Saturday, March 23, 2013

Pirelli World Challenge: Second place for Audi in race 1 at St. Petersburg


By Tarek Ramchani

St. Petersburg is hosting this weekend the season opener of the 2013 Pirelli World Challenge. The Audi squad is very well represented by five R8 cars. Four Audi R8 LMS from GMG Racing. The fifth car is an R8 GRAND-AM from Jeff Courtney Racing. It is interesting to note that the Pirelli World Challenge becomes the only series worldwide to welcome the two different R8 spec cars.

The Audi R8 LMS did really today in race 1. James Sofronas with the #14 Audi R8 LMS finished in a very strong third place. GMG Racing team owner and driver same time, Sofronas battled hard with the factory Cadillac CTS-V of Johnny O'Connel for fourth place in the opening laps. A huge GTS traffic helped Sofronas to move to fourth place. Later the #14 GMG R8 was able to catch Ryan Dalziel's Porsche 997 and Randy Pobst's Volvo S60 and challenge them for second place. After some laps behind the safety car, James Sofronas pushed for second place against Alex Figge's Volvo S60 but with few laps left he was only able to finish third. A fine result for GMG Racing and Audi, by far best the R8 LMS result in Pirelli World Challenge so far. Bad luck hit two other Audi R8 cars the #99 of Jeff Courtney and the #24 of Duncan Ende.

Race 2 is set for tomorrow. We wish the best of luck to both Audi teams and all five drivers.

UPDATE: The winning Porsche 997 of Ryan Dalziel was excluded for technical infactions. Thus means Alex Figge's Volvo S60 is the winner and the #14 Audi R8 LMS of James Sofronas is up to second place.

#14 Audi R8 LMS - James Sofronas - GMG Racing

#32 Audi R8 LMS - Bret Curtis - GMG Racing

#99 Audi R8 GRAND-AM - Jeff Courtney - Jeff Courtney Racing

#24 Audi R8 LMS - Duncan Ende - GMG Racing

#08 Audi R8 LMS - Alex Welch - GMG Racing

Photo credit and more information:
Pirelli World Challenge official website