Saturday, May 25, 2013

Pirelli World Challenge: Audi leading in America

By Tarek Ramchani

GMG Racing introduced the Audi R8 LMS in the Pirelli World Challenge during 2012. That was the first North American appearance for the all-conquering Audi GT3 racer.
This year GMG Racing is fully committed to the SCCA sanctioned series, with no less than four to five cars, achieving brilliant performances and results.

So far so good for Audi in the 2013 Pirelli World Challenge. James Sofronas, the team co-owner and driver, is leading the points standings. Sofronas, with his #14 Audi R8 LMS, won three out of the first five races so far this year. Victories in race 2 at St. Petersburg, at Long Beach and race 2 at the Circuit of the Americas. At first it looks easy for Sofronas, however the leading Audi driver is facing fierce competition from the full factory Cadillac CTS-Vs and the semi-works K-PAX Volvos S60s. All the races so far have seen great battles on track between the three brands, in a very competitive GT class field.

James Sofronas is currently ranked first with 661 points, ahead of the Cadillac duo of Andy Pilgrim (481 pts) and Johnny O'Connell (461 pts). In the manufacturers standing Audi is first with 43 points, Cadillac in second with 35 points and Volvo in third with 25 points. This is the first time that the Audi brand has been at the top of the SCCA World Challenge since the Champion Racing era with the Audi RS 6.

The other GMG Racing drivers are improving as well. Duncan Ende is seventh, Alex Welch is ninth and Bret Curtis is tenth. Jeff Courtney (JCR Motorsports), who is running the only Audi R8 GRAND-AM in the field, is currently twelfth overall.

The next round of the Pirelli World Challenge will be at the Grand Prix of Detroit. Audi, GMG Racing and James Sofronas will try to keep their lead against the locals and arch rivals from Cadillac.

Photo credit: Pirelli World Challenge