On the undercard of the Verizon IndyCar Series this weekend in St. Petersburg, Fla. will be the GT, GTA, GT Cup and GTS Classes of Pirelli World Challenge. Between those four classes, 45 cars are entered. The GT, GTA and GT Cup Classes will run together in two 50-minute races, while the GTS class will have two 50-minute races of their own.
The GT class is considered to be the professional division of GT. 13 cars are entered, representing nine manfacturers. Cadillac Racing has their two factory Cadillac ATS-V.R.’s for Johnny O’Connell and Michael Cooper, while RealTime Racing debuts their two Acura NSX GT3’s for Ryan Eversley and Peter Kox. K-PAX Racing has two McLaren 650S GT3’s for defending champion Alvaro Parente and Bryan Sellers. Patrick Long in the Wright Motorsports Porsche should be a contender as well.
There has been one withdrawal already. Always Evolving Racing had entered a Nissan NISMO GT-R GT3 without a driver listed. That car is no longer on the list.
The GTA class runs the same equipment as the GT class, but the sub-class is designed for more gentlemanly drivers. 10 drivers are entered. With Martin Fuentes not in the field, it appears to be quite wide open. Drivers to watch here include Michael Schein in a second Wright Motorsports Porsche, the two GMG Racing Porsches for James Sofronas and Alec Udell, and series newcomer John Potter in the Magnus Racing Audi. For GT Cup, there are only two cars entered. One is a Porsche for Preston Calvert, while Marko Radisic has a Ferrari Challenge Evo.
The GTS class will feature 20 cars, mostly built to GT4-spec. St. Petersburg will mark the worldwide racing debut of the new Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R. Two Camaros will be fielded by Blackdog Speed Shop for Lawson Aschenbach and Tony Gaples. Also of note, the new Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR makes its debut with five entries in the class (two from Flying Lizard Motorsports, two from the new Case-It Racing team and one from KRUGSPEED). The new McLaren 570S GT4 will also be present with two examples entered.
Brett Sandberg, last years’ GTS champion, is not racing in the series this year. His team from last year, ANSA Motorsports, has three cars officially entered this weekend, but only has drivers announced for two of them Bill Ziegler will drive the No. 9 KTM X-Bow GT4 full-time this season. He is joined by Frankie Montecalvo, who is taking over Sandberg’s No. 13. A third entry that will use the No. 25 does not currently have a driver listed.
The GTS class has their first race of the season scheduled for 12:15 p.m. on Friday. The first GT/GTA/GT Cup race will be Saturday at 9:35 a.m. All races this weekend will be streamed live at World-Challenge.com and will also be available at Motor Trend OnDemand and on Motor Trend’s YouTube channel.
2017 Pirelli World Challenge at St. Petersburg Entry List
|GTA||04 - De La Torre Racing||Jorge De La Torre||Aston Martin Vantage GT3|
|GT||007 - The Racers Group||James Davison||Aston Martin Vantage GT3|
|GT||2 - CRP Racing||Ryan Dalziel||Mercedes-AMG GT3|
|GT||3 - Cadillac Racing||Johnny O'Connell||Cadillac ATS-V.R.|
|GT||4 - Magnus Racing||Pierre Kaffer||Audi R8 LMS GT3|
|GT||6 - K-PAX Racing||Bryan Sellers||McLaren 650S GT3|
|GT||8 - Cadillac Racing||Michael Cooper||Cadillac ATS-V.R.|
|GT||9 - K-PAX Racing||Alvaro Parente||McLaren 650S GT3|
|GT Cup||11 - Precision Driving||Marko Radisic||Ferrari Challenge Evo|
|GTA||14 - GMG Racing||James Sofronas||Porsche 911 GT3 R|
|GTA||16 - Wright Motorsports||Michael Schein||Porsche 911 GT3 R|
|GTA||17 - GMG Racing||Alec Udell||Porsche 911 GT3 R|
|GTA||31 - TR3 Racing||Daniel Mancinelli||Ferrari 488 GT3|
|GT||43 - RealTime Racing||Ryan Eversley||Acura NSX GT3|
|GTA||44 - Magnus Racing||John Potter||Audi R8 LMS GT3|
|GTA||54 - Black Swan Racing||Tim Pappas||Mercedes-AMG GT3|
|GT||58 - Wright Motorsports||Patrick Long||Porsche 911 GT3 R|
|GT||61 - R. Ferri Motorsport||Alex Riberas||Ferrari 488 GT3|
|GTA||69 - Champ 1||Pablo Perez Companc||Mercedes-AMG GT3|
|GT Cup||77 - Calvert Dynamics||Preston Calvert||Porsche 911 GT3 Cup|
|GT||78 - Absolute Racing||Yufeng Luo||Bentley Continental GT3|
|GT||88 - Absolute Racing||Adderly Fong||Bentley Continental GT3|
|GT||93 - RealTime Racing||Peter Kox||Acura NSX GT3|
|GTA||98 - K-PAX Racing||Mike Hedlund||McLaren 650S GT3|
|GT||99 - GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing||Jon Fogarty||Porsche 911 GT3 R|
|GTS||04 - GMG Racing||George Kurtz||McLaren 570S GT4|
|GTS||017 - Case-It Racing||Adam Merzon||Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR|
|GTS||018 - Case-It Racing||Cameron Cassels||Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR|
|GTS||2 - Racers Edge Motorsports||Jason Bell||SIN R1 GT4|
|GTS||3 - Flying Lizard Motorsports||Rodrigo Baptista||Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR|
|GTS||7 - Krugspeed||Cameron Magueri||Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR|
|GTS||8 - Mantella Autosport||Anthony Mantella||KTM X-Bow GT4|
|GTS||9 - ANSA Motorsports||Henry Ziegler||KTM X-Bow GT4|
|GTS||10 - Blackdog Speed Shop||Lawson Aschenbach||Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R|
|GTS||11 - Blackdog Speed Shop||Tony Gaples||Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R|
|GTS||13 - ANSA Motorsports||TBA||KTM X-Bow GT4|
|GTS||14 - Flying Lizard Motorsports||Nate Stacy||Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR|
|GTS||19 - Performance Motorsports Group||Parker Chase||Ginetta G55|
|GTS||25 - ANSA Motorsports||TBA||KTM X-Bow GT4|
|GTS||32 - Phoenix Performance||Andrew Aquilante||Ford Mustang BOSS 302R|
|GTS||45 - Racers Edge Motorsports||Jade Buford||SIN R1 GT4|
|GTS||50 - Team Panoz Racing||Ian James||Panoz Avezzano GT|
|GTS||62 - KPR||Mark Klenin||McLaren 570S GT4|
|GTS||69 - Performance Motorsports Group||Harry Gottsacker||Ginetta G55|
|GTS||80 - Mantella Autosport||Martin Barkey||KTM X-Bow GT4|
About the author
Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.
Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.