GMG Racing is “stepping up” its competition level in the team’s first IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race in more than seven years this weekend at Long Beach.
The California-based squad has entered a Porsche 911 GT3 R for Kyle Washington and team principal James Sofronas in Saturday’s 100-minute street race, marking the team’s first WeatherTech Championship start since the 2014 Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
Sofronas said the deal to return to the grid has been fueled by fellow Bronze-rated driver Washington, who competes with the team in GT America powered by AWS competition.
“It was more a scheduling issue since we had double duty last weekend with SRO [America] and another race and some testing, it was really about fitting it into the schedule,” Sofronas told Sportscar365.
“The team is up for the challenge and we have everything we need. The team is well-prepared. Kyle and I have been testing at the Thermal Club.
“It’s an exciting event. We’ve been here as GMG but this is the first time I’ve been in the GTD car with Kyle and obviously his first [multi-driver sports car] race.
“There’s a lot of excitement in the air. He’s got a ton of friends and family coming in, some suites, a lot of guests, so for us we’re going to be super pumped. It’s going to be fun.”
Washington, meanwhile, is making his first ‘endurance’ race start after only competing in single-driver sports car races since getting into the sport in 2019.
“This is kind of our home turf,” Washington said. “Although I’m from Canada, the GMG shop is right down the road and I have a home in California as well.
“All of our friends are here. We have a pretty good party going here for the next couple of days.”
Sofronas added: “We’re stepping up on the competition level. For us it’s just about execution. Have a good race, be safe, be clean, no penalties and hopefully have a chance to run hard at the end and see where we land.
“Kyle has jumped into this motorsport world pretty hard and fast and it’s a lot of excitement.
“I think for both of us, our goals are just to have a great time, a great experience, expose him to endurance racing and then decide where he wants to go after this.”
“Everything’s On the Table” for Washington’s Future Program
Sofronas said they are currently evaluating a number of possible programs for Washington in the future, including potentially more WeatherTech Championship outings in 2022.
“Everything’s on the table for sure,” he said. “But we have to take it one step at a time.
“We can do all kinds of racing, in America, in Europe, but it’s really what his ultimate goals are.
“Right now it’s finishing competitively [at Long Beach].”
“We’re kind of one step at a time but obviously I like the stuff and I’m diving in head first, seeing a lot of cool tracks, meeting a lot of new people that I haven’t been involved with before,” Washington added.
“I’m really new to racing — it’s been a year and a couple of months.
“I would expect a lot more races.”