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GT World Challenge America

World Challenge Returns to Action After Summer Break

17 cars set for Blancpain GT World Challenge America return at Watkins Glen…

Photo: SRO

Following a 12-week summer break, Blancpain GT World Challenge America competitors return to action this weekend at Watkins Glen International.

A total of 17 GT3 cars are on the provisional entry list for Rounds 9 and 10 of the season, featuring a number of driver changes since the last round at Sonoma Raceway in June. 

Among the most notable is in the championship-leading No. 61 R. Ferri Motorsport Ferrari 488 GT3, which sees Daniel Serra team up with Toni Vilander.

Serra is filling in for Miguel Molina, who is on FIA World Endurance Championship duty this weekend at Silverstone in a last-minute replacement to the Formula E-bound Sam Bird.

It will result in Vilander being split on points from the Spaniard, although no word has been given if Molina will return to R. Ferri for the final two rounds of the season at Road America and Las Vegas.

Vilander and Molina hold a 14-point lead over K-PAX Racing’s Alvaro Parente and Andy Soucek in the GT3 Pro championship, although the two-car Bentley Continental GT3 squad continues to hold command of the teams’ championship.

Other changes include Billy Johnson in the No. 22 Alegra Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R, while Mike Hedlund has been confirmed for the remainder of the season in the Pro-Am class RealTime Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo.

Mark Issa is set to team with Martin Fuentes in the Am championship-leading No. 7 Squadra Corsa Garage Italia Ferrari, in lieu of Caesar Bacarella, while One11 Competition is down to just a single Ferrari for the weekend.

The field, however, has been boosted by the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 of Naoto Takeda and Takuya Shirasaka, who make their second start of the season, also competing in GT3 Am.

Pro-Am Title Fight Heating Up

The fight for Pro-Am class honors has continued to rage on, with Racers Edge Motorsports drivers Kyle Marcelli and Martin Barkey holding a 13-point lead over Gradient Racing’s Bechtolsheimer.

Bechtolsheimer, who will again be paired with Marc Miller this weekend, will be looking to close the gap to their fellow Acura team.

Anthony Imperato, who is fresh off a two-race effort in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, will be paired with Porsche Young Professional Dennis Olsen this weekend.

Imperato sits a further 11 points behind Bechtolsheimer in third in the title race.

More than 100 cars will be in action across SRO America’s three series this weekend at The Glen, with official track activity getting underway on Friday.

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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