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Sports Car Racing Returns to Texas with Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS

23 April 2021
  • Premiere SRO Racing Series Returns to Austin’s Famed Circuit of the Americas
  • Thirty-two Drivers Contest in Seven Different Makes
  • Largest Ever Contending Field for Global Manufacturer Title
  • Entry List - PDF Link
  • Event Schedule - PDF Link

Austin, Texas - The ever-exciting Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS season prepares to pack up and pair up in the heart of the Midwest on April 30 - May 2 when competitors converge upon Austin’s Circuit of the Americas for the next rounds of the championship battle.

Heading into competition, there are now a total of seven manufacturers vying for the global Manufacturer Championship title, the highest ever for the championship run. Mercedes-AMG finds itself at the top after seven global competitions, with Lamborghini, Audi Sport, and Porsche close enough to be within striking distance for the top stop. Ferrari and BMW M have hit the ground running to chase those manufacturers down, while attempting to stave off competition from newcomer McLaren.

Known as “the Home of World Champions”, Circuit of the Americas (COTA) is a driver favorite for its combination of high-speed and technical turns, in juxtaposition to the “drag race to the top” of Turn 1, a 133-foot endeavor that offers drivers a brief glimpse of the rural countryside and rolling hills that house the track just outside Austin, Texas.

Pro Class Lights Up the Circuit

A stellar, sweeping performance at Sonoma announced the return of K-PAX Racing to the fold, this time under the Lamborghini flag. The team’s two driver pairings - Andrea Caldarelli and Jordan Pepper in the #3 Huracan GT3 and Corey Lewis and Giovanni Venturini in the #6 - set the stage for competition with a dazzling display of skill and determination with a 1-2 lockout in the team’s weekend-winning sweep.

Winward Racing’s shaky start into the Pro class was marked with a DNF in its first race, but stabilized with a class podium finish in race two. Drivers Russell Ward and Philip Ellis hope to take that momentum and bring it to COTA as they pilot the #33 Mercedes-AMG GT3 for the next rounds.

As the only current representation of the BMW M marque in GTWCA competition, Turner Motorsports carries its competition burden with pride. GT4 champions Michael Dinan and Robby Foley continue to fine-tune their long-time co-driving familiarity in the team’s #96 BMW F13 M6 GT3 platform in their quest for another series championship title together.

Growing Pro-Am Field Dominates the Grid

The Pro-Am class has established itself as the de facto favorite competition class for sports car racing in SRO America. The combination of expert drivers and hungry newcomers makes for exciting driver pairs and even more thrilling action on the track as the skill levels and sheer numbers of competitors increases, vying for the best line into COTA’s Turn 1.

DXDT Racing brings its trio of Mercedes-AMG GT3 machines with familiar driver pairs behind the wheel to continue the team’s championship bids. In the #04 machine drivers George Kurtz and Colin Braun bring their Round 2 class hardware to Texas and look for multiple repeat performances over the weekend. Team principal David Askew and co-driver Ryan Dalziel also look to repeat a podium finish in the #63 machine, while #19 pilots Erin Vogel and Michael Cooper continue to hone their efforts to better their Top 5 in-class finishes from Sonoma.

TR3 Racing’s Ziad Ghandour and Giacomo Altoe will look to take the #9 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 through its paces after a middling start in Sonoma that saw their best race effort place them in the Top 6 in class. Also in Lamborghini garb, Jason Harward will add co-driver Madison Snow to the #88 Zelus Motorsports roster in the team’s first attempt at the two-driver GT3 competition format while concurrently having Harward and the Huracan remain active and competitive in the single-driver GT America series. Finally, Rearden Racing’s Jeff Burton and Vesko Kozarov, paired up for the first time this season in GT3 competition, will continue to turn up the heat in the #91 Huracan GT3 as they look to improve their 6th and 7th-in-class finishes from Sonoma.

Wright Motorsports, another team flying their Manufacturer flag alone for competition, will look for a repeat performance from their #20 Porsche 911 GT3-R (991.2) drivers Fred Poordad and Jan Heylen. The pair came home with a stellar win and podium finish in their season-opening debut, including a third-place overall race finish in that weekend’s rounds.

Manufacturer McLaren’s first official foray into this season’s GTWCA competition takes the form of the #70 McLaren 720S GT3 coming out of the garage of the inception racing team. Drivers Brendan Iribe and Ollie Millroy will cross the pond and contest the field in Austin.

Acura’s flag flies over two Pro-Am competitor camps in Austin. First, Compass Racing’s #77 entry, driven by Rodrigo Sales and Matt McMurry, look to continue their upward swing from a Round 1 DNF to Round 2 fifth-in-class finish. Sonoma podium-sweepers Racers Edge Motorsports return in the #93 Acura NSX GT3 with Taylor Hagler co-driving with Jacob Abel, another HPD GT3 Driver Academy alum, for the Texas rounds of competition.

Ian Lacy Racing drivers Frank Gannett and Drew Staveley also return to improve their showing at COTA after making the switch from GT4 competition last season. The pair will co-drive the #12 Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3, the only Aston Martin AMR entry entered for the event so far.

Lastly, in the only Ferrari entry in GTWCA competition, the #61 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 will return to contest the overall and Am fields with Jean-Claude Saada and Conrad Grunewald, looking to again be in the points and in the mix with the overall grid.

Catch Every Second of the Action

The weekend opens with Official Practice on April 30th at 10:20 am CT. Due to safety protocols and restrictions, public attendance is prohibited but fans still have options to catch all the racing excitement online. 

Qualifying and both Austin rounds will be streamed live for free on the GT World YouTube channel, in addition to audio simulcasts on Sirius XM Radio Channel 382 (992 on the web/app). CBS Sports Network’s highlights and live racing package premieres Sunday, May 2nd at 2:00 pm ET, with an encore presentation at 10:00pm ET that evening. The weekend schedule, live timing and scoring, as well as session reports and one-stop video viewing, are available at gt-world-challenge-america.com.

Don’t forget to get up-to-the minute updates on series social channels at @gtworldchallengeamerica on Facebook and Instagram and @gtworldcham on Twitter.