Thursday, April 16, 2015

Pirelli World Challenge: James Sofronas, David Welch, Brent Holden highlight three-car home race for GMG at Long Beach‏

GMG Racing Press Release

SANTA ANA, Calif. (April 16, 2015)- As the flagship event of the Pirelli World Challenge, Global Motorsports Group (GMG) will head to this weekend’s 41st Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach with a mission to show well in front of their home crowd.

“Returning to Long Beach is always a great opportunity to showcase our team and product in front of a loyal, local customer base,” stated James Sofronas, team owner and driver of the No. 14 Spyder / The Thermal Club / Mobil 1 Audi R8 LMS ultra. “As our home race, we’ve always been fortunate enough to enjoy success here, not only by winning first with Porsche and then with Audi, but with a fantastic opportunity in the Long Beach Convention Center to promote our partners as well as our wide range of street tuning products.”

Located just 30 minutes north of the team’s Santa Ana headquarters, the historic 1.96-mile circuit, made up entirely of street roads in Long Beach’s noted Pike area, is heralded as one of the flagship events of North American road racing. Sharing the weekend with the Verizon IndyCar Series, the event is one of the most heavily attended on the calendar, and with a heritage unlike any other.

A two-time winner of the event, first in 2009 with Porsche followed by 2013 with Audi, Sofronas will once again take to the streets in pursuit of podium honors. Following a fairly quiet opening to his season, the Villa Park, California resident has shown outstanding consistency throughout 2015. Most recently, Sofronas took his best finish of the year during last month's fourth round in St. Petersburg, narrowly missing out on a top-five finish. With all but two of the GT category’s cars fitting the very popular European GT3 specifications, the series has recently undergone a significant increase in car count and popularity.

“It is incredibly competitive to say the least,” continued Sofronas. “It’s a testament to some of the great decisions that Scott Bove and everyone at the series has made, but it’s definitely making our job harder! With so many great cars, great teams and world-class drivers, this series is at another level… a podium with this field would be a great accomplishment!”

Returning after a three-year absence from the Pirelli World Challenge ranks, David Welch will return to the team in the second of three Audis. Driving the No. 21 Numerix Audi R8 LMS ultra, Welch will head to Long Beach with years of experience behind him, driving a number of vehicles including Porsche, Ferrari, and most recently in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo series.

“It’s great to be back with GMG, and what better place than Long Beach,” stated Welch. “I’ve always had a good experience with the team, and I’m extremely excited to get back behind the wheel. I can’t believe the last time I drove in the Pirelli World Challenge was 2012, and the series has changed significantly since then. The new GTA category is proving very competitive, I look forward to seeing how we can mix in.”

Finally, long-time veteran Brent Holden will also return in the No. 44 Audi. Competing in his sixth event, the Southern California resident will continue his long relationship with GMG, for which he has benefitted greatly from the team’s coaching, data, and engineering. Competing in the GTA category, Brent’s marked improvement in laptimes during last year’s race should foreshadow a strong 2015 event.

“It’s always great to come back to Long Beach,” stated Holden. “We were able to run very competitively with the Audi last year, and with a year’s worth of experience now, we should be really strong. James and everyone at GMG have done a great job providing me all of the tools I need, including a great test at The Thermal Club most recently, so we’re coming in with a lot of confidence.”

Practice for the event begins this Friday, April 17, with Sundays’ race starting at 4:30PM PT. Live coverage can be found at Additionally, for those visiting the event, GMG will be prominently displayed in the event’s convention center, where we will be showcasing several of our vehicles and street tuning kits, as well as displays for many of our partners.

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 1,200 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo credit: GMG Racing