Blancpain GT World Challenge America teams have travelled from north of the border to Sonoma and the racetrack that sits in California’s wine country for Rounds 7 and 8 of the 2019 Championship. An 19-car field featuring GT3 machinery from the world’s top marques and drivers representing 10 nations will take to Sonoma Raceway’s picturesque 12-turn, 2.52-mile road course June 7-9.
Ferrari and Bentley Teams Locked in a Pro Division Championship Battle at Mid-Point of Season
Fresh off a victory in Round 5 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP), Ferrari team R. Ferri Motorsport come into the weekend second in team points with 110. Their No. 61 Ferrari 488 GT3 will be co-piloted by Spain’s Miguel Molina and Finland’s Toni Vilander – Molina and Vilander sit tied for first in the driver championship with 105 points coming into the weekend.
Bentley team K-PAX Racing enter the double-header event leading the team championship standings with 136 points. It’s an additionally significant weekend for the team given K-PAX Racing has its home base at Sonoma Raceway. They’ll race a pair of Continental GT3’s at their home track – the No. 9 Bentley Continental GT3 will be co-piloted by former series champion Alvaro Parente of Portugal, and his Spanish teammate Andy Soucek. The team had a dominating win at CTMP in Round 6 – both drivers sit second in the driver championship, only one point behind the leaders (104 points).
K-PAX’s No. 3 Bentley Continental GT3 will be co-piloted by Rodrigo Baptista from Brazil and Maxime Soulet from Belgium – the pair sits third in the driver’s championship with 92 points each.
Porsche team Wright Motorsports come into the weekend looking to close the gap on the team leaders. Canadian Scott Hargrove and teammate American Patrick Long, a two-time series champion, will co-pilot the No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R entry. Wright Motorsports currently sit third in the team championship standings, while the drivers sit fourth in the driver’s championship.
Rounding out the Pro Division, Alegra Motorsports bring two Porsche 911 GT3 R’s to Sonoma. The No. 22 machine will be co-piloted by Canadian Daniel Morad and American Michael De Quesada, while German teammates Wolf Henzler and Marco Holzer will get behind the wheel of the No. 24 entry.
Canadian duo continues their dominance in Pro/Am
Canadians Martin Barkey and Kyle Marcelli continued their dominance in the Pro/Am class after winning at CTMP in Round 6. The pair will co-pilot the No. 80 Racers Edge Motorsports Acura NSX entry – the team leads the team championship (116 points) and the driver’s championship (116 points each) coming into the weekend.
Gradient Racing enter the weekend second in the team standings (95 points) after Till Bechtolsheimer of Great Britain, and American Marc Miller won Round 5 at CTMP. The team will co-drive the No. 5 Acura NSX. Bechtolsheimer sits third in the driver’s championship with 93 points.
Hoping to put themselves more in the championship picture is DXDT Racing who sit third in the team standings with 80 points. The American duo of George Kurtz and Colin Braun will co-drive the team’s No. 04 Mercedes-AMG GT3. Kurtz and Braun sit tied in fourth in the driver’s championship. Americans David Askew and Mike Skeen will co-drive the team’s second entry – the No. 63 Mercedes-AMG GT3.
Southern California based GMG Racing returns to series action with the No. 14 GMG Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R for Team Principle and driver James Sofronas and co-driver Dirk Werner. Sofronas has over 200 series starts. Also returning to action is TR3 Racing with their No. 31 Ferrari 488 GT3 for Americans Patrick Byrne and Guy Cosmo.
Of note, accomplished sportscar driver and former NASCAR Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year Andy Lally makes his Blancpain GT World Challenge series debut paired with Christopher Cagnazzi in the No. 19 One11 Competition Ferrari 488 GT3. One11 Competition has also entered the No. 99 Ferrari 488 GT3 for Alfred Caiola and Matt Plumb. As well, Sonoma-based Stephen Cameron Racing looks for victory at its home track and has entered the No. 87 BMW F13 M6 GT3 with Americans Henry Schmitt and Gregory Liefooghe set to drive.
Rounding out the Pro/Am field is the No. 38 K2R Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R with Americans Kevan Millstein and Alex Barron set to drive; the No. 43 RealTime Racing Acura NSX co-piloted by Americans Bret Curtis and Dane Cameron; and the American pairing of Anthony Imperato and Matt Campbell co-piloting the No. 91 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
Martin Fuentes and Casear Bacarella return to action in the Squadra Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 in the Am category
On-track action begins Friday, June 7 at 11:45 am PDT for the first Blancpain GT World Challenge practice of the weekend. Round 7’s 90-minute contest is scheduled to go green at 2:45 pm PDT on Saturday, June 8, while Round 8 is scheduled to start at 11:15 am PDT Sunday, June 9th.
Races and qualifying will be streamed live on gt-world-challenge-america.com, with Sunday’s contest live on CBS Sports Network.