The GT World Challenge America powered by AWS series gets back on track this weekend, July 10-12, at Virginia International Raceway, which hosts Rounds 3 and 4 of the 2020 championship.
The series has been on a four-month hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
GT World Challenge
Coming into the VIR weekend, the TR3 Racing team of Martin Fuentes and Rodrigo Baptista (No. 1 Ferrari 488 GT3, photo above) sits atop the World Challenge Pro/Am division standings, having scored a win and a third-place finish in the two season opening rounds at Circuit of The Americas.
On the strength of two second place finishes at COTA, the American duo of George Kurtz and Colin Braun sit just four points behind. The pair will share the No. 04 DXDT Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3, sister car to the No. 63 driven by David Askew and accomplished sportscar veteran Ryan Dalziel.
Last season’s Pro/Am champs, Martin Barkey and Kyle Marcelli, had an inauspicious start to 2020, finishing off the podium in both races at COTA, but they look to bounce back in the Racers Edge Motorsports Acura NSX GT3.
Perennial championship contender K-PAX Racing will have its Bentley Continental GT3 on the grid in Virginia for the American tandem of Patrick Byrne and Guy Cosmo. Rounding out the Pro/Am grid, Winward Racing brings its Mercedes-AMG GT3 for Russell Ward and veteran sports car racer Kris Wilson.
The Silver division team of Shelby Blackstock and Trent Hindman (Racers Edge Motorsports Acura NSX GT3) had an impressive 2020 debut in Austin, winning both races in class as well as overall ahead of the Pro/Am division squads.
In the Am division, the Wright Motorsports tandem of Fred Poordad and Max Root (Porsche 911 GT3 R) had a perfect opening season weekend in Texas, taking both race category wins, and now sit atop the division championship standings with an unblemished 50 points. TR3 Racing, meanwhile, brings its Ferrari 488 GT3 for Bill Sweedler and teammate John Megrue.
GT Sports Club America
The weekend also marks the debut of the GT Sports Club America series — a destination point for drivers looking for professional level motorsport. Featuring GT2 machinery from Audi, Porsche, and Mercedes, the 2020 GT2 iterations share many of the components from their road-going variants, with the aim of creating an affordable, professional, racing environment.
With less downforce and fewer driver aids, success in the modern GT2 race car is mostly up to the drivers who come from a diverse mix of motorsports backgrounds and are placed in classes based on age and level of experience. Drivers in the bronze level of FIA driver rating are eligible for the three classes of competition including Overall, Iron (ages 50-59) and Titanium (over 60 years of age).
Additionally, older generation GT3 and Cup cars are welcomed on a per case review basis.
In the overall class, SRO veterans GMG Racing will bring its Porsche 911 GT2 RS Clubsport to the grid for Jason Bell at the controls, while a veteran of more than 50 starts and two career wins, Jason Daskalos, will has entered the Daskalos Motorsports Audi R8 LMS Ultra.
Others include Karl Leinsing (Atech Design Porsche 911 GT2 RS CS) and Ryan Gates (311RS Motorsport Porsche 911 GT2 RS CS).
Stu Frederick, another World Challenge veteran, will race in the Iron Class, piloting the GMG Racing Porsche 911 GT2 RS CS.
On-track action at VIR begins Friday, July 10, at 9:05am EDT for the first GT World Challenge practice session, followed by the GT Sports Club America first practice at 9:20am. Saturday’s 90m Round 3 race (Round 1 for GT Sports Club) is scheduled to go green at 1:45pm, while Round 4 (GT Sports Club Round 2) is scheduled to start at 1:45pm on Sunday, July 12.
Both races and qualifying will be streamed live on YouTube, as well as being broadcast live on the CBS Sports Network.