- SRO Returns to Sebring for the First Time Since 2009
- Thirty-four Drivers to Run Last Double-header Weekend
- Points Races Still Anyone’s to Capture
- ENTRY LIST - PDF Link
- EVENT SCHEDULE - PDF Link
Sebring, Fla. - With ten rounds of GT competition in the books, Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS contenders go south for the last double-header weekend at the famed Sebring International Raceway on October 1st to 3rd.
Converted from a military airfield, Sebring International Raceway's Full Circuit comprises seventeen turns and spans 3.74-miles (6.02 km). The notoriously rough track surface is said to simulate the conditions found on temporary street circuits, with large sections containing much of the original concrete from the days the area served solely as an airfield. SRO America championships last raced at Sebring in 2009 under the SPEED World Challenge moniker, with cars in both GT and Touring Car configurations opening that year's championship season.
The race to capture the global Manufacturer's Championship is as hot as ever with Mercedes-AMG in front but Lamborghini gaining ground after the recent American Watkins Glen rounds saw the bullish manufacturer sweep the weekend. Down but not out are Audi Sport and Ferrari, both of whom have had recent success in garnering points to inch toward the championship title.
Aiming for Pro-fection
K-PAX Racing's Andrea Caldarelli and Jordan Pepper, co-drivers of the #3 Lamborghini Huracan GT3, currently sit at the top of the standings but both have to remain on the tops of their games as most of the field in the class have a chance at overtaking for the top spot, in spite of the single double-header and solo dual-points races left to contend on the schedule; a perfect weekend from any of them could bring them above and beyond the threshold needed for them to take home the championship hardware.
Sitting in the second spot and looking forward to the opportunity to gain ground in Sebring are Turner Motorsport drivers Michael Dinan and Robby Foley (#96 BMW F16 M6 GT3). Their double-podium finish at Watkins Glen showed they mean business and will go for nothing less than the top spot.
Just a handful of points behind the Turner crew are K-PAX Racing teammates Corey Lewis and Giovanni Venturini (#6 Lamborghini Huracan GT3). They staged a fantastic come-from-behind performance in Race 2 at Watkins Glen that saw them on the podium as well. Watch for them as they continue to demonstrate incredible driving skill and determination this weekend.
Winward Racing principal Russell Ward has anchored the team's efforts with various co-drivers this season. Still within reach of taking home the championship trophy, look to Ward and co-driver Mikael Grenier to take the #33 Mercedes-AMG through its paces in search of a points-perfect weekend.
Pro-Ams Continue to Mix It Up
Wright Motorsports duo Fred Poordad and Jan Heylen have commandeered the Pro-Am class for virtually the entire season. A slight mis-step in Race 1 at Watkins Glen saw them off the podium for the first time this year, their follow-up performance in Race 2 put them back on the podium. Expect more of the same from them as they defend their lead at Sebring, especially with the top eight contenders in class within reach of taking the lead by season's end.
Anchoring the Racers Edge Motorsports #93 Acura NSX GT3 entry and currently sitting second in Pro-Am Driver points standings, Taylor Hagler showed her Road America win wasn't a fluke by repeating the performance at Watkins Glen with co-driver Jacob Abel. Hagler once again teams up with her Road America and GT3 Academy partner, Dakota Dickerson, in the upcoming Sebring double-header weekend.
Also splitting the season with multiple co-drivers, Compass Racing's Matt McMurry (#77 Acura NSX GT3) will team up with Rodrigo Sales to take on Sebring's rough surfaces and make moves toward repeating the win-and-podium weekend they drove at Watkins Glen for McMurry to climb the points ladder.
DXDT Racing's Erin Vogel and Michael Cooper are also celebrating a return to the podium from Watkins Glen. The #19 Mercedes-AMG GT3 drivers will take that momentum and see what they can come home with from the southeastern excursion.
Teammates Ryan Dalziel and principal David Askew (#63 Mercedes-AMG GT3) salvaged a rough Watkins Glen weekend by coming away with points. The pair will right the ship and charge ahead in the quest to move up in the championship as they are the last team slated to attend Sebring within reach of the class' top spot.
Jason Harward and Madison Snow, the Zelus Motorsports #88 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 co-drivers, have had their team efforts, and sometimes assets, split between GT World Challenge America and their corresponding GT America campaign. Still, they've shown consistency and improvement and could still find their groove to close out the season with bang.
Martin Fuentes is a late-season replacement driver, but has managed to co-drive to two podiums and two fourth-place finishes so far thanks to his championship pedigree. Co-driving the #9 TR3 Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 this weekend with Giacomo Altoe, the two will look to shake up the grid and attempt to notch some overall wins with their class podiums.
Ian Lacy Racing co-drivers Frank Gannett and Drew Staveley have taken their GT4 racing experience together and brought it into the world of mandatory fuel stops, pit stops and driver changes in GT3 machinery. Look for them to continuously improve as they contest the #12 Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 again this weekend.
Jeff Burton and Vesko Kozarov are also slated to drive the Rearden Racing team's #91 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 at Sebring, where Burton will also continue his campaign in the GT America series.
Battle of the Ams
With champions-elect Conrad Grunewald and Jean-Claude Saada virtually running victory laps for the remainder of the season, the need to add a race win under one's belt hasn't subsided. To that end, expect the pair to show and prove this weekend in the #61 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3.
TR3 Racing's entry, driven by Bill Sweedler and John Megrue, will allow them some welcome seat-time and racing experience as they challenge the field in the #10 Lamborghini Huracan GT3.
Finally, a new entry in the mix of things, the #23 Triarsi Competizione Ferrari 488 GT3 will take the ostensible home-track advantage and further mix things up in the field. New entrants Charlie Scardina and Onofrio Triarsi will share driving duties.
Don't Miss Any of the Action
Official practice for the last double-header weekend kicks off Friday, October 1st at 9:50 AM EDT. Qualifying sessions, as well as both races of the double-header weekend, will be streamed live on the GTWorld YouTube channel, with audio simulcasts on SiriusXM Satellite Radio channel 392 (992 on the web app.) CBS Sports Network live programming begins Sunday, October 3rd at 1:00 PM EDT. As always, updated schedules, live timing and scoring, and more are available on the official GT World Challenge America website - gt-world-challenge-america.com
Are you in the area, or do you fancy a road trip? General Admission tickets for the Sebring weekend are available starting as low as $10 per day; get your tickets at https://Bit.ly/gtsebringtix.