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GT World Challenge America

Sebring Weekend Notebook

Sportscar365’s weekend notebook from SRO America action at Sebring…

Photo: Regis Lefebure/SRO

***The Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS field is down to 15 cars following the late withdrawal of the No. 10 TR3 Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo of Bill Sweedler and John Megrue. Sportscar365 understands that a replacement driver for Megrue backed out earlier this week. Megrue was ruled out due to a scheduling conflict.

***While fielding a Pro class Lamborghini for the first time this weekend, the team is currently only scheduled to enter a single Am class entry for the Indianapolis 8 Hour.

***The withdrawal of the No. 10 TR3 Lamborghini brings the Am class back down to two entries, despite the debuting No. 23 Triarsi Competizione Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 of Charlie Scardina and Onofrio Triarsi.

***Triarsi is making its debut as a potential tune-up for an expanded SRO America program in 2022 which could see the team field as many as two Ferraris.

***Scardina and Triarsi each are making their return to top-level racing after years away. Scardina was second in the 2016 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge North America title and participated in a talent shootout for a spot in the UPS Porsche Junior Team driver lineup following the season. That spot ultimately went to Marco Holzer.

***Triarsi, meanwhile, is a veteran of Ferrari Challenge North America competition, having earned series titles in 2012 and 2012.

***The team also runs in Ferrari Challenge, with Justin Wetherill winning the Coppa Shell Am championship last year and is currently third in the Trofeo Pirelli Am2 points this season.

***Wetherill and the rest of the team will be participating in Creventic’s 24H Sebring race in November.

***SRO America returns to Sebring International Raceway for the first time since 2009 when the then as-known SPEED World Challenge competed as a support race to the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. Tony Rivera (Tax Masters Porsche 911 GT3 Cup) and Seth Thomas (BimmerWorld BMW 328i) were the GT and TC class winners, respectively. 

***A handful of drivers from that event are taking part this weekend including James Clay, Toby Grahovec and Jason Daskalos while James Sofronas is on-site as team principal of GMG Racing.

***While Sebring is a new track for K-PAX Racing’s Jordan Pepper and Andrea Caldarelli, both Giovanni Venturni and Corey Lewis have previous success here.

***Venturini last competed at Sebring during the Lamborghini Super Trofeo World Final in 2015, where he helped his team to a third-place Pro-Am class finish. Lewis, who swept that weekend in the same class, also made his pro racing debut at Sebring in 2009 and went on to win the Twelve Hours of Sebring in 2018 in Paul Miller Racing’s Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo.

***Flying Lizard Motorsports is back to a two-car operation with the return of the No. 101 TKO-backed Bentley Continental GT3 for Memo Gidley in GT America powered by AWS. Program manager Darren Law, meanwhile, turned laps in Andy Wilzoch’s Porsche 911 GT3 R during Thursday’s test day.

***Compass Racing has entered its No. 77 Acura NSX GT3 Evo in GT America as well this weekend, with Rodrigo Sales making his first start in SRO America competition since Circuit of The Americas. Team principal Karl Thomson told Sportscar365 this has been done to give Sales extra track time.

***A total of 20 cars turned laps on Friday in GT America practice, with a number of absentees including Megrue, CJ Moses and Brendan Iribe, who were all not slated to take part this weekend but still appeared on the entry list.

***Elias Sabo is back in action with a brand-new GMG-run Audi R8 LMS GT2 car following his race-ending accident at Nashville that damaged the chassis. Sabo is again the only GT2 class entrant again this weekend.

***The GT America rounds are non-points races this weekend due to Sebring replacing the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park event on the calendar, which was originally due to not feature the single-driver Bronze-rated sprint series.

***Championships in all three Pirelli GT4 America classes can be clinched this weekend ahead of the season-ending double-header at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Drivers will need to leave Sebring with at least a 51-point lead in their respective championships.

***Heading into this weekend, Kenny Murillo and Christian Szymczak hold a 40-point lead in the Silver class, while Nolasport’s Matt Travis and Jason Hart have a 63-point advantage in Pro-Am and the Smooge Racing duo of Kevin Conway and John Geesbreght some 87 points ahead of the competition in Am. 

***RENNtech Motorsports is back to a two-car operation with Guy Cosmo and Chris Cagnazzi in a different Mercedes-AMG GT4 that was crashed at Road America and ruled the pairing out of the most recent round at Watkins Glen. This chassis was being prepped for the Indianapolis 8 Hour.

***Random Vandals Racing is eyeing an expansion to two GT4 America entries in 2022 with the potential of a Pro-Am and an Am lineup.

***John Allen has stood down from driving for this weekend and will be replaced by Jon Berry. Allen had a crash in testing on Thursday that necessitated going to Capstone Motorsports’ spare Mercedes chassis.

***Berry is an executive at the company that Allen founded and is the person Allen credits for getting him into racing. The two have raced together in club racing events previously. Berry attends all of Allen’s races.

***The team’s motorsports internship program, in conjunction with the University of Alabama engineering school, has led to the university adding a motorsports engineering minor to its curriculum.

***Owen Trinkler will complete the GT4 America season in the No. 59 WR Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT4 alongside Paul Terry after first getting the call-up to compete in last month’s round at Watkins Glen. Brandon Davis started the season as Terry’s co-driver in the Pro-Am class entry.

***The entry list for the Indy 8 Hour will be released next week. Sportscar365 understands it will likely feature a 40-plus car grid of GT3 and GT4 machinery for the joint GTWC America and Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli enduro.

***While driving for Winward Racing again this weekend, Mikael Grenier will be part of SunEnergy1 Racing’s Pro-Am class lineup at the Brickyard alongside Martin Konrad and team owner/driver Kenny Habul.

Ryan Myrehn contributed to this report

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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