A total of 24 GT/GT3 cars are set to do battle on the streets of Long Beach, with the provisional entry list for next weekend’s third round of the Pirelli World Challenge season having been released.
The fifth race of the 2016 season will see an increased field in the GTA category, with a number of returning drivers, as well as a GT racing champion that will make his series debut.
ENTRY LIST: Long Beach
Eighteen GT class entries are to take part, led by championship leaders Cadillac Racing and drivers Johnny O’Connell and Michael Cooper in the pair of Cadillac CTS.V-Rs.
Following his double win on the streets of St. Petersburg, Michael Lewis has climbed to third in the championship and the Californian will be looking for a home victory in his EFFORT Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R.
The second EFFORT Porsche will again be driven by Porsche factory driver Patrick Long, who will miss the season-opening round of the FIA World Endurance Championship in order to focus on his PWC title fight.
Long currently sits fifth in the championship chase, despite the DNF in the second race at Circuit of The Americas last month.
Driver lineups in the GT class remain unchanged, except for the return of James Sofronas to the GT class, after missing St. Pete due to a business conflict.
Duncan Ende, meanwhile, will make his third consecutive start in TRG-AMR’s Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3, in what was originally slated as an initial two-race program.
The GTA class, meanwhile, triples in size for Long Beach. Series stalwarts Brent Holden (GMG Audi) and Tim Pappas (Black Swan Racing Viper) return, while 2015 IMSA GTD champion Bill Sweedler is set for his PWC debut.
Sweedler will drive a second Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 alongside the season-long entry of championship leader Martin Fuentes, who has scored class victories in every race so far this season.
It will mark Sweedler’s return to the Giacomo Mattioli-led squad since winning the IMSA title last year, although he told Sportscar365 that it’s currently a one-off drive for PWC.
Sweedler, however, is confirmed for the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Scuderia Corsa, also in a Ferrari.
The GT Cup class will not be in action at Long Beach but will return to the GT/GTA field at the next round at Barber Motorsports Park later this month.