- Three Points Separate PRO Class Leaders
- Mercedes, Porsche Battle Heats Up in PRO-AM Class
- Over One Million Viewers Anticipate Continued Twitch Stream
- Entry List | Schedule | Tickets
You may have two left feet, but the Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS will have you grooving to the sound of 17 entries represented by six manufacturers at NOLA Motorsports Park from Friday, April 28 through Sunday, April 30.
The 2.75-mile, 16-turn circuit is outside New Orleans, just over the Mississippi River, on sprawling acreage with state-of-the-art facilities. The weekend features autograph sessions on Saturday and Sunday for attendees to get up close and personal with sports car racing stars. Sunday fans can then get up close with the cars on an open grid walk to see some of the most prolific race cars in the world. For those wanting to enjoy a taste of luxury, figuratively and literally, the Paddock Club offers fine dining and a relaxing place to enjoy racing.
Globally speaking Sonoma had been a very profitable weekend for Porsche as the OEM sits atop the leaderboard of the 2023 Points Classification. Porsche, with 990 points, leads Mercedes-AMG by 39 points. Audi Sport rounds out the top three of the six represented manufacturers. See the total results tracked here: https://www.gt-world-challenge.com/standings
Race Two at Sonoma Raceway gave fans a taste of what the PRO Class provides. Ashton Harrison made a last-turn pass to pair a win with the Race One third-place finish for her and co-driver Mario Farnbacher of the No. 93 Racers Edge Motorsport Acura NSX GT3. Eric Filgueiras and Steven McAleer dominated Race One in the No. 28 RS1 Porsche 911 GT3 R. While Race Two didn’t fall in favor of the Porsche, it did keep the duo close in points to the No. 93 Acura NSX GT3. The race winners are only three points apart going into NOLA.
The remainder of the grid shook up each podium leaving the points standings tight. Chandler Hill and Bill Auberlen in the No. 94 BimmerWorld BMW M4 GT3 finished second in Race One, with Manny Franco and Alessandro Balzan in the No. 21 Conquest Racing Ferrari 296 taking second in Race Two. Harrison and Farnbacher collected third-place finishes in Race One and Trenton Estep and Seth Lucas in the No. 53 MDK Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R in Race Two. Hull and Auberlen have tied with Franco and Balzan for third in the points standings, with Estep and Lucas a mere one point behind them in fifth.
The big winners for the PRO-AM Class coming off the Sonoma weekend were Adam Adelson and Elliot Skeer in the No. 120 Wright Motorsports Porsche GT3 R who won Race One and Race Two winners George Kurtz and Colin Braun in the No. 4 CrowdStrike by Riley Mercedes-AMG GT3. Kurtz and Braun also took home a second-place finish in Race One, with Pedro Torres and Spencer Pumpelly in the No. 16 ACI Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R taking home third in Race One. Race Two saw Ziad Ghandour and Daniel Morad in the No. 9 TR3 Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 finish second and Adelson and Skeer finishing third.
Charlie Luck and Jan Heylen in the No. 45 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R neared a podium finish but will fight to best their sister car for the following podium. Three Mercedes-AMG GT3 entries in PRO-AM search for their first podium. Scott Smithson and Bryan Sellers of DXDT, Will Hardeman and Adam Carrol of Esses Racing with Mercedes-Benz of Austin and Jeff Burton and Corey Lewis of DXDT lead those cars.
Derek DeBoer and Valentin Hasse Clot in the No. 007 TRG Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 run the banner as the lone Aston Martin entered. Likewise, Justin Wetherill and Ryan Dalziel represent the only Ferrari in the PRO-AM Class running the No. 33 Triarsi Competizione Ferrari 296 GT3. Samantha Tan and BMW factory Driver John Edwards represent BMW in the class with the No. 38 ST Racing BMW M4 GT3.
Anthony Bartone and Andy Pilgrim of No. 43 RealTime Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 continue designing Bartone’s future in the Am Class.
The weekend begins with official practice Friday, April 28, followed by qualifying and Race One on Saturday, April 29. The 11 a.m. CT autograph session for the Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS split the qualifying and race sessions on track. Sunday, April 30, closes the weekend at NOLA with a grid walk prefacing Race Two.
The final race of the weekend goes green at 1:45 p.m. All qualifying and race session are streamed live on the GT World YouTube page. Join Ash Vandelay on Twitch by following the SROMotorsports channel. Vandelay hosts six-hour programs Saturday and Sunday, where she is joined by drivers while chatting with fans and giving an interesting insight into that day's races. Sonoma Raceway weekend brought over one million viewers to the SROMOtorsports channel where Vandelay educated and entertained alongside the SRO Motorsports America series.
Tickets are on-sale at www.showpass.com/sro-nola with enhanced offerings including the Patriot Car Corral, recently announced car show – NOLA Motor Showoff presented by The Bomb Factory – and trackside camping. Starting at just $10, its fun for the whole family with kids 12 and under free with paid adult.