Sunday, June 22, 2014

Pirelli World Challenge: Impressive team effort nets solid finishes for GMG

GMG Racing Press Release

ELKHART LAKE, Wisconsin (June 21, 2014)- While today’s series of top-ten finishes for all three Global Motorsports Group (GMG) entries would prove fairly average for the team, the real story behind the scenes would come in the team’s efforts to get the cars on track.

“The guys put in an incredibly late night, or should I say morning, to get the 14 car on track today,” stated GMG team owner and driver James Sofronas. “After yesterday’s issue with the power steering, and then the motor mounts, everyone on this team, not to mention Audi Sport customer racing, jumped in to get everything fixed and didn’t get out until 7AM today. I did everything I could to show my appreciation on track, unfortunately the long yellow during today’s race held us back from really finishing big. I am so proud of my team!”

Following a power steering issue for the No. 14 Mobil 1 / Spyder / The Thermal Club Audi R8 LMS ultra of Sofronas in Race One, the team immediately went to work in efforts to replace it. In the process of tearing down the car, the team then discovered an issue with the car’s motor mounts, which would mean going through the extensive process of removing the engine, fixing the mounts, and putting it all back together. Thanks to the support of Audi Sport customer racing, a replacement part was driven in several hours later, and the crew literally worked until 7AM to get the car working properly. With a 9AM race start, the entire GMG team took to the race today having literally spent all night getting ready.

With the grid in Race Two based on the fastest times during Race One, the team’s three cars would start from the fifth, sixth, and eighth rows. Knowing that the strength of the Audi would come as the stint wore on, all three cars managed their tires during the opening laps, however, a heavy crash between the No. 9 McLaren and the No. 61 Ferrari would bring out an extended yellow taking up a large amount of the race’s 50 minutes. With the race effectively resuming just minutes from the finish, survival would be the name of the game for the GMG machines.

Top finishing honors would go to Andrew Palmer in the No. 21 Spyder / The Thermal Club Audi R8 LMS ultra who made good use of his limited run time to gain four spots en route to sixth.

“We really wanted to maximize what we could out of today, and I think we did that,” stated Palmer. “The guys did everything they could and we at least walked away salvaging points, which should put us in a good position for Toronto. We’d really hoped for a lot this weekend so it’s definitely not what we were looking for, but everyone will learn and we’ll come back ready for more.”

For James Sofronas, another top ten would end a fairly quiet weekend for the Californian.

“I would have loved to deliver a good result for the guys and for Audi, but at least we brought the car home clean,” stated Sofronas. “It was a long yellow, and it sounds like everyone is OK which I’m very happy to hear. We definitely have some homework to do before Toronto, but I’m lucky to have the best crew in the world and I know we’ll get this turned around quickly.”

Finally, after his first podium just 24 hours earlier, Bill Ziegler would endure the long yellow to match his starting position in the No. 95 Swisher Racing machine, finishing fifth in the GT-A class.

“It was a very quiet day today,” stated Ziegler. “With the long yellow we were really just biding our time, and it just became about finishing. I’m happy we were able to make it cleanly to the end, and it was good points.”

The Pirelli World Challenge will now take a small break returning to action in one month’s time for the Honda Indy Toronto on July 18-20.

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