Saturday, August 3, 2013

Pirelli World Challenge: GMG heads to Ohio in search of championship redemption

GMG Racing Press Release 

With only four rounds remaining in the Pirelli World Challenge championship, Global Motorsports Group (GMG) heads to this weekend’s Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with only one goal: regaining their championship lead.

Following a disappointing run at their most recent event on the streets of Toronto, the No. 14 Mobil 1 / Children’s Tumor Foundation Audi R8 LMS of GMG’s James Sofronas fell 36 points adrift of championship leader Johnny O’Connell, the first time James has lost the lead in eight races.

“Losing the lead in Toronto was heartbreaking, but I’ve put it behind me and we’re off to a new challenge in Ohio,” stated Sofronas. “The Cadillacs have really come alive in recent races and it’s tough for us to keep pace, but Ohio should be a good track for our Audi’s. All of the guys have been very focused on Ohio, we all know it’s a make or break kind of event.”

Also on a mission in Ohio will be GMG’s Duncan Ende who is still in pursuit of his first series podium. A previous winner in Ohio in the American Le Mans Series ranks, Ende is a proven veteran of the circuit and is hopeful that his experience will finally translate to results for the No. 24 STANDD / Merchant Services, Ltd. Audi R8 LMS in the World Challenge series.

“Mid-Ohio is always one of the more entertaining circuits to drive on,” stated Ende. “The track flows really nicely and I’m hoping my experience here will finally pay off. The GMG guys have done a great job getting the No. 24 ready. Hopefully, we finally have our bad luck behind us and we can get on with bringing home some hardware.”

Campaigning for the second time under the Audi flag, Bill Ziegler will return in the No. 95 Swisher Racing Audi R8 LMS. Ziegler, who raced the first half of the season in the GTS ranks, had his first taste of the Audi in Lime Rock. Utilizing GMG’s open-book policy on data access and driver development tools, Ziegler was immediately on pace and looks for even stronger results in Ohio.

“It was fun learning the car in Lime Rock,” stated the Florida resident. “Everyone at GMG did a great job of getting me up to speed quickly and I’m expecting Ohio to go even better. It’s nice to be back in the GT ranks and the car should be really strong.”

Finally, Alex Welch will also return in the No. 08 Spyder / Lasso Audi R8 LMS. Having treaded near the top five for much of the 2013 season, the Colorado resident will head to Ohio in search of finally eclipsing the result.

“I think cracking the top five, or even getting on the podium, is an attainable goal this year,” stated Welch who most recently took an overall victory in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Series. “The car has been pretty strong on the permanent road courses and Mid-Ohio should suit the car well. Hopefully, we can finally capitalize on the potential we’ve shown all season.”

With the championship still within reach for the team, the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course will play a pivotal role in the championship. Round 11 will take place this Saturday, August 3, with Round 12 taking place just 24 hours later. Live coverage can be found at with television highlights on NBC Sports two weeks later on Sunday, August 18, at 2PM ET.