Victor Gomez IV has secured a full-season drive in the 2016 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama, in part through a scholarship from the International Motor Sports Association and supported by Porsche and Yokohama.
Gomez, 19, from San Juan, Puerto Rico, will make his series debut in the season-opening rounds March 16-18 at Sebring International Raceway during the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida.
He will drive in the Platinum Cup class for championship-winning Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama team NGT Motorsport, a standout in the series for a decade.
The IMSA Scholarship is awarded to a driver without prior Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge experience and is designed to attract and recognize new talent that desires to race in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama.
This scholarship represents a vital first step in building the necessary budget required to race in this highly competitive championship, one of 20 similar Porsche single-make series worldwide.
“I want to thank IMSA, Porsche Motorsport North America, Yokohama and my family for giving me this opportunity,” Gomez said.
“I feel very honored. I’m so excited to be joining this series, especially with NGT Motorsport, which has won this championship four times. I know I’m going to be in good hands.
“The 2016 season is going to be a huge learning experience. I cannot wait to get back to the track. I’ll work hard and do the best I can.”
Gomez is climbing to the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama in 2016 after competing last season in the World Challenge GT Cup championship, finishing seventh in the standings as a rookie.
He produced five top-five finishes in a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, with a best result of third on the tricky street circuit at Long Beach, California.
“Victor developed into a consistent driver with great potential during his first season in a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car,” said David Pettit, IMSA vice president, marketing. “We’re pleased with his decision to continue to develop his raw talent and advance his career in the IMSA paddock.”
Said Jens Walther, president and CEO of Porsche Motorsport North America: “Victor is a promising young talent with a bright future. He’s committed to using all the available tools to develop his skills and craft.
“Driving for an outstanding team with championship pedigree like NGT Motorsport in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama is an ideal place for him to succeed.”
Gomez is the third IMSA Scholarship recipient, following Elliott Skeer in 2015 and Michael Lewis in 2014. Skeer won the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama Platinum Cup championship in 2015, with five victories. Lewis finished a close third in the Platinum Cup standings in 2014, with four victories.
“Yokohama is proud to continue its support of this scholarship as part of its deep commitment to the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama and motorsports in North America,” Yokohama Tire Corporation Motorsports Manager Duane Sampson said.
“Victor has shown a deft balance of speed and skill in the early stages of his career. We’re eager to see his progress in this competitive, exciting championship, which is the perfect next step for him.”
NGT Motorsport, based in Miami, fielded entries for Henrique Cisneros when he won the Gold Cup Drivers Championship in 2010 and the Platinum Cup Drivers Championship in 2011 in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama.
“We are very excited about this announcement, and I want to thank IMSA, Porsche and Yokohama for giving Victor this opportunity,” NGT Motorsport Team Principal Ramez Wahab said.
“I want to welcome Victor to our NGT family. He is a very sharp young man, and I can’t wait to see how he will develop during the season.”