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Following a thrilling start to the season at Sonoma, the Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS series heads to Southern Louisiana for a weekend of action on the high-speed yet technical tarmac of NOLA Motorsports Park on May 20th - 22nd. This will be the first time SRO has visited this track since its opening in 2011, and it is renowned for having fast straights broken up by challenging technical sections.
GT World Challenge is comprised of 29 global events, with points going to each manufacturer based on how they finish in each National championship that includes America, Asia, Australia, and Europe. After seven rounds, Audi, Mercedes-AMG, and Porsche fill out the top three spots in season points.
New Orleans will feature 20 American based entrants featuring a variety of modern GT3 machinery and immense driving talent across three classes.
In the Pro championship, the two-time race-winning duo of Andrea Caldarelli and Jordan Pepper from Sonoma has been split up between the K-PAX Racing #1 and #3 Lamborghini Huracan GT3s to meet updated class regulations. Caldarelli will now team with Lamborghini Squadra Corse driver Michele Beretta in the #1 car, while Jordan Pepper will share the #3 with Misha Goikhberg.
US Racetronics’ Steven Aghakhani and Loris Spinelli have proven to be contenders in the #6 Mercedes-AMG GT3. The duo unfortunately suffered mechanical issues during Race 2 at Sonoma after earning a solid third place in Race 1 and look to fight for overall wins at NOLA.
With 50 points, K-PAX carved out a solid 20-point lead in the 2022 Pro championship, but this could quickly fade as the rest of the field is matched up with 30 points each. But depending on how racers get acquainted with the smooth and twisty Southern Louisiana pavement (for the first time, especially) there could be a big change-up in championship position.
The Turner Motorsport duo of Michael Dinan and Robby Foley is in solid contention for a top podium spot after showing solid pace in Northern California behind the wheel of their #96 BMW M4 GT3. Between the two of them, they’re no strangers to running at the front, and the new M4 GT3 is proving to be a very potent tool for the job.
The Pro-Am class will have the highest car-count in the series at NOLA after an action-packed showing in Northern California. Last round, the father/son-in-law duo of Charlie Luck and Jan Heylen drove home to victory in both Race 1 and Race 2, giving Wright Motorsports and Porsche a heck of a jump in season points.
However, Mario Farnbacher and Ashton Harrison didn’t make it easy on them in the #93 Racers Edge Motorsports Acura, and it’ll be interesting to see if the Florida based operation can climb the podium a bit higher at NOLA. Though, suffice to say it’s really anybody’s race, considering the tough battles throughout the pack in the previous round.
CrowdStrike Racing by Riley Motorsports’ George Kurtz and Colin Braun saw strong finishes in the #04 Mercedes-AMG GT3 in both Race 1 and Race 2 at Sonoma, and will definitely keep the heat turned up.
As will BimmerWorld’s Chandler Hull and Bill Auberlen in the #94 BMW M4 GT3. Also in BMW machinery, are Samantha Tan and Nick Wittmer, drivers of the #38 ST Racing BMW M4 GT3. They saw strong finishes at Sonoma, particularly Race 2 with Tan driving through the field to a solid finish for the first outing of the new M4 GT3.
Lamborghini is well represented in the Pro-Am class with Zelus Motorsports and their #191 and #88 Lamborghini Huracan GT3s, driven by Jeff Burton and Corey Lewis, and Jason Harward and Madison Snow, respectively. Giacomo Altoe rejoins Ziad Ghandour behind the wheel of the #9 TR3 Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3, after strong races together in 2021.
DXDT Racing brings the #08 Mercedes-AMG GT3 driven by Scott Smithson and Bryan Sellers, as well as the #63 driven by David Askew and Dirk Muller. Teammates Frank Gannett and Drew Staveley field the #12 Ian Lacy Racing Aston Martin AMR Vantage GT3.
Erin Vogel and Michael Cooper will co-pilot the #43 Realtime Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo22. Finally, the #13 Triarsi Competizione Ferrari 488 GT3 will feature Justin Wetherill and Ryan Dalziel. There’s no shortage of heavy hitters in GT World Challenge America, and nowhere is that more clear than in Pro-Am.
Finally, rounding out the 20-car field are a pair of Ferrari 488 GT3s, campaigned by Triarsi Competizione and AF Corse. Both teams had a strong showing at Sonoma, but it was AF Corse that swept the race weekend. Perhaps it’ll be Triarsi’s time to claim the top spot? No matter which class it is, GT World Challenge America is sure to bring the thrills.
Be a Part of the Action
Tickets are available online for race day tickets, VIP experience, car corrals, premium parking, and more. Kids 12 and under are admitted for Free!
The weekend schedule, live timing and scoring, and session reports are available at gt-world-challenge-america.com. Check out race live streams for free on YouTube (GTWorld) and Twitch (SROMotorsports).
Finally, get up-to-the minute info on the Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS social channels on Facebook @gtworldchallengeamerica, Instagram @gtworldchallengeamerica and Twitter @gtworldcham.