Motorsport is well known for long hours and hard work. While everyone associated with the SRO Motorsports America weekend at Sonoma Raceway, August 6 – 9, will be giving their all from early in the morning until deep at night, GMG Racing has decided to put the “challenge” in World Challenge. The Santa Ana, California-based race and road prep company will enter six different Porsche Motorsport-built race cars in the weekend’s eight races. The storied track in Sonoma, California plays host to two SRO GT World Challenge America races for GT3-spec race machines (90-minutes), two GT Sports Club (GTSC) events, 40-minutes each for the GT2-based racers and three each of GT4 America Sprint (50-minute) and SprintX (60-minute) using GT4-spec, road-based race cars.
GMG, owned by James Sofronas (Villa Park, California), is a longtime privateer entrant of Porsche race cars. The familiar blue and white machines have been a staple in the SRO-based championships in particular, often with Sofronas himself behind the wheel of Porsche 911-based race cars. However, this weekend’s Sonoma “Six-Pack” promises to be a major undertaking even for veteran drivers and crews. Sofronas will be in one of two Porsche 911 GT3 R race cars in the feature events of the weekend – a pair of 90-minute SRO GT World Challenge America races on Saturday and Sunday. The SRO Champion will race in his familiar ride, the No. 14, with veteran Jeroen Bleekemolen (Netherlands) in the Pro-Am class both days. Wright Motorsports’ No. 20 of Fred Poordad (San Antonio, Texas) and Max Root (San Diego, California), in the Am class, makes up the other entry for the German brand.
Among those piloting GMG-prepped Porsche race cars on the 2.52-mile road course in California’s wine country, is Jason Bell (Tampa, Florida). Bell will be behind the wheel of three different Porsche competition machines in eight different races. He will drive the No. 2 Porsche 911 GT2 RS Clubsport in the two, 40-minute GTSC races. GMG teammates will be in the Nos. 32 (Kyle Washington) and 57 (Stu Frederick). 311RS Motorsport will attempt to keep its win-streak alive at Sonoma. The new team won the first two rounds of the class at VIRginia International Raceway in July with Ryan Gates driving the No. 311.
Bell’s weekend is not through with the road car-based Porsche 911 GT2 RS Clubsport… nor is GMG’s. Bell will also fly solo in the three SRO GT4 America Sprint championship races. A pair of 50-minute races will be for the championship rounds at Sonoma Raceway while a third will be a make-up event for St. Petersburg. Bell’s Porsche for each will be the No. 2 GMG Racing Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport. He will face-off against Porsche stalwart Spencer Pumpelly (Atlanta, Georgia) in the TRG-readied No. 66 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport for each round.
Three more races remain for GMG, Bell and Porsche at Sonoma, all in the GT4-spec machines. Two of the races have been scheduled for the Sonoma weekend while the third is a make-up race for the canceled Lime Rock Park event. However, unlike the Sprint rounds, the 60-minute SprintX races will bring a co-driver to the car. Bell will share the No. 2 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport with Porsche regular Andrew Davis (Athens, Georgia) in each race. They will be on track with five other Porsche entries. NOLASPORT comes prepared with three cars under its success race banner out of New Orleans, Louisiana. The No. 7 will be raced by Sean Gibbons and Zac Anderson who have already proven themselves a winning combination in the Am category, the No. 46 of David Walker and Russell Walker – also in Am – and the No. 47 of Matt Travis and Jason Hart who have stood on the top-step of the Pro-Am category already. TRG also brings an entry to the GT4 SprintX races with James Rappaport and Derek DeBoer campaigning the No. 17. RS1 attacks the GT4 SprintX ranks with the No. 37 for Charlie Belluardo and Jan Heylen.