The 2021 SRO season in North America is staged to begin March 6 with GT3 and GT4 competition at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Porsche will be represented by 14 entries across the three major SRO race series. The German sports car manufacturer will compete in the GT World Challenge America and GT4 America SprintX series with the Porsche 911 GT3 R and Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport respectively. Both cars will compete in the new GT America series. The 2.51-mile, 12-turn race course in the “wine country” of California will play host to a total of six races – two for each series – on Saturday, March 6 and Sunday, March 7.
GT World Challenge America.
Wright Motorsports returns to the SRO carrying the sole banner for Porsche in the GT3-only, two-driver GT World Challenge America. At 90-minutes, the pair of races are the longest of the weekend and will see Fred Poordad and Jan Heylen (Belgium) contend for top-honors against a loaded field. The pairing raced together to close the 2020 season and looks to carry the lessons learned at the Indianapolis finale into the new season. Poordad came up through the Porsche Motorsport Pyramid with Wright and took the step into open competition with the 911 GT3 R in 2020 in the SRO GT class. Heylen has become the key player at all levels of Wright’s multi-pronged Porsche racing team including key driving roles in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and Michelin Pilot Challenge as well as SRO.
GT4 America SprintX.
The largest grid scheduled to compete at Sonoma, the SRO GT4 America SprintX, has seven Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport race cars on the 32-car entry list. Two, 60-minute races will be run over the weekend with two drivers per car. A trio of the mid-engine, road car-based Porsche are entered by 2020 GT4 Champions NOLASPORT. Nolasport with OGH has Sean Gibbons now teamed with Sam Owens in the Am class in car No. 7. Russell Walker will lead the No. 46 car of the New Orleans-based race team with a co-driver yet to be announced. The third NOLASPORT-prepped machine, the No. 47, will see Matt Travis and Jason Hart back together in the Pro-Am class. Kevin Buckler’s The Racer’s Group (TRG), will have two Porsche race cars on the grid at its home track. The No. 17 of James Rappaport and Robert Orcutt will fight for Am class honors while the traditional No. 66 will see longtime Porsche expert and TRG driver Spencer Pumpelly team with veteran Derek DeBoer in Pro-Am class. Murillo Racing brings the all-female line-up of Porsche GTD class regular Christina Nielsen alongside Aurora Straus in the No. 43 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport of the Silver class. The final Porsche entered at Sonoma will carry the well-known No. 54 and colors of Black Swan Racing. Owner/driver Tim Pappas teams with Porsche specialist Jeroen Bleekemolen targeting the Pro-Am class victory in the season-opening weekend.
SRO GT America.
The newest series on the SRO landscape is the multi-class GT America category. Six Porsche-built race cars from both the GT3 and GT4-spec classes are entered. Of the Porsche 911 GT3 R race cars set to be on the grid in the 40-minute, single-driver format will be the No. 32 GMG Racing entry Kyle Washington and the No. 45 of Charlie Luck. Luck is making his GT3-debut after having followed the Porsche Motorsport Pyramid up the ranks with the Ohio-based race team owned by John Wright.
The remaining four entries in the inaugural season of GT America are all Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport machines. NOLASPORT brings its expertise in preparing SRO GT4 machines to the new series with Jason Hart behind the wheel of the No. 49. Like Hart, Tim Pappas will play double-duty running in both the SRO GT America and GT4 America series. Pappas will be behind the wheel of his No. 54 Black Swan Racing machine. ST Racing will field the No. 69 for Dan Miller in his SRO debut. Also making its SRO first appearance at Sonoma is Premier Racing with the No. 120 of Adam Adelson. This is familiar territory to Premier Racing’s owner, Kent Moore. Moore is a three-time winner in World Challenge as crew chief of Porsche cars fielded by White Lightning Racing. In this role, the Las Vegas-based shop also oversaw the preparations for 24 Hours of Daytona and 24 Hours of Le Mans GT class titles. Adelson is making his first start in North America’s top sprint format GT racing series.
Official test sessions for each category get underway on Thursday, March 4 in Sonoma with practice starting on Friday, March 5. Race 1 for GT4 America, World Challenge America and GT America will be run on Saturday, March 6 with Race 2 for each coming on Sunday, March 7.
John Wright, Owner, Wright Motorsports.
“It is great to be back for another year in SRO America. I’m proud of both Fred and Charlie for wanting to challenge themselves and continue their driver development with us. This will be an exciting season, and I can’t wait to get it started.”
Fred Poordad, Driver, No. 20 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“Following an interesting 2020 season with so many national and international distractions, as well as many eventful race weekends, the season ended on a positive note for the No. 20 Wright Motorsports Entry, winning the Am Championship. After what seemed like a short off season, which I spent resting and rehabilitating some nagging injuries, I am excited to enter the No. 20 car in the Pro/Am group, driving alongside Jan Heylen. I look forward to the hard work and challenges, as the 2021 season promises to be a competitive one in GT world challenge.”
Jan, Heylen, Driver, No. 20 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“It’s great to be back in SRO America. I love the SprintX formation and the hard battles that come along with it. I’m excited to be back in the car with Fred after a strong end of the season last year at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I believe we have a strong package with Fred, Wright Motorsport and Porsche that will put us in a position to fight for the championship. Pre-season testing has been very promising, and I can’t wait to get to Sonoma to get the season started.”
Charlie Luck, No. 45 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“My hope is to get comfortable and competent in the GT3 R, and potentially consider an endurance race or two towards the end of the year, depending on how the season progresses. We know which cars will be on the grid this year, but we don’t know the names of all the competitors yet. There are always people you can trust to race close with, and when you enter into a new series, you have to figure out the competition. I look forward this new season.”
Kent Moore, Team Principal, Premier Racing Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport.
“We have been focusing on our road car and club racing programs in Las Vegas since I stepped away from professional racing. We had options before but nothing that really met our standard. However, when Adam came to me and discussed his goals as a driver, we laid out plan for him. The next step, the biggest step so far, happens this weekend at Sonoma. I am really excited about getting back to this level, back to where Premier started 20 years ago. Being able to get back into this pro racing with a driver and team I believe in makes it even more exciting. Our goals remain the same as they have always been: to get Adam to where he wants to go, have fun and win a lot along the way.”