For the first time this season, both Pirelli GT4 America Sprint and SprintX championships will be in action on the same weekend, with 44 cars entered for the April 26-28 multi-race event at scenic Virginia International Raceway.
The GT4 weekend at VIR will feature 10 different manufacturers, Sprint showcasing a single-driver, 50m double-header and SprintX a pair of two-driver, 60m races with pit stops.
Kicking off the season with back-to-back street circuit races, the Sprint championship has been an all-out war. Spencer Pumpelly and The Racers Group picked up their first win of the year in at Long Beach and look to carry the momentum into VIR.
Ian James will be the only Panoz in the field for Team Panoz Racing, working to keep his streak of podiums alive for the third straight race weekend.
Blackdog Speed Shop is coming to grips with their new McLaren 570S GT4 machines with Michael Cooper driving to a podium finish. As they continue to learn, look for Cooper and Am-entry Tony Gaples to be strong contenders.
And don’t count out fellow McLaren driver Jarrett Andretti driving for Andretti Autosport . Mark Klenin will also represent the brand in his No. 62 KPR entry.
Porsche will be well represented with GMG Racing’s Jason Bell continuing in his newly acquired 718 Cayman GT4 CS MR and joined on the grid by Alan Brynjolfsson (Park Place Motorsports), Michael Dinan (Flying Lizard Motorsports), and Thomas Collingwood (BGB Motorsports).
The Robinson Racing duo of Gar Robinson and Shane Lewis will bring their thunderous Chevy Camaro GT4s to VIR looking to get back on the podium, while Ford is well represented by Ian Lacy Racing with Drew Staveley and Frank Gannett behind the wheel.
Having showed great pace, Marco Polo Motorsports Nicolai Elghanyan looks to bounce back from his Long Beach disappointment and claim a strong finish with the team’s unique KTM X-bow.
Greg Palmer (Kelly-Moss/Proton Motorsports) and Jeff Burton (Rearden Racing) will fly the Audi Sport flag, both in Audi R8 LMS GT4s.
Five BMW M4 GT4 machines will compete in the Am category: a two-car effort from Stephen Cameron Racing for Henry Schmidt and Sean Quinlan; Precision Driving Tech’s Marco Radisic doing double-duty, racing in both Sprint and SprintX series at VIR; Rearden Racing’s Dimitri Novikov; and Classic BMW’s Chris Ohmacht.
With GT4 competition offering a wealth of classes to challenge, many Sprint competitors will be pulling multiple driving stints this weekend, partnered up for SprintX competition. Other dedicated SprintX-only pairs will focus 100 percent of their efforts on the single co-driven competition.
The Audi presence at the track is undeniable with past champion James Sofronas pairing with CJ Moses in the likely front-running No. 04 GMG Racing Audi R8 LMS GT4; and veteran Andy Pilgrim with Adam Poland in the No. 33 Doghouse Performance entry.
Kelly-Moss/Photon Motorsports drivers Eric and Greg Palmer will return in their Audi to contest SprintX East Am class while Rearden Racing duo Jeff Burton and Vesko Kozarov take their Laguna Seca podium-winning efforts to the Eastern side of the country to fill out the Audi effort.
In the No. 3 Epic Motorsports BMW M4 GT4, James Clay and Randy Mueller look to continue their climb up the SprintX standings with a team-best Top 10 finish at COTA under their belts, while the Auto Technic Racing BMW of John Allen and Kris Wilson also looks to improve.
Laguna Seca winners Sean Quinlan and Gregory Liefooghe will work for a repeat performance in their Stephen Cameron Racing BMW, while Precision Driving Tech’s Marko Radisic and Karl Wittmer aim to better their top-10 finish in the St. Petersburg opener.
Classic BMW’s two entries — the No. 29 driven by Justin Raphael and Stevan McAleer, and the No. 92 piloted by Chris Ohmacht and Classic leader Toby Grahovec — round out BMW’s VIR weekend efforts.
There are multiple single-car SprintX entries, including cars from Ford (the Rich Golinello/Nate Stacy Kohr Motorsports Mustang GT4); Ginetta (the Anthony Geraci/Elivan Goulart Krugspeed G55); McLaren (the Jarett Andretti/ Karl Thompson Andretti Autosport 570S GT4); Mercedes-AMG (the Matthew Fassnacht/Christian Szymczak Murillo Racing GT4); and Panoz (the Preston Calvert/Matt Keegan Team Panoz Avezzano GT).
Filling out the SprintX field is the three-pronged effort from Porsche. With TRG The Racing Group’s Sprint effort taking the top prize in the last round at Long Beach, teammates Sean Gibbons and Derek DeBoer hope to snare a repeat in their Porsche 718 Cayman CS MR.
NOLASPORT will double its chances at VIR as it has entered two 718 Caymans, the No. 46 of Mike Vess and John Capestro-Dubets in the Am category and the No. 47 (photo above) driven by Matt Travis and Jason Hart in Pro-Am.
GT4 classes get their first official track time starting with Sprint practice on Friday at 9:25 a.m. EDT. Qualifying begins Saturday at 8:55 a.m. EDT, with GT4 races starting at 1:05 p.m. EDT later that afternoon.
All Sprint and SprintX races will be streamed live on gt4-america.com and audio simulcast on SiriusXM satellite radio Ch. 383 (983 on the app).
CBS Sports Network coverage for SprintX races at VIR premieres May 11th at 6:00 p.m. EDT, with Sprint coverage immediately following at 7:00 p.m. EDT. Check your local listings for additional broadcast time and channel information.