Championships are on the line as Pirelli World Challenge competitors head into the penultimate round of the season this weekend at Sonoma Raceway, highlighted by close title fights in GT and GT Cup and a potential championship clinch in GTA.
A total of 50 cars between the GT/GTA/GT Cup and GTS classes are entered for the double-header weekend, including a number of changes since the last round at Utah Motorsports Campus in August.
ENTRY LIST: Sonoma
Patrick Long heads into Sonoma as the new GT points leader, thanks to his double podium finish in Utah, and misfortune for K-PAX Racing’s Alvaro Parente, who crashed out of Race 1 after contact with title rival Michael Cooper.
Long holds a 21-point lead over Parente, with Cadillac’s Cooper in third, and only 65 points behind the Wright Motorsports Porsche driver.
Porsche’s quest for back-to-back GT manufacturers championships has been bolstered with the arrival of the two WeatherTech Racing-backed Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Rs for Gunnar Jeannette (GT) and Cooper MacNeil (GTA).
The team, which switches from the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, will complete the season, including a single SprintX entry at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
James Davison will return to the wheel of the No. 33 Always Evolving Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 following his one-race suspension in Utah, which saw Craig Dolby fill in.
The only other change to the GT class will come from RealTime Racing, which has yet to announce its replacement driver for Spencer Pumpelly, who will be on IMSA duty at Circuit of The Americas this weekend.
Martin Fuentes, meanwhile, can wrap up the GTA title this weekend, with the Scuderia Corsa driver holding a hefty 272-point lead over Wright’s Micheal Schein.
In addition to MacNeil’s entry, the eight-car GTA class will see the arrival of fellow IMSA competitor Black Swan Racing with its Porsche for team owner Tim Pappas.
Andy Wilzoch, who made his PWC debut at Road America, returns in the No. 45 Flying Lizard Porsche as well.
GT Cup expands into a six-car class this weekend with the addition of Mike Hedlund in a Flying Lizard Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car and the return of Preston Calvert, after fire damage has parked his No. 76 Calvert Dynamics Porsche 911 GT3 R for the remainder of the season.
In the championship chase, GMG Racing’s Alec Udell holds a 94-point lead over title rival Sloan Urry, of TruSpeed Autosport, with only three races to go.
Track action gets underway on Friday, with the pair of 50-minute races, as part of the season-ending weekend for the Verizon IndyCar Series, scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.