- 140 Entries Set for SRO, COTA Display
- Porsche continues to lead Global Manufacturer Championship
- Entry List
They say everything’s bigger in Texas and SRO Motorsports America brings the big dance for sports car racing at the 3.425-mile, 20-turn racetrack - Circuit Of The Americas. Austin, Texas is home to SRO America and now plays host to the third calendar event for the Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS kicking off Friday, May 19th featuring a double-header race weekend on Saturday and Sunday.
In support - GT America powered by AWS, Pirelli GT4 America, TC America powered by Skip Barber and the Toyota GR Cup North America - five series will do-si-do around the track with 140 entries split between them. With packed paddocks and activation areas, COTA will be bustling with activity throughout the weekend. In the garages, fans will find the 17 Fanatec GT World Challenge America cars lined up in a row ready to roll. Six manufacturers are represented by the 34 drivers on grid and as seen this season, anyone can walk away a winner.
In the Fanatec GT World Challenge powered by AWS points global championship Porsche remains in the lead. Headed into COTA, five events have been completed- two in America, two in Australia and one in Europe. Mercedes-AMG has gained on Porsche sitting with 3,077 points to Porsche’s 3,144. Audi Sport sits third in the championship with 2,626.
The PRO Class took no time heating up in 2023. The five entries have a tight points championship battle. The No. 28 RS1 Porsche 911 GT3-R of Eric Filgueiras and Steven McAleer sits in first with 77 points followed by the No. 94 BimmerWorld BMW M4 GT3 of Chandler Hull and Bill Auberlen. Both the No. 28 RS1 Porsche and No. 94 BimmerWorld BMW took home wins at NOLA Motorsports Raceway. The No. 28 RS1 Porsche nearly swept the weekend before incident responsibility handed down a penalty the ultimately settled the team with a fifth-place finish.
The No. 28 RS1 Porsche came into contact with the No. 93 Racers Edge Motorsports Acura NSX GT3 of Ashton Harrison and Mario Farnbacher. The No. 93 Racers Edge Acura has one win under its belt but bad luck in rounds three and four befell the team. However, with 60 points Racers Edge sits third in the points championship. Fourth and fifth in points are the No. 21 Conquest Racing Ferrari 296 GT3 of Manny Franco and Alessandro Balzan and the No. 53 MDK Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3-R of Seth Lucas and Trenton Estep. The two entries have been equally consistent as they push for podium finishes. To garner a leap in the championship standing they’ll both look for a win, the first for either team in the 2023 season.
The No. 04 CrowdStrike by Riley Mercedes-AMG GT3 has been on a hot streak. Drivers George Kurtz and Colin Braun come into the COTA weekend after winning Round 4 in class and the race overall. They lead the PRO-AM Class championship with 70 points but Adam Adelson and Elliot Skeer in the No. 120 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3-R hold 66 points after winning rounds one and three. Rounding out the top three in the points championship is Derek DeBoer in the No. 007 TRG Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 with 47 points after an impressive show at NOLA gave the team two podium finishes.
The No. 9 TR3 Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Ziad Ghandour and Daniel Morad has played a part of every storyline this season but has only one podium to show for it with a second-place finish in Round 2. DXDT Racing has had two strong entries in the No. 08 DXDT Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Scott Smithson and Bryan Sellers as well as the No. 91 of DXDT Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Jeff Burton and Corey Lewis. Smithson and Sellers took home a podium for the team in Race One at NOLA.
The No. 45 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3-R of Charlie Luck and Jan Heylen proved that they had the pace to match the results of their teammates in the No. 120 Porsche with a podium in Race Two at NOLA. Porsche also is represented on track with the No. 16 ACI Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3-R of Pedro Torres and Spencer Pumpelly who have had great pace all season.
The No. 38 ST Racing BMW M4 GT3 of Samantha Tan and John Edwards will look for redemption after a podium finish was revoked due to a last lap technical issue in NOLA Race Two. Just the same, the No. 33 Triarsi Competizione Ferrari 296 GT3 will look to create forward momentum in the program with drivers Justin Wetherill and Ryan Dalziel.
The hometown hero persona is played by Esses Racing with Mercedes Benz of Austin. The local team is a 20-minute drive down the road from COTA. Driver Will Hardeman is not only a local of Austin but also the owner of Mercedes Benz of Austin. Hardeman and co-driver Adam Carrol in the No. 19 Esses Racing with Mercedes Benz of Austin Mercedes-AMG GT3 will aim to earn its first podium finish at COTA in front of a home crowd.
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, May 19, followed by qualifying and Race One on Saturday, May 20. The 1 p.m. CT autograph session for the Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS split the qualifying and race sessions on track. Sunday, May 21, closes the weekend at COTA with a grid walk prefacing Race Two. The final race of the weekend goes green at 2:15 p.m.
All qualifying and race session are streamed live on the GT World YouTube page. Join Ash Vandelay on Twitch by following the SRO Motorsports 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.
Tickets are on-sale at www.showpass.com/sro-cota with enhanced offerings including the Patriot Car Corral and trackside camping. With tickets starting under $20 dollars, it’s fun for the whole family with kids 12 and under free with a ticketed adult.