Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Pirelli World Challenge: GMG Looks to Continue Streak into Motor City

GMG Racing Press Release

SANTA ANA, Calif. (May 28, 2014)- Following an impressive last lap victory at the most recent roundat Barber Motorsports Park, Global Motorsports Group (GMG) heads to this weekend’s doubleheader at the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix in search of valuable championship points.

“Detroit is always a daunting race to come to, but a great event to be a part of,” stated James Sofronas, co-owner and driver. “It’s a very different track from our last race at Barber. The last circuit was very smooth with long flowing corners, and this weekend will be extremely bumpy since it’s a street course with a lot of very tight, narrow turns to navigate through. We’re not sure how the Audi will fair over the circuit compared to the Cadillac which has a lot of torque and handles bumps really well, but we’re as prepared as we can be. This is the beginning of the busy summer season so it’s critical we get all the points we can.”

Driving the No. 21 Spyder / The Thermal Club Audi R8 LMS ultra will be the most recent winner in the series, 19-year old Andrew Palmer. Driving in only his fifth race of the World Challenge series, the Pomona College student has made an immediate impact in the series. After scoring a podium in his first race at St. Petersburg, Andrew turned many heads most recently at Barber Motorsport Park where he hunted down race leader Anthony Lazzaro’s Ferrari 458 throughout much of the race, capitalizing on a mistake by the veteran driver only six turns from the finish, taking his first victory.

Heading to Detroit, another temporary street circuit that he’s never visited, the top Audi contender in the championship is ready to see what the weekend can bring him.

“Detroit should present a very interesting challenge,” stated Palmer. “The street circuits have zero room for error so it’s a challenge to learn the track and get up to speed with such limited track time, but that’s part of the fun. Everyone at GMG has done a great job getting me ready for all of the other tracks and this weekend should be no different.”

Continuing a consistent run in the No. 14 Mobil 1 / The Thermal Club / Spyder Audi R8 LMS ultra, James Sofronas looks to regain podium form during this weekend’s event. Last year, Sofronas was engaged in a massive battle for third that would eventually net him his fourth podium of the season.

“Detroit always provides a lot of action, that’s for sure,” stated Sofronas. “Last year there were some intense battles, and with the inevitable yellow flags, the restarts become critical. Hopefully we can survive it all and come away with some points. Andrew and I are still very much alive in the championship and we’d really like to get everything we can for Audi this weekend.”

In a championship race of his own, GMG veteran Bret Curtis heads to this weekend lying sixth in the series’ new GT-A championship. Curtis, who has never driven the tricky streets of Detroit before, knows that patience will be the key to survival in his title bid for the No. 32 Spectra Resources / Valspar Audi R8 LMS ultra.

“I’ve never driven at Detroit, but it has a reputation for a lot of action,” stated the Texas resident. “So far the series has proven very competitive and very aggressive, and the narrow streets of Detroit should bring that out even more so. Everyone at the team should be well prepared and I’m excited to get going.”

Finally, GMG’s Bill Ziegler will also return to action in the No. 95 Swisher Racing machine. Though a veteran of the race, Ziegler will also be making his first run in the Audi at the prolific track.

“If we can stay clean it should be a good race,” stated Ziegler. “There’s always a lot of frantic action on all sides as the race goes on, and with the number of cautions and restarts, you spend a lot of time just making sure not to get caught in the chaos. It will be my first time driving the Audi here and I’m excited to see how it goes.”

Practice for this weekend’s event will be on Friday, May 30, with Race One taking place the following day at 10:05 AM ET. Race Two will be run on Sunday, June 1, at 11AM ET. Live coverage can be found online at, with television coverage occurring on NBC Sports on Sunday, June 15, at 2:30PM.

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. Learn more at

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. Learn more at

About The Thermal Club

The Thermal Club is the premier private motorsports facility in the world. In addition to 4.5 miles of members-only racetrack, the Club facilities include a fully amenitized Clubhouse and Village unrivaled in the motorsports world. All 4.5 miles of our exquisite racetrack are designed to push both amateurs and professionals to their limit, giving members the thrill of driving at peak performance amidst the endless desert skies. Featuring three different private circuit configurations, trackside villas, a motorsport village with a state-of-the-art clubhouse, tuning shop, a fuel island, as well as member storage garages, The Thermal Club will bring the country club lifestyle to Southern California’s diverse car culture. More information can be found at

About Mobil 1

Conventional oil is simply refined crude oil. Mobil 1 synthetic oil, however, is not only refined, but it is also distilled, purified, and broken down into its basic molecules. It is then rebuilt and added to, so that it can better protect against wear, high heat, cold weather and sludge buildup. Ultimately, this process helps your car’s engine run better for longer. You can explore more about these benefits below. Learn more at

Photo credit: Pirelli World Challenge