Wednesday, April 17, 2013

GMG Heads to Home Race at Long Beach in Pursuit of Repeat Victory

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GMG Racing Press Release

SANTA ANA, Calif. (April 16, 2013)- Just weeks after delivering their first Pirelli World Challenge for the prolific Audi R8 LMS, GMG heads in to their home race at The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach with five cars ready for repeat success.

As the 37th running of North America’s oldest street race, The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach holds a special significance for much of the GMG team, whose shop is located just 30 minutes south in nearby Santa Ana.

Entering the weekend as not only the most recent race winner but also the GT-category point leader, GMG Team Owner and Driver James Sofronas is under immense pressure to deliver at his home event. With several clients, friends, and family in attendance, the team will hold a special presence during the event. With countless tuning customers on hand to watch the action, the team will hold a very large paddock presence in the Long Beach Convention Center.

Driving the no. 14 Mobil 1 / Children’s Tumor Foundation Audi R8 LMS, Sofronas is keen to impress.

“Our win in St. Petersburg was very special, but we were also very lucky with how everything unfolded,” stated Sofronas. “Long Beach is really the race that everyone wants to take, and we’re supremely focused on it. It’s not just the home race, it’s really the crown jewel for the series. With so many fans, and so many customers for us, we want to win this one bad. We always seem to race well here, including taking the win in 2009 as well as a second place in 2011, but everyone comes here to win.”

Also from Southern California in nearby Westlake Village, driver Bret Curtis returns for the third time at the tricky street circuit. Curtis, in the no. 34 Spectra Resources Audi R8 LMS, is looking for his second Long Beach podium

“During my first visit here in 2010, we took second in the ALMS race,” stated Curtis. “It was a great feeling to lead some laps, and really have a good run at things. It's such a great event, one I really look forward to coming to, and would set some nice momentum for the rest of the year.”

Rounding out the Southern Californian contingent will be Los Angeles-native Duncan Ende. Living just a few miles up the 405 freeway, Ende will be driving Long Beach for the fourth time in his fourth different car (and recently announced participation in this weekend’s ALMS race as well). Having previously driven the race in open-wheel, prototype, as well as Porsche GT ranks, the very balanced characteristics of the no. 24 STANDD / Merchant Services, Ltd. Audi R8 LMS should allow Ende to have his best performance to date at the track. While driving last month in the Streets of St. Petersburg, Ende demonstrated his potential by climbing from last to seventh.

“Driving in Long Beach is unlike anything else,” stated Ende. “It’s nice to be so close to home for a change, and I think we’ll show really well here. St. Petersburg, while hampered with bad luck, showed the potential for this no. 24 team, and I’ll have plenty of motivation from my hometown.”

Following a consistent series of races in St. Petersburg, Alex Welch will also return for Long Beach in the no. 08 Spyder / Lasso Audi R8 LMS. Welch, joining from Colorado, is driving the notorious street circuit for the second time, having raced last year in The American Le Mans Series.

“The car should be pretty well suited to Long Beach,” stated Welch. “I had my first taste of the track last year and really enjoyed the event, but this year should be a whole new challenge driving the Audi in the Pirelli World Challenge. If we can stay clean I don’t see why we can’t do better than we did in St. Pete.”

Rounding out the lineup will be Floridian Bill Ziegler, once again returning in the no. 95 Swisher Racing Pontiac Solstice. Ziegler, who had a fairly quiet opening weekend in St. Petersburg, is looking to capitalize on the long straights of Long Beach.

“The car was actually really fast in St. Petersburg,” stated Ziegler. “If we didn’t have our mechanical challenges, we could have really shown well, and that will carry on to Long Beach. There are a lot of similarities between the two tracks, and we learned a lot last month, so I’m looking forward to Long Beach.”

Heading in five cars strong and with the added pressure of being the team’s home race, GMG looks forward to headlining the closing event of the famed Grand Prix weekend. As the last race of a schedule that features everything from IndyCars to Formula Drift, to even a celebrity race, the team looks forward to delivering for the home crowd.

The series will race this coming Sunday, April 21, at 4:30PM, with NBC Sports Network broadcasting the race on Sunday, May 5, at 2PM.

About GMG

Founded in 2001 by James Sofronas and Fabryce Kutyba, GMG has quickly established itself as North America’s premier performance tuning and racing facility. What began as a small 1200 sq. ft. shop, maintaining two race cars, has grown into a 30,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art performance tuning, racing and service facility located in (Orange County) Santa Ana, California. The staff's experience, attention to detail, and passion are what make GMG the choice of professionals and enthusiasts world wide. Whether you want to maximize the performance of your street car, or race wheel-to-wheel on both amateur and professional racing series across North America, GMG’s reputation for service and quality is unmatched.
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About Lasso

Lasso is a request-based, sharing network predicated on a very simple idea: You have something that I want—and you may not even know it until I ask for it. With so much content cluttering our phones, tablets, PCs and social networks, it can be difficult to seek out and find the specific items of interest to you. Friends or colleagues may not share this content with you directly because they’re drowning in data overload themselves. Often, these friends aren’t sure exactly what you want. Lasso makes it easy for you to round up the digital content you want from friends—simply by asking for it. By putting the onus on the requester, instead of the person holding the content, you’ll be in a much better position to actually receive the digital content you’re interested in.

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About Merchant Services Ltd.

In 2001 Merchant Services Ltd. was founded with three basic principles in mind: quality, service, and commitment. Inspired by our racing heritage we pride ourself in providing the highest level of customer service and support 24 hours a day 365 days a year. Merchant Services Ltd. develops long term relationships with both our merchants and banking partners allowing us to have the highest customer retention rate in the industry. Founded by a professional race car driver, innovation and efficiency have always been our core competencies, ensuring that our merchants receive the cutting edge solutions their businesses need.

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About Spyder

Spyder was founded by avid skier and outdoor athlete David Jacobs. He rose to world-class rankings as a competitive skier, and stayed connected to the sport he loves by coaching, designing related products, and building one of the most powerful brands in the industry. His dedication to the sport of skiing and the Spyder brand is as inspiring as it is intriguing. Spyder's growth exploded over the turn of the century, and the company is now the largest ski-specialty brand in the world. David has recently discovered the adrenaline rush in racing classic Formula One cars, finding success - not surprisingly - in this new pastime. For a man who's thrived on sports, technology, and professional advancement, the world is sure to see David go a few more times around the track.

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About Spectra Resources

Spectra Resources is a specialized trading company designed for buyers and sellers to purchase and sell steel in any part of the world efficiently and economically.

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Stop Texting And Distracted Driving (STANDD) was founded by Diveeta Thompson, whose son Rodney lost his life while driving. There were numerous factors that played a factor - speed, music, and texting. In an effort to raise awareness about the dangers of texting and driving, Diveeta founded STANDD and has been working diligently throughout her home state of Indiana and nationally through Duncan Ende's motorsports program to spread the message of the dangers of distracted driving. STANDD also promotes the Rodney O. Thompson II Scholarship, which was established to help young people fulfill their goal of attending college after high school.

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About Swisher

The company began in 1861 when David Swisher received a small cigar business in settlement of a debt. Back then, cigars were only a sideline for Swisher and his four sons, just one of many products that they hawked across the Midwest for the “rolling stores” or wagons. Today, Swisher International, Inc. is a leader in the tobacco business, accounting for one-third of the United States' cigar sales and is America’s largest cigar exporter.

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About United Steel Supply

United Steel Supply is a leading distributor and processor of steel products dedicated to the metal building industry in the United States.
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Photo credit: GMG Racing