- K-PAX Racing on a roll with four straight wins in the Pro class
- CrowdStrike Racing by Riley Motorsports holds slim four-point lead in Pro-Am
- Ferrari team AF Corse and Triarsi Competizione tied in Am class
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Alton, Virginia - The Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS championship nears the halfway mark of its 13-round season when it heads to VIRginia International Raceway for rounds five and six of the 2022 season on June 17-19. Recently chosen as one of Car and Driver Magazine’s top six road courses in the nation, VIRginia International Raceway is America’s first true “motorsport resort.” Its uphill Esses and sharp elevation changes make it a fan and driver favorite. Within the property’s rolling hills and miles of lush forest, fans will enjoy the accessibility of the paddock to get up close with their favorite racecars.
Teams are looking to build up their points for not only overall series championship bragging rights, but in-class position as well. Current team points leaders in each class are as follows: K-PAX Racing leads Pro with 100 points. CrowdStrike Racing by Riley Motorsports sits first in Pro-Am with 73 points, and finally, AF Corse and Triarsi Competizione are tied at 86 points each in the Am title fight.
Considered the top-tier form of GT3 racing with pro-pairing in North America, the Fanatec GT World Challenge America series runs two 90-minute races in three classes: Pro, Pro-Am, and Am, which are based on driver pairing categories determined by the FIA’s driver categories. The seven-weekend season travels to world-renowned racetracks all over the United States, culminating with the Indianapolis 8-Hour at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in October.
Last year’s Pro class champions K-PAX Racing have already claimed a strong points lead so far this season, thanks to four first-place finishes by the #1 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 pairing of Andrea Calderelli and Jordan Pepper in Sonoma, and Calderelli and Michele Beretta at NOLA. In terms of podium finishes, they’ve grabbed three of the past four races: #3 teammates Misha Goikhberg and Giacomo Altoe, and the #1’s Misha Goikhberg and Jordan Pepper, at Sonoma.
Currently second in team points standings is the US Racetronics team of Steven Aghakhani and Loris Spinelli (#6 Mercedes-AMG GT3) with solid podium finishes in three of four races this season. Turner Motorsports finished second in team points last year and is currently in third with 45 points to date, gaining their points with two fourth-place finishes at the Sonoma races with drivers Michael Dinan and Robby Foley in the (#96 BMW M4). After contact with the US Racetronics Mercedes-AMG GT3 during Race 1 at NOLA, the #96 was forced to retire, so Turner will be looking to make up for the points deficit, and hopefully have a better weekend in Virginia. Looking to add to their points for the season is last year’s third-place Pro team is Winward Racing (#33 Mercedes-AMG) who currently have 30 points on the season behind the efforts of drivers Russell Ward and Philip Ellis.
Four points separate the #04 CrowdStrike by Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG of George Kurtz and Colin Braun and #93 Racers Edge Motorsports Acura NSX GT3 driven by Ashton Harrison and Mario Farnbacher. The latter possess 69 points after earning their first win of the season in Race 2 at NOLA Motorsports Park. And what a race it was: after a smooth first stint and seamless pit strategy, Farnbacher handed the #93 over to Harrison, who not only held onto P1 overall for a number of laps but also drove home to a comfortable win.
Third in points with 59 are last year’s Pro-Am champions Wright Motorsports, featuring father-son-in-law duo Charlie Luck and Jan Heylen, drivers of the #44 Porsche 911 GT3-R.
Heading further down the season points list are the home track heroes of Bimmerworld and their #94 BMW M4 GT3, possessing 49 points with drivers Chandler Hull and Bill Auberlen at the helm. The #9 TR3 Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 piloted by Ziad Ghandour and Giacomo Altoe round out the top five with 36 points.
DXDT Racing finished second in last year’s team class standings and is looking to add to their 26 points this year with David Askew and Dirk Muller at the wheel of the #63 Mercedes-AMG, as well as teammates Scott Smithson and Bryan Sellers in the sister #08 car.
Also vying to gain points through the remainder of the season are the teams of Real Time Racing (#43 Acura NSX) with Erin Vogel and Michael Cooper, Zelus Motorsports with two teams entered in class - the #88 Lamborghini Huracan with Jason Harward and Madison Snow and the #91 for Jeff Burton and Corey Lewis, Triarsi Competizione driven by Justin Wetherill and Ryan Dalziel (#13 Ferrari 488 GT3), and Ian Lacy Racing’s #12 Aston Martin Vantage AMR driven by Frank Gannett and Drew Staveley.
After claiming the first-ever win for the new G82 BMW M4 GT3 at Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello in Italy, Samantha Tan and Nick Wittmer will return to the Fanatec GT World Challenge America lineup at VIR.
So far the two teams competing in the Am class have split the season with two wins in Sonoma going to the AF Corse (#61 Ferrari 488 GT3) team of Jean-Claude Saada and Conrad Grunewald. The NOLA top podium spots went to the (#23 Ferrari 488 GT3) Triarsi Competizione co-driven by Onofrio Triarsi and Charlie Scardina. All eyes will turn to VIR to see if either team takes a commanding lead in the points race as the season rolls on.
Tickets are available at VIRNow.com for race day tickets, the Patriot Car Corral, Camping, and more. Kids 12 and under are admitted Free!
The weekend schedule, live timing and scoring, and session reports are available at gt-world-challenge-america.com. Live race streams are available free on YouTube (GTWorld) and Twitch (SROMotorsports).
For more information on the Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS social channels on Facebook @gtworldchallengeamerica, Instagram @gtworldchallengeamerica, and Twitter @gtworldcham.