Saturday, January 31, 2015

Pirelli World Challenge: GMG Confirms Four-Car Effort in Pirelli World Challenge Series

GMG Racing Press Release

Now entering their 14th season of Pirelli World Challenge competition, one of the longest-running teams in the series, Global Motorsports Group (GMG), will once again return with four entries to the championship. Beyond the return of drivers James Sofronas, Alex Welch and Brent Holden, GMG will also welcome young talent Alec Udell to the series’ all-new GT-Cup category.

“We’ve been committed to the Pirelli World Challenge for over a decade now, and it’s remarkable to see how the series has grown,” stated GMG team owner and driver James Sofronas. “The growth and momentum that we’ve seen in the last few years is absolutely staggering, and we’re proud to be a part of it. We’re now entering our fourth year with the Audi R8, and the experience accrued will really help with both our performance and driver development. In all honesty, I’d been considering pulling myself out of the car this year, but when two of my closest friends, Alex Welch and Brent Holden decided to return, it just made sense to come back. Adding Alec Udell to the all-new GT-Cup class will be a really strong addition, as not only will Alec be very competitive, but our decades of experience with Porsche Cup machinery should really elevate his development. Additionally, it’s great to have such partners as Spyder, The Thermal Club, and Mobil 1 all back with us for 2015, and we’re excited to continue our growth and development together.”

Making his debut for the team in the all-new Porsche GT-Cup class will be 19-year old Alec Udell. Now entering his fifth year of Pirelli World Challenge competition, Alec has achieved a number of accolades in the series’ GTS category, including three podiums and 11 top-five finishes. Taking part in GMG’s renowned driver development program, Udell will enter the next chapter of GMG’s history with Porsche. Not only has the team competed at such events as The Rolex 24 at Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring in Porsche machinery, but GMG also played a critical role in Porsche’s manufacturer’s championships in 2008 and 2009.

“It’s exciting to join GMG for this next chapter in my career,” stated the 19-year-old. “The team has a great reputation within the paddock, and our goals are set very high for a strong season. A lot of people say that learning a Porsche is unlike any other sports car out there, and I’m fortunate to join a team with such vast experience. Beyond that, the team has had some great results over the years, and I’m hoping to add my name to it.”

Following a quiet 2014 season, James Sofronas and the No. 14 Audi R8 LMS ultra will headline the team’s GT efforts at the season-opening round on March 7. As the first-ever driver to win with the Audi R8 in World Challenge competition, James nearly took the series’ GT championship in 2013, taking the title all the way to the season finale.

Rejoining the team will be long-time GMG driver Brent Holden. Hailing from Newport Beach, California, Brent has been a long-time veteran of the team, having competed in a number of categories and events over the years, starting in the Porsche GT3 Cup and currently in the Audi R8 LMS ultra. Entered in the sportsman-designed GTA category, Holden’s speed and patience should make him a strong contender.

“GMG’s attention to driver development and providing a comfortable atmosphere is unlike any other,” stated Holden. “I really enjoy my time not only with the team, but taking part in all that the Pirelli World Challenge has to offer. The series features many of my favorite tracks, exciting cars, and a competitive racing format; combined with the experience that James and the team offer, I look forward to returning.”

Adding to the team’s GT lineup will be the return of another long-time member of the organization, Alex Welch. A multi-year veteran of the series, Welch and his Audi R8 LMS ultra showed strong last year, including capping his season off with a GTA-class podium during the final weekend of 2014.

“It’s always exciting to return to GMG and the Pirelli World Challenge,” stated Welch. “The GTA class is extremely competitive, but the team has done a great job getting us prepared and the access to driver data, coaching, and all the other assets that the team has to offer goes a long way. The series looks to be bigger than ever, but it’s a challenge we’re all excited for.”

Additionally, GMG will continue their multi-year partnership with Spyder, Mobil 1, and The Thermal Club. Spyder, most known for its outerwear designed for winter enthusiasts, has recently begun the promotion of a new warm weather line. Partnering with a number of motorsport entities, the brand’s Spyder GT line is available now. Additionally, GMG will once again continue their association with Mobil 1 who has been a long-time motor oil supplier for all of GMG’s programs. Finally, the company’s affiliation with The Thermal Club, a motorsport country club-style facility located near Palm Springs, will also continue in 2015.

The opening round of the Pirelli World Challenge will take place from March 6-8 at a standalone event in Austin, Texas, at the famed Circuit of the Americas.

While the team currently has four entries locked in, the ability to expand remains an option with several other programs still in discussion. GMG will continue to make additional announcements as the program expands.

Photo credit: GMG Racing