- Turner Motorsports Returns, TR3 Racing and RealTime Racing Step Up
- New Faces Join the Competition with Christodoulou, Koch
- Entry List | Tickets
Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS takes on VIRginia International Raceway Friday, June 16 through Sunday, June 18 as the 2023 calendar hits its midway point before teams break to focus on the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa July 1-2.
VIRginia International Raceway gives teams a chance to set things up for a strong run to the final race, the Indianapolis 8 Hour. The 3.27-mile, 17-turn of flowing fast turns and faster straightaways. Fans can watch a full day of practice Friday, June 16. A driver autograph session at 1 p.m. ET splits qualifying and racing Saturday, June 17. The final race Sunday, June 18 kicks off with an open grid walk that fans won’t want to miss. A total of 17 cars and six manufacturers make up the grid for the two-race weekend.
A few stand out with the addition of BMW powerhouse Turner Motorsport joining the PRO-AM Class grid and the RealTime Racing entry of Anthony Bartone and new co-driver Adam Christodoulou step up to the class after competing in the AM Class. In the PRO Class the No. 9 TR3 Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Kenton Koch and Daniel Morad join in for the first time. The entry steps up from the PRO-AM Class with Morad and adds Koch to the mix. Samantha Tan receives a new co-driver as John Edwards was unable to make the round due to other responsibilities. That person will be announced at a later date.
As global rounds continue to award winners, the Manufacturers Points Championship continues to heat up. Mercedes-AMG currently sits in the lead with 8,103 points followed by Audi Sport with 6,466 points and Porsche with 5,748 points to round out the top three. Seven manufacturers are up to win the championship. In addition to the three front runners BMW M, Lamborghini, Ferrari and McLaren are also in the fight.
The PRO Class has been heated. The No. 28 RS1 Porsche 911 GT3 R of Eric Filgueiras and Steven McAleer lead the class with 120 points with the No. 93 Racers Edge Motorsports Acura NSX GT3 of Ashton Harrison and Mario Farnbacher closely behind in 103 points in the PRO Teams Championship. MDK Motorsports has proven that keeping it clean pays off as the No. 53 MDK Porsche 911 GT3 R sits third in points.
The No. 94 BimmerWorld BMW M4 GT3 of Chandler Hull and Bill Auberlen and the No. 21 Conquest Racing Ferrari 296 GT3 of Manny Franco and Alessandro Balzan came into contact with one another in Race One at Circuit Of The Americas. The Ferrari was unable to return for Race Two. The BMW served a penalty in Race Two relegating the entry to the back of the field for the race.
Race One at VIR will be the first time the full PRO Class grid has regathered and the addition of the TR3 Racing Mercedes-AMG of Koch and Morad will add another level of competition.
In the PRO-AM Class Wright Motorsports has been dominating. The team boasts two entries with the No. 45 Porsche 911 GT3 R of Jan Heylen and Charlie Luck and the No. 120 Porsche 911 GT3 R of Adam Adelson and Elliot Skeer. The consistent competitiveness puts the team in first with 130 points. The No. 04 CrowdStrike by Riley Mercedes-AMG GT3 of George Kurtz and Colin Braun sits tied for second with 84 points. The No. 007 TRG Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 of Derek DeBoer and Valentin Hasse-Clot share the second position with the CrowdStrike team.
DXDT Racing sits in third with its two entries- the No. 08 Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Scott Smithson and Bryan Sellers and the No. 91 Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Jeff Burton and Corey Lewis. ACI Motorsports is in striking distance of the top three in points with the No. 16 Porsche 911 GT3 R of Pedro Torres and Spencer Pumpelly entry. Tan in the No. 38 ST Racing BMW M4 GT3 and No. 33 Triarsi Competizione Ferrari 296 GT3 of Justin Wetherill and Ryan Dalziel round out the pack of competitors seen in the first six rounds of racing.
Bartone and Christodoulou in the No. 43 RealTime Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 and No. 096 Turner Motorsport BMW M4 GT3 of Vincent Barletta and Robby Foley finish out the PRO-AM grid.
The three-day event hosted at VIRginia International Raceway takes place Friday, June 16, through Sunday, June 18. Fans can purchase single-day tickets or three-day ticket packages. Nissan owners can join the Nissan exclusive car corral. At the same time, the Patriot Car Corral is open to vehicles of all kinds, with proceeds going to helping veterans of the United States and Canadian military. Tickets are on sale here.
For fans unable to attend the event in person, the GT World YouTube page may do just the trick. The live stream covers all series races over the weekend, including Fanatec GT World Challenge America qualifying rounds. For those wanting to get to know the community a little better, join DJ Clark, Kyle Heyer and Daniel Gilligan on the SROMotorsports Twitch stream, where the trio interacts with fans and interviews drivers while covering on-track activity.