porsche 911 GT3 Rs are entered with stout driver lineups and strong team support. Black Swan Racing was the first Porsche entered in the race with the No. 54 pairing Jeroen Bleekemolen (Netherlands), David Calvert-Jones (Australia) and owner/driver Tim Pappas (Boston, Massachusetts). The fourth 911 GT3 R is PWC regular Calvert Dynamics/GMG with another talented lineup: owner/driver Preston Calvert (Potomac, Maryland), Porsche Young Driver Academy graduate and PWC GT race winner Michael Lewis (Laguna Beach, California) and veteran Porsche specialist Andrew Davis (Athens, Georgia).
The GT4 class of the eight-hour race on the 2.238-miles, 11-turn track has three Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MRs on the roster. Carter Yeung (Los Angeles, California), who debuted in the PWC series this year, will bring the No. 8 GMG-prepared Cayman to race with Andy Lee (Gilbert, Arizona), a third to be announced. Rearden Racing is a regular in the Pirelli GT3 Trophy USA series with its pair of Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MRs and will bring both to run in the eight-hour race, which shares its weekend with their regular series. In the No. 26, Jeff Kearl (USA) will share the seat with Sean McAlister (USA) and Jeff Westphal (USA) while the No. 27 will be piloted by Hutton McKenna (USA), Vesko Korzron (USA) and Darren Jorgensen (USA). Kearl is planning to double the weekend in the Porsche. He is also entered for the two Trophy Cup USA races scheduled for Friday and Saturday.
The Mazda Raceway California 8 Hour is scheduled for October 15 with the green flag flying at 9:30 a.m. Pacific Time.
Porsche Entries in Monterey.
Total Car Count: Seven (7) Porsche Motorsport racecars will be competing in the California 8 Hours at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California. Four (4) Porsche 911 GT3 Rs will challenge in the GT3 Overall Category. Three (3) Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MRs will contend for the GT4 honors.
GT3 Class – Four (4) Porsche 911 GT3 R.
No. 17 GMG
Wolf Henzler (Germany)/ Sven Müller (German), Alec Udell (The Woodlands, Texas)
No. 54 Black Swan Racing
Jeroen Bleekemolen (Netherlands)/David Calvert-Jones (Australia)/Tim Pappas (Boston, Massachusetts)
No. 58 Wright Motorsports
Jörg Bergmeister (Germany)/Romain Dumas (France)/Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California)
No. 77 Calvert Dynamics/GMG
Preston Calvert (Potomac, Maryland)/ Andrew Davis (Athens, Georgia)/Michael Lewis (Laguna Beach, California)
GT4 Class – Three (3) Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR.
No. 8 GMG
Carter Yeung (Los Angeles, California)/Andy Lee (Gilbert, Arizona)/TBD
No. 26 Rearden Racing
Jeff Kearl (USA)/Sean McAlister (USA)/Jeff Westphal (USA)
No. 27 Rearden Racing
Hutton McKenna (USA)/Vesko Korzron (USA)/Darren Jorgensen (USA)
Source. Porsche/Photo. SRO Motorsports Group