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Intercontinental GT Challenge

GMG Planning Multi-Car Porsche Effort for California 8H

GMG planning two-car Porsche 911 GT3 R effort for California 8H…

Photo: Porsche Cars North America

GMG Racing is set for a multi-car effort in the inaugural California 8 Hours at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, with up to three Porsches entered for the Intercontinental GT Challenge round on Oct. 13-15.

Team principal James Sofronas has revealed intentions of fielding at least two Porsche 911 GT3 Rs, which would include factory drivers mixed into the lineups.

“The plan is to run two [Porsche 911 GT3] Rs,” Sofronas told Sportscar365. “The funny thing is that I have two Porsche Clubsport MRs that want to run as well.

“It will be busy. I think I have about 30 crew guys registered to work that weekend.”

Sofronas said he’s working to solidify the lineups, including the identity of the works pilots, within the next month.

He expressed his desire to have Laurens Vanthoor, who joined him at the wheel of the No. 14 Porsche for the opening two Pirelli World Challenge SprintX races, but is unclear of the Belgian’s availability at this time.

The SoCal-based team owner said he’s excited at the prospects of the race, which will serve as the third round of SRO Motorsports Group’s new globe-trotting championship.

The 2017 season kicked off at the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour in February, with next month’s Total 24 Hours of Spa set to serve as Round 2, followed by the championship’s first trip to the U.S. in October, before closing out the year with the Motul 12 Hours of Sepang in December.

SRO boss Stephane Ratel told Sportscar365 he expects a total grid in the high-20s to low-30s for the first year, including a contingent of European teams making the trip Stateside.

“It’s nice to have a major endurance race on the West Coast,” Sofronas said. “It’s such a great track, it’s a great time of the year.

“I’ve had a tremendous amount of interest, and we will support as many cars as we can. It will be a big effort.”

Sofronas hasn’t ruled out taking his team to other IGTC events in the future, should he be able to put together a program involving his customers. 

“It’s really just finding the commitment from the drivers and working through schedules,” he said.

“A lot of my drivers are gentlemen drivers that have a lot of other interests outside of racing, so it’s a balancing act with them.

“I know we have some big plans with Alec Udell next year and a new driver who’s coming up through our series.

“There’s a lot going on but personally I’d love to do them with guys that I’m close with.

“Obviously guys like Alec, Alex Welch, Preston [Calvert] and George Kurtz has expressed interested in getting into a GT3-spec 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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