GMG Racing once again has lofty ambitions in the SRO America paddock for the upcoming 2021 season, including programs in GT World Challenge America, GT America, and Pirelli GT4 America.
This week in the Pirelli Paddock Pass, team owner James Sofronas fills us in on his team’s new customer relationship with Aston Martin, his own driving plans, and more.
What was behind the decision for Jason Bell to switch to Aston Martin machinery for 2021?
“Basically, Jason likes to challenge himself. He wanted a new opportunity. He had a lot of success with the Porsches and was intrigued by the Aston program.
‘The car seems to be very competitive, very driver friendly, and frankly this will be the fourth manufacturer in five years that he has decided to run. He certainly loves his variety!”
Does GMG have any previous relationship with Aston Martin?
“Most of our racing programs are customer driven, and although we are mostly Porsche and Audi if our customers want to run a certain brand that fits within our portfolio and our overall goals and business plans for GMG then we’ll run it.
“I’ve been speaking with Aston Martin for over a year just to understand their program and they were making a strong presence in SRO and in North America for that matter.
“We’ve won championships with Porsche, with Audi, with Lamborghini, and McLaren, so we felt confident that if Jason Bell wanted to run an Aston Martin we could put that program together for success. We’re excited. The cars are amazing, they look beautiful.
“We just did a rollout test at Thermal that went very well and we’re looking forward to the season. Cy [Jary, CSJ Motorsports owner] has been fantastic to work with.
“I know a lot of their support staff from over the years and they’ve been incredibly responsive. Porsche and Audi have set the bar with customer support, but Aston Martin is really making a push and Jason recognized that. So far we’re very pleased with the new car.”
What other programs can you tell us about for 2021?
“We are really excited about the GT America class. It really fits well with our customer base as most of our clients are Bronze drivers with the focus on the Bronze driver in all three classes, GT3, GT4, and GT2.
“We look to have entries in all three classes throughout the year. I may actually do a couple of races as well, but the focus will be on thee customers.
“They love the three day weekend, two race format, 40 minute sprint with no driver change and racing amongst your peers.”
Is this a good place for GT2 under the SRO umbrella?
“I think it’s the perfect place for GT2 and those car owners can race amongst the larger class but in a sprint race format, unlike this past year.
“The GT2 cars are just as fast as GT3 but much less expensive to run, so it offers the opportunity for someone to come in and get their feet wet in a high-level, professional series without investing in a large GT3 program.
“There’s also the GT4 cars that will be in the mix, so I think the GT2 cars will be in a sweet spot between in the middle.”
What are your GT3 plans?
“I plan to run a few GT World Challenge America powered by AWS races next year. Tentatively we’ll pick certain events that make sense for our program.
“We’re just waiting to see how the grids line up and make that decision probably after Laguna. We love racing at tracks like COTA and Road America, so those may be the tracks where we run the GT World Challenge America effort.
“If the clients want to run Am-Am then I will run with them, but if they want Pro-Am I’m looking at factory driver options to pair them up. Right now it looks like this would be in the Porsche.”