Saturday, June 21, 2014

Pirelli World Challenge: Ziegler takes impressive podium in race one at Road America

GMG Racing Press Release

ELKHART LAKE, Wisconsin (June 20, 2014)- Following an exciting Race One at the storied Road America circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, Global Motorsport Group (GMG) continued their podium streak today with veteran driver Bill Ziegler taking an impressive second in the GT-A category. It would be the first podium for the Florida native who after years of competition in the Pirelli World Challenge will be going home with some well-earned hardware.

“It’s great to finally earn a podium,” stated Ziegler. “We knew with a track like Road America, our car might have a good chance and it finally just all came together for us. With a track as fast as this place is, my goal was to just run a clean race and stay out of trouble, and it worked out perfectly. Thanks to GMG and all of the guys who’ve worked so hard to deliver a strong program, I’m really happy we were able to deliver.”

Racing at the 4-mile, 14-turn circuit for the first time since 2009, series’ qualifying was unfortunately cancelled due to rain. With the grid determined by points, Ziegler and his No. 95 Swisher Racing Audi R8 LMS ultra would take to the grid from the eighth row with an eye on patience and consistency being the key to his race. As the green light flashed for the series’ signature standing start, the Florida resident made a clean getaway and never looked back. As the 50-minute race unfolded, a series of spins and incidents in front of him would prove valuable as Bill soldiered through without putting a foot wrong, eventually climbing his way to second in class when the checkered flag fell.

Looking to continue his podium streak after three straight visits, Andrew Palmer drove a relatively quiet race in the No. 21 Spyder / The Thermal Club Audi R8 LMS ultra to take fifth. Palmer, whose last visit to a permanent road course netted him a victory in Alabama, ran a trouble-free race in his first visit to the historic course, giving chase to the Porsche and McLaren vehicles in front of him before settling into his own rhythm. The finish would net valuable points for the 19-year old who finished ahead of the championship-leading Johnny O’Connell and Anthony Lazzaro.

“Today was a good points day,” stated Palmer. “With the speeds and tricky nature of the course, there’s a lot of ways the day could have gone south very quickly so we really just concentrated on having a consistent run and learning everything we could for tomorrow. The guys gave me a great car, and I think with what I learned today the second race will be even better.”

Finally, James Sofronas would enjoy a solid run in his No. 14 Mobil 1 / The Thermal Club / Spyder machine before a power steering issue would drop him from closing in the top five to eighth. Starting from the third row, the Villa Park, California resident would make a strong start to run in tandem with teammate Palmer throughout much of the race. Running similar lap times, the duo would carve through traffic trying to manage their tires for the end, however, as the race came into the second half, Sofronas would have to back off in order to ensure he was able to make it to the finish.

“We were able to finish and that puts us in a good position for tomorrow,” stated Sofronas. “Andrew and I were both managing our race trying to see where everything went, but unfortunately we had the steering issue before I was really able to get going. These things happen and we’ll just move on tomorrow, Audi and all of our guys have worked really hard to give us a good car.”

Also worth noting, Bret Curtis, who was scheduled to race today had to withdraw due to illness, but will return for the next event in Toronto.

Race Two will take place tomorrow at 9:10AM CST with live coverage on

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