Porsche customer teams have entered eight cars across the two major classes of the Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) Sprint X Championship races at VIRginia International Raceway (VIR). Four Porsche 911 GT3 R and four Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR have been entered in the GT-SX and GTS-SX classes respectively for the two, 60-mintue races to be run on April 28 – 29 at the Alton, Virginia-area race track. Included in the group of the top GT teams is the overall GT point leader, Scott Hargrove (Canada) in the No. 96 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
Hargrove opened the PWC season with victories in the first two rounds at St. Petersburg, Florida. Those two Sprint Championship races – 50-minute, single-driver events – and third-place and fourth-place performances in Rounds 1 and 2 of the 60-minute, two-driver format Sprint X Championship opener at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) coupled with a fourth-place at the most recent 50-minute sprint at Long Beach, California kept Hargrove atop the Driver Championship standings by two-points. With Henzler back in the No. 96 for this upcoming weekend, the pair is targeting VIR as the location to get their first SprintX race wins and help extend Hargrove’s effort to become a rookie champion in PWC.
Porsche factory Michael Christensen (Denmark) is making his first run at the PWC championship and enters VIR in fourth-place in the driver standings – 37 points behind Hargrove. He will share the No. 24 Alegra Motorsports 911 GT3 R with veteran Porsche driver Spencer Pumpelly (Atlanta, Georgia). The No. 41 GMG Motorsports-prepared Porsche GT3 R of Clemson University senior Alec Udell (The Woodlands, Texas) and Corey Lewis (Nazareth, Pennsylvania) look to put their season on the right track. Tim Pappas (Boston, Massachusetts) and Jeroen Bleekemolen (Belgium) return with the familiar colors of the No. 54 Black Swan Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R. The duo is focused on the PWC SprintX championship and Intercontinental GT Challenge for 2018 in the GTA class.
The GTS-SX class is for road car-based machines that race to international GT4 specifications. The Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR is the racer of choice for those campaigning the German brand in GTS. Pfaff Motorsports adds the No. 13 entry in this class for Canadian drivers Orey Fidani and Kyle Marcelli. Longtime Porsche and Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR entrant Muehlner Motorsports America brings the No. 21 of Gabriele Piana (Switzerland) and Moritz Kranz (Germany) to VIR while NOLAsport is back in the Porsche paddock with the No. 32 for drivers Keith Jensen (Dorado, Puerto Rico) and a co-driver to be announced. TRG continues its GTS-SX championship pursuits with the No. 66 Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR being shared by Derek DeBoer (Ashland, Oregon) and Sean Gibbons (Argyle, Texas).
Testing at VIR begins on Thursday with official practice for all classes on Friday. Qualifying for GT-SX and GTS-SX classes will be on Saturday morning with races following that afternoon. GT-SX Race 1 takes the green flag at 1:25 p.m. EDT, running for 60-minutes with a single driver change. Race 1 for the GTS-SX class is scheduled for 3:40 p.m. The grid for Race 2 in each feature will be set on fastest lap time turned in Race 1. The 911 GT3 R drivers will take on the field of Race 2 starting at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday while the GTS-SX will begin its one-hour long feature on Sunday at 1:50 p.m.