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Sofronas, Bell Set for Porsche GT2 Debut Race at Spa

GMG will field two cars in the maiden Porsche GT2 race at Spa…

Photo: GMG Racing FB

GMG Racing will have two cars on the grid as the SRO Motorsports Group’s new GT2 platform hits the track in anger for the first time at Spa next month as part of the Total 24 Hours of Spa weekend.

GMG team owner James Sofronas and its Pirelli GT4 America driver Jason Bell are both set to take part in the races, which are expected to have a field of at least 20 Porsche GT2 RS Clubsports, with an eye on using the experience to jumpstart a North American GT2 program in 2020.

Sofronas and the California-based team are the first to officially announce intentions to compete in the single-make race, which will serve as a prelude to SRO’s expected first mixed-manufacturer GT2 race at Barcelona in September.

Sofronas told Sportscar365 that his team’s involvement in the debut race for the new GT2 platform serves multiple purposes.

“It’s threefold,” he said. “First, it’s a bucket list. It’s a fantastic track that I’ve always wanted to race on. Two, I get a chance to race the car before everybody else, other than the other entries [at Spa].

“And three, more importantly, I get to link up with Porsche Motorsport over in their homeland and get real intimate with this platform as well as other projects that they’re working on, including the 935.

“There’s a lot to be accomplished but I’m looking forward to just racing. I’ve got a lot of learning to do, so my expectations are to be fairly competitive but to have some fun and enjoy it and learn a lot.”

Sofronas said he expects big things from the GT2 RS Clubsport based on GMG’s experience tuning the street version and intelligence he has received from Europe.

“Our relationship with Porsche continues and we’re very familiar with the street car because we’ve worked on many of them and prepped them for the track,” he said.

“They’re unbelievable street cars. Knowing what they’re capable of in street form, we can only imagine how amazing they are going to be in race trim.

“In fact, I have some contacts in Germany that were a part of the testing and the feedback has been incredibly impressive as far as the potential performance and the ease of driving the car.”

Sofronas: Interest Already High for GT2

Sofronas indicated that interest in the GT2 concept in the U.S. is already high, noting that GMG has four cars on order with two additional allocations available for customers interested in racing the car next year, either under the SRO banner or in the club-level Porsche Trophy USA championship.

Included among the four cars the team has ordered are the two chassis that he and Bell will be racing at Spa, which will then be shipped to the U.S. for use in the 2020 season.

Sofronas said the combination of the GT2 RS Clubsport’s performance, relatively affordible running cost and the SRO’s focus on the gentleman driver for the class has identified a niche in the market.

“This is a great platform for people to jump from GT4 to GT2, because GT3 requires so much more of an effort and the running costs are much higher,” he said.

“Although this car is not that inexpensive, I think the running costs are considerably less and that has a nice appeal there.

“It’s a stock drivetrain, the motor and the gearbox are from the street car, so there really aren’t any rebuild intervals to the point that there are with the GT3 R.

“It’s got big power but not as much aero. It won’t be as quick as a GT3 car, but it will be faster down the straightaways, and that appeals to a lot of gentlemen drivers.

“I think they’re going to enjoy a Bronze only class, so they compete against their peers, and the running costs will be considerably less than a GT3 car. That all contributes to a pretty exciting new platform.”

Ryan Myrehn is an Indianapolis-based broadcaster and reporter. In addition to his work covering primarily domestic sports car racing for Sportscar365, he is the lead announcer for SRO America's TV coverage as well as a pit reporter for IndyCar Radio. Myrehn, a graduate of DePauw University, is also the host of Sportscar365's “Double Stint” Podcast.

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