It’s been a long time coming, but GMG Racing driver James Sofronas races his 350th event with SRO Motorsports America at Circuit Of The Americas in Austin, Texas Saturday, May 20.
Sofronas has unfolded alongside SRO Motorsports America as a familiar face to fans and fellow competitors. He’s seen the series through evolutions of GT racing to its current status as part of the global SRO Motorsports group while working his way up the racing ladder evolving his racecraft along the way. The development came not as an accident by Sofronas but a consistent dedication to a sport he loves through a winning-focused psyche.
“I’m a very competitive guy and always want to compete against the best, which is why I jumped into the WC Pro Series my first year of wheel-to-wheel racing,” Sofronas said. “I wanted and still do, push myself to the limit. I do this in business, life and on a personal level, as I always want to see what I am capable of doing. Racing is about pushing yourself to your limits, getting everything out of yourself, and living on the edge. It’s the only way to go through life.”
Sofronas can still recall his first race in the early nineties. The feeling of euphoria battling on the track left a lasting memory and ignited the start of a historic racing career.
“It was 1994, and I was a complete rookie showing up at Road America for my first World Challenge race. I rented an Oldsmobile Achieva from my friend Chuck Hemingson and had the time of my life. He was a factory driver, and I was renting his backup car for $1,800 dollars. That was basically all the savings I had at the time, but I didn’t care. I wanted to go and give it a shot! I finished ninth out of 25 touring cars; I was hooked.”
Since 1994 Sofronas has gone on to win a few championships. The 2017 to 2018 years were a particularly high point having won the 2017 GTA championship, the 2017 GT PRO-AM championship, the 2018 GT4 Sprint championship, the 2018 GT4 Sprint X championship and the 2018 GT4 team championship.
While his life has naturally undergone changes over his nearly three-decade-long career, racing has remained a constant. Sofronas uses racing as a springboard for motivation in other areas of life. Racing is part of his healthy lifestyle as a part of his workout routine, it keeps his mind sharp as a competitive businessman. His business side, President and Owner of Global Motorsports Group, complements his racing side very well.
Global Motorsports Group or GMG, is North America’s premier performance tuning facility. What began as a small 1200 sq. ft. shop maintaining two race cars has grown into a 30,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art performance tuning, racing and service facility located in Santa Ana, California. GMG was created out of the desire to help people enter motorsports by prepping street cars for the track and streamlining the process of identifying cars that enhance and complement the driver's experience.
Sofronas' experience on track makes him a relatable, if not inspirational, figure to many clients.
“Racing is what drives me to push in all areas of my life,” Sofronas said. “It helps me stay in shape, it keeps me sharp and on the business side, it helps to validate everything we do at GMG. There is no question that our racing experience on track helps us develop better products for GMG's street tuning and performance side.”
Sofronas always has personal goals, but in 2023, he has a few large undertakings, including building a new shop in Thermal, California, while maintaining the exceptional service provided to GMG customers.
“This year, we are extremely busy with our Customer Racing Program,” Sofronas said. “That is priority number one here at GMG. We provide an incredible experience for our clients both on and off the track, as well as what we are providing at The Thermal Club which will be even better once our 28K square ft. shop is completed end of 2023.
“So, my goals are to see my clients succeed and when I personally get to race, it’s to showcase our amazing crew and experience that we provide each weekend we are at the track. Nothing makes me happier than to see my clients succeed and having multiple championships over the years with our customers is one of GMG’s greatest accomplishments. It’s one thing for me to have success, but it’s way more rewarding to see my clients, who have become my good friends, succeed in pursuing their dreams of racing on a competitive level with podiums and championships.”
He has provided some advice for those looking to create a racing profile as stories as Sofronas. Go all in. Fans can watch Sofronas go all in at COTA in Austin, Texas, Friday, May 19 through Sunday, May 21, with the GT America powered by AWS series.
All race sessions 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.