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GT World Challenge America

14 Cars Set for COTA Season-Opener

New-look GT World Challenge America powered by AWS kicks off at Circuit of The Americas this weekend…

Photo: SRO America

A total of 14 cars are set for this weekend’s GT World Challenge America powered by AWS season-opener at Circuit of The Americas, kicking off a new era for SRO America’s flagship series.

The entry list, released late last week, features six GT3 manufacturers despite a move away from all-pro lineups that has seen the elimination of several high profile teams.

Defending champion Toni Vilander will not return, nor will his R. Motorport Ferrari team, with K-PAX Racing, which won the 2019 teams’ title, entering only a single Bentley Continental GT3 for the Pro-Am pairing of Guy Cosmo and Patrick Byrne.

Wright Motorsports will focus on a single Porsche 911 GT3 R for Max Root and Fred Poordad this year, which is one of three cars entered in the Am class for this weekend.

Two additional Porsches are entered for COTA as expected one-off efforts.

GMG Racing will field Jeroen Bleekemolen and James Sofronas in a Pro-Am entry, with the Bronze pairing of David Ducote and Alan Metni confirmed in a previous-gen Porsche entered by Park Place Motorsports.

While Gradient Racing and RealTime Racing will not be on the grid, Acura will be solely represented by Racers Edge Motorsports, which has expanded into a two-car operation with the addition of a Silver Cup class Acura NSX GT3 Evo for Trent Hindman and Shelby Blackstock.

It is the only Silver Cup entry competing this weekend.

Kyle Marcelli and Martin Barkey, meanwhile, return to the Jon Mirachi-led team for its Pro-Am class title defense.

Reigning Am class champion Squadra Corse will step up to Pro-Am competition full-time with Martin Fuentes being joined by Rodrigo Baptista this weekend in the team’s Ferrari 488 GT3. 

Other Ferrari entries include Vital Speed’s two entries, featuring reigning IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge champion Jeff Westphal, and a TR3 Racing car for Ziad Ghondour and Matteo Cressoni.

Mercedes-AMG is well represented with with a pair of DXDT-entered Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evos featuring Ryan Dalziel and Colin Braun in separate entries, with Winward Racing set for its GTWC America debut in a previous-gen Mercedes for the father-and-son pairing of Bryce and Russell Ward.

The field is competed by Stephen Cameron Racing’s Pro-Am BMW M6 GT3 for Henry Schmitt and Greg Liefooghe.

The 14-car entry is down from the 23 GT3 cars that took part in last year’s season-opener at the home of the U.S. Formula 1 Grand Prix.

Bumper Grid for Pirelli GT4 America SprintX, GT4 Sprint to Feature Pro Lineups

Twenty-seven cars are entered for the weekend’s Pirelli GT4 America SprintX races, while 17 cars are due to take part in the GT4 Sprint season-opener.

It includes a number of changes since last year, including numerous Aston Martin Vantage GT4s entered, including from Flying Lizard Motorsports, RS1 and Rearden Racing.

While reigning GT4 Sprint Pro champion Ian James nor Team Panoz Racing have returned, a total of five Pro drivers are set to do battle for overall honors in the class. 

It includes Michael Cooper (Blackdog Speed Shop McLaren 570S GT4), Drew Stavely (Ian Lacy Racing Ford Mustang GT4), Jarett Andretti (Andretti Autosport McLaren), Toby Grahovec (Classic BMW M4 GT4) and Spencer Pumpelly (TRG Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport)

Track action gets underway on Thursday with testing, ahead of official practice on Friday and qualifying for all series on Saturday

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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