Pirelli GT4 Sprint America’s top drivers Ian James, Michael Cooper and Spencer Pumpelly lead a talented 21-car field to upstate New York as the series returns to action Aug. 30-Sept. 1 at Watkins Glen International for Rounds 10 and 11 of the 2019 championship.
Team Panoz Racing driver Ian James comes into the weekend leading in the driver’s championship with a slim three-point lead over Blackdog Speed Shop’s Michael Cooper. James will drive the No. 50 Panoz Avezzano GT4, while Cooper, a former series TC and GTS champion, will pilot the No. 10 McLaren 570S GT4.
Cooper won Round 8 at Sonoma with James finishing second on the day. The next day James won with Cooper finishing second. Expect more thrilling, close quarters racing from the two at Watkins Glen.
Only five points behind Cooper is Spencer Pumpelly (No. 66 TRG – The Racers Group Porsche 718 Cayman CS MR) whose efforts have helped place Porsche atop the manufacturer’s championship standings. Pumpelly held the early season lead in the driver’s championship and will be looking to leapfrog both James and Cooper at Watkins Glen.
Robinson Racing’s Gar Robinson and Shane Lewis sit fourth and fifth respectively in the driver’s championship standings heading into the weekend. Robinson will pilot the No. 74 Chevrolet Camaro GT4, while Lewis will get behind the wheel of the No. 72.
Promoted to the Pro division mid-way through the season, Jarett Andretti, son of versatile driver John Andretti and nephew to team principal Michael Andretti, will pilot the No. 18 Andretti Autosport McLaren 570S GT4.
Elsewhere, Michael McCann Jr. will make his first GT4 Sprint start of 2019 in the No. 82 McCann Racing Audi R8 LMS GT4.
In the Am division, Drew Staveley (No. 12 Ian Lacy Racing Ford Mustang GT4) sits atop the driver’s championship standings, having swept the Sonoma weekend with back-to-back wins and not finishing outside the top three in seven starts this season. His teammate, Frank Gannett, will drive the team’s No. 24.
Cooper’s teammate and Blackdog Speed Shop team principal Tony Gaples sits third in the driver’s championship standings and will pilot the No. 11 McLaren 570S GT4, while Park Place Motorsports’ Alan Brynjolfsson is fourth. Brynjolfsson’s No. 7 Porsche 718 Cayman CS MR won Round 1 at the Circuit of The Americas and needs to get back into victory circle to renew his championship quest.
Marko Radisic (No. 22 Precision Driving Tech BMW M4 GT4) sits fifth in the standings.
Over 100 cars will be competing over the weekend in SRO’s three series – Blancpain GT World Challenge America, Pirelli GT4 America and TC America. GT4 America Sprint drivers get their first official track time starting with Practice 1 on Friday, Aug. 30, at 9:40 a.m. EDT. Qualifying begins Saturday, Aug. 31 at 9:10 a.m. EDT, with the first Sprint race set for a green flag start later that day at 2:05 p.m. EDT.
All Sprint races will be streamed live on gt4-america.com and via audio simulcast on SiriusXM satellite radio Ch. 385 (980 on the web stream). CBS Sports Network coverage for Sprint races at Watkins Glen airs Sept. 8 at 1:00 p.m. EST. Check your local listings for additional broadcast time and channel information.