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GMG, Washington Set for Triple Duty in Porsches at Laguna Seca

GMG set to take on WeatherTech, Pilot Challenge, Carrera Cup races at Laguna Seca…

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

GMG Racing is set for its busiest-ever IMSA weekend later this month at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, with the California-based team planning to field Porsches in three different series with driver Kyle Washington.

Team owner James Sofronas confirmed to Sportscar365 that GMG will make its third WeatherTech SportsCar Championship start of the season with its Porsche 911 GT3 R, with Sofronas and Washington again teaming up as drivers.

In addition, the duo will also contest the Michelin Pilot Challenge race at the wheel of a Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport, with Washington slated for the pair of Porsche Carrera Cup North America presented by The Cayman Island rounds in his Type-992 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car as well.

It is part of a program that will see Bronze-rated driver contest six different series over the next five weeks, including the Porsche Sprint Challenge North America by Yokohama race that will support the Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix next month.

This weekend at Long Beach, Washington is the only driver pulling double duty between Carrera Cup and WeatherTech Championship competition. 

“The focus on the program is getting Kyle as much seat time and getting him up to speed,” Sofronas told Sportscar365. 

“After this weekend, we just turn around, re-load the trailers and go to Sonoma [for SRO America] and then we come back for the big one at Laguna.

“That’s going to be a big weekend, a longer race. He’s going to have to drive more and will be driving the GTD car, GS car and the Carrera Cup car.”

Sofronas said it’s a “huge advantage” supporting Washington’s intensive program exclusively with Porsche machinery. 

What’s more, GMG is able to make available testing opportunities for Washington at The Thermal Club, where the team recently opened up an 8,000-square foot temporary shop ahead of a dedicated 25,000 square-foot facility that’s slated to come online next year.

Washington is believed to be the only driver in North America to own Porsche’s full array of race cars, including the 911 GT2 RS Clubsport and previous generations GT4 Clubsports and 911 GT3 Cup cars.

“Obviously Porsche sets the bar high with their ladder program,” Sofronas said. “He loves all the different cars — the Cup, the Cayman and the GT3 R — for different reasons. 

“But the main thing is that at The Thermal Club, he’s testing and driving them all the time.

“He can get into the Cayman and the Cup car with a small support cast from us. When he wants to run the GT3 R, we bring in the bigger team. 

“But having a shop there on-site at Thermal has allowed us to give him full access, full support, almost on a daily basis because we have the cars, the equipment, and we just roll out and drive.

“He’ll drive a half a day, a couple of days and he’s just getting a lot of seat time and getting better.”

Sofronas added: “Because it’s just Kyle we’re focusing on, it’s easier to manage just one driver. It also helps us fine-tune our driver development program.

“We have a lot of clients we put in Caymans and Cup cars that want to move up.

“Kyle is real-time feedback on what works on our program for him, what helps him develop faster and shortening the learning curve and we apply that to our new customers.”

Additional WeatherTech Championship outings with the GTD class Porsche are currently under evaluation, although the only confirmed race for the 911 GT3 R beyond Laguna Seca is the SRO-run Indianapolis 8 Hour in October.

“We have a good time together,” Sofronas said. “For Kyle, a lot of it is about the experience itself and the atmosphere, the environment. 

“He loves to host friends and family. He’s very generous with hospitality and really wants everybody to enjoy the environment and experience.

“For him, he is obviously competitive and athletic, he just needs more seat time. He’s getting better and better every time he gets in the car.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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