Excitement Peaks for 2024 Season Kickoff at Sonoma Raceway Protected by CrowdStrike

Excitement Peaks for 2024 Season Kickoff at Sonoma Raceway Protected by CrowdStrike

The anticipation is rising as the 2024 season is just around the corner, with the opening round of the Fanatec GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS championship taking place at Sonoma Raceway Protected by CrowdStrike from April 5-7. Nestled in the picturesque backdrop of California's wine country, a stellar lineup of teams and drivers are preparing to tackle the challenges of this demanding circuit, setting the scene for an action-packed weekend to come. Among the competitors, fans can expect to see a roster of seasoned veterans and rising stars, all eager to make their mark amongst a field brimming with ambition and skill. 

With over 100 racecars making their way to the track across five highly competitive championships, the Sonoma hills will come alive with the roar of engines. An electrifying and thrilling weekend awaits, with top quality action just over the horizon.  

The future of the 2024 season is bright, as new car deliveries are still to come, with powerhouse teams such as DXDT Racing set to unveil their brand-new Corvette Z06 GT3.R entries, alongside fresh offerings from Ferrari, BMW, Porsche, and the iconic All-American Mustang.  

Additionally, following a stellar showing at Bathurst, international interest continues to skyrocket, with more Intercontinental GT Challenge teams primed to join the season finale Indianapolis 8 Hour, promising an influx of entries for the endurance race. As the season progresses, the grid will continue to evolve with each round, as new contenders emerge, and established teams push the limits in pursuit of glory. 

The Fanatec GT World Challenge America stands as a pivotal component within the expansive framework of the global Fanatec GT World Challenge championship, which includes 52 global races taking place at 30 events spanning across four continents. Nine esteemed manufacturers, with the likes of Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Ferrari, Ford, Lamborghini, McLaren, Mercedes-AMG, and Porsche, will each play a vital role in shaping the narrative of the global championship, each bringing their distinct engineering excellence to the forefront as they define the global GT racing landscape in pursuit of the global manufacturer championship. 

The weekend will encompass two 90-minute feature races, with Race One taking place on Saturday, April 6th, and Race Two being held the following day on Sunday, April 7th. 

Pro Class  

The Pro Class will see some new faces enter into the arena for this year’s championship, accompanied by some familiar names making their return to contend for the title.  
The No. 28 ST Racing BMW M4 GT3 will welcome the emergence of an exciting new driver pairing, with young talent Varun Choksey making his GT3 racing debut alongside renowned racer and BMW ambassador Bill Auberlen. Adam Adelson and Elliott Skeer will be joining forces for their second consecutive season as teammates, fielding the No. 120 Wright Motorsports Porsche 992 GT3 R as they step up into the Pro Class. This season will also see the return of the No. 93 Racers Edge Motorsports Acura NSX GT3 Evo22, and the 2023 Vice-champions will be coming into the first round with an updated driver lineup of Luca Mars and Zach Veach, who brings a plethora of knowledge and skill to the championship from his time competing in the NTT IndyCar Series Championship with Andretti Autosport.  

Pro-Am Class 

Last year’s Pro-Am Class champions George Kurtz and Colin Braun will be reuniting once again in the No. 04 Crowdstrike by Riley Mercedes-AMG GT3 in hopes of defending their championship title. After accumulating six wins and three podium finishes, this dominant duo remains one to watch coming into Sonoma.  

Mercedes-AMG proved to be a popular manufacturer selection for the Pro-Am field, with Esses Racing and Chouest Povoledo Racing also opting for the Mercedes-AMG GT3 as their car of choice. Will Hardeman and Adam Carroll will be tackling Sonoma Raceway in the No. 19 Esses Racing w/ Mercedes-Benz of Austin entry. Meanwhile, Ross Chouest and Aaron Povoledo will be stepping up to the plate in the No. 50 Chouest Povoledo Racing car after previously competing together in the Pirelli GT4 America championship the year before.  

DXDT Racing will be fielding dual Mercedes-AMG GT3 entries of their own to start off the season, with Scott Smithson and Bryan Sellers piloting the No. 08 car, and Jeff Burton and Phillip Ellis manning the No. 91 machine.  

Another pairing making the transition from GT4 to GT3 machinery is Elias Sabo and Andy Lee, who will be taking to the track in the all-new No. 8 Flying Lizard Motorsports Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3.  

The Pro-Am class will be welcoming several new contenders, with Tom Sargent making his first full-season appearance in the series in the No. 32 GMG Racing Porsche 992 GT3 R alongside seasoned driver Kyle Washington. Sargent previously competed in last year’s Indianapolis 8 Hour with DXDT Racing. Justin Rothberg is also set to commence his first GT3 full-season campaign with Robby Foley on board the No. 29 Turner Motorsport BMW M4 GT3. Comparatively, Samantha Tan and Neil Verhagen will also be utilizing a BMW M4 GT3, with the No. 38 ST Racing entry seeking to continue their strong momentum from last season.  

Let’s Get Racing 

The Fanatec GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS field is set to kick off the 2024 championship season during Practice 1 on Friday, April 5th. Click here for the full schedule of the opening round at Sonoma Raceway. 

If you can’t make it to Sonoma, be sure to tune-in to SRO’s free live streams all weekend long on YouTube (GTWorld) and Twitch (SROMotorsports) and follow all the action through our social media channels and the event hashtag #GTSonoma.