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40 Entries for St. Pete in GT, GTS Sprint Openers

40 cars across GT, GTS classes set for weekend’s Pirelli World Challenge season-opener…

Photo: PWC

A total of 40 entries across the GT and GTS classes are set for next weekend’s Pirelli World Challenge season-opener on the streets of St. Pete.

It features a 12-car grid between GT and GTA class competitors and 28 GT4-spec cars set to do battle in GTS, including a sizable 18-car field of GTSA entries.

ENTRY LIST: St. Pete

The GT class sees eight GT3-spec cars for the first Sprint round of the year, down from last year’s 14 cars at St. Pete, following the withdrawals of Cadillac Racing, Wright Motorsports, Absolute Racing, among others.

However, the class has seen the arrival of Alegra Motorsports and Pfaff Motorsports, which will field Porsche 911 GT3 Rs for Michael Christensen and Scott Hargrove, respectively.

TruSpeed Autosport also rejoins the grid with an Audi R8 LMS for Parker Chase in GTA, with Squadra Corse Garage Italia debuting a Ferrari 488 GT3 for former GTA class champion Martin Fuentes.

K-PAX Racing switches to Bentley Continental GT3s for Alvaro Parente and Rodrigo Baptista, while the Callaway Corvette C7 GT3-R makes it U.S. debut as a single entry for Daniel Keilwitz.

Among other star power in the class includes Toni Vilander (R. Ferri Motorsport) and Spencer Pumpelly (TRG), with Daniel Mancinelli returning in the No. 31 TR3 Racing Ferrari.

Reigning GT Cup champion Yuki Harata moves up to GTA this year with a Lamborghini Huracan GT3 entered by Dream Racing.

CRP Racing, meanwhile, has yet to announce the driver for its Mercedes-AMG GT3.

Increased GTS Entry for St. Pete

The GTS class has seen significant growth, with 28 cars entered for next weekend, compared to 20 entries at St. Pete last year.

A total of nine GT4 manufacturers are represented on the grid, including a pair of Camaro GT4.Rs entered by defending series champions Blackdog Speed Shop.

Panoz has expanded into a two-car operation this year with the addition of a second Avezzano GT4 for Preston Calvert, who will compete for GTSA class honors.

The Mercedes-AMG GT4, BMW M4 GT4 and Audi R8 LMS GT4 will all make its PWC debuts, alongside returning entries from Ford, Porsche, Ginetta and Maserati.

Track action gets underway on Friday, March 9, with the pair of 50-minute races for both GT and GTS set for Saturday and Sunday.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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