GMG Racing is set to focus its SRO Motorsports America efforts on GT2 and GT4 next year, with the California-based team making a firm commitment to the new GT2 platform.
Team owner James Sofronas became the first driver to race both GT2 cars – the Porsche 911 GT2 RS Clubsport and Audi R8 LMS GT2 – last weekend when he gave the Audi its race debut in the Blancpain GT Sports Club races at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
He revealed that GMG has already ordered six Porsche GT2s and is likely to order “at least two” Audis for its customers to run next year, primarily in North America.
This program will likely include Jason Bell, one of GMG’s current GT4 drivers, and Stu Frederick, a former regular in GT World Challenge America’s predecessor, who wants to make his racing return in a class above GT4 but more affordable to GT2.
“Jason Bell is one of [our interested customers] and he made an early commitment with me in June and then we obviously raced in Spa together,” Sofronas told Sportscar365.
“Then another gentleman racer, Stu Frederick, bought a Porsche as well and his car shows up in two or three weeks. There are a few others who are a little more private but those two are SRO entries for 2020.”
Both Bell and Frederick are set to run in GT2 Sports Club America, which is planned to compete as part of the SRO America package on five weekends between June and October.
The team has already taken delivery of three Porsches, with three more coming at a later date, while Sofronas says that he has “a lot of Audi fans and clients” who are “interested and basically waiting for me to tell them” about his experience racing the car in Spain.
“It was natural for me to do all the legwork, learn the two platforms, gather data, gather intel from Porsche and Audi, and understand which manufacturers are bringing what support to the table,” he said.
“A lot, if not most, of our clients are Bronze drivers and you have to be a Bronze driver for GT2. It’s a natural progression for our clients to go from club racing into GT2 or from GT4 into GT2.
“I’d say half of them will run in the SRO GT2 [Sports Club America], so up to three of them, and then the other three are fairly new and they’ll do some local club races and work their way up with the goal of running in SRO GT2.”
GMG Remains Committed to Existing Programs
Sofronas cautioned that the team won’t be replacing its current GT4 program with GT2 and that it plans to run both alongside each other, along with a possible step-up of its GT3 commitments.
“GT2 and GT4 will be the focus for us in 2020,” he said. “We still have clients who love GT4 and I think the racing is great in that class, and then we also have a GT3 program.
“We’ll decide how much we commit to [GT3] later this year, but it’s easy for us to slot in all three classes because we have cars and clients that want to be in those individually so we’re prepared to run them in 2020.”
Bell is set to run in both GT4 and GT2 classes, continuing his GT4 career after racing both the Audi R8 LMS GT4 and Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport in Pirelli GT4 America competition this year.
“[Jason] plans to do both [GT4 and GT2] because the nice thing about GT2 is that it’s only a five-weekend schedule so it’s very manageable schedule-wise, time commitment-wise, and the five tracks are great tracks in North America,” Sofronas said.
“SRO did a good job in planning the schedule.”
GT2 Sports Club America is slated to be on the SRO America bill at VIR, Sonoma, Road America, Watkins Glen and Indianapolis.
Competitors could also race with their European counterparts in a support race to the Total 24 Hours of Spa in July, something that Sofronas himself pushed for.
“I’m confident in the fact that the SRO has thought about it and the first race is not until June at VIR, which gives the other manufacturers time to produce the car and enough time to test, enough time to sort through clients getting their cars, outfitting, testing and showing up for the first race,” he said.
“A third manufacturer, I’m not sure where they are, but if it’s just Porsche and Audi, that would still be a hell of a race if there are six or seven each.”