Race Weekend Central

45 Entered for Pirelli World Challenge Season Opener at St. Petersburg

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

GTA04 - De La Torre RacingJorge De La TorreAston Martin Vantage GT3
GT007 - The Racers GroupJames DavisonAston Martin Vantage GT3
GT2 - CRP RacingRyan DalzielMercedes-AMG GT3
GT3 - Cadillac RacingJohnny O'ConnellCadillac ATS-V.R.
GT4 - Magnus RacingPierre KafferAudi R8 LMS GT3
GT6 - K-PAX RacingBryan SellersMcLaren 650S GT3
GT8 - Cadillac RacingMichael CooperCadillac ATS-V.R.
GT9 - K-PAX RacingAlvaro ParenteMcLaren 650S GT3
GT Cup11 - Precision DrivingMarko RadisicFerrari Challenge Evo
GTA 14 - GMG RacingJames SofronasPorsche 911 GT3 R
GTA16 - Wright MotorsportsMichael ScheinPorsche 911 GT3 R
GTA17 - GMG RacingAlec UdellPorsche 911 GT3 R
GTA31 - TR3 RacingDaniel MancinelliFerrari 488 GT3
GT43 - RealTime RacingRyan EversleyAcura NSX GT3
GTA44 - Magnus RacingJohn PotterAudi R8 LMS GT3
GTA54 - Black Swan RacingTim PappasMercedes-AMG GT3
GT58 - Wright MotorsportsPatrick LongPorsche 911 GT3 R
GT61 - R. Ferri MotorsportAlex RiberasFerrari 488 GT3
GTA69 - Champ 1Pablo Perez CompancMercedes-AMG GT3
GT Cup77 - Calvert DynamicsPreston CalvertPorsche 911 GT3 Cup
GT78 - Absolute RacingYufeng LuoBentley Continental GT3
GT88 - Absolute RacingAdderly FongBentley Continental GT3
GT93 - RealTime RacingPeter KoxAcura NSX GT3
GTA98 - K-PAX RacingMike HedlundMcLaren 650S GT3
GT99 - GAINSCO/Bob Stallings RacingJon FogartyPorsche 911 GT3 R
GTS04 - GMG RacingGeorge KurtzMcLaren 570S GT4
GTS017 - Case-It RacingAdam MerzonPorsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR
GTS018 - Case-It RacingCameron CasselsPorsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR
GTS2 - Racers Edge MotorsportsJason BellSIN R1 GT4
GTS3 - Flying Lizard MotorsportsRodrigo BaptistaPorsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR
GTS7 - KrugspeedCameron MagueriPorsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR
GTS8 - Mantella AutosportAnthony MantellaKTM X-Bow GT4
GTS9 - ANSA MotorsportsHenry ZieglerKTM X-Bow GT4
GTS10 - Blackdog Speed ShopLawson AschenbachChevrolet Camaro GT4.R
GTS11 - Blackdog Speed ShopTony GaplesChevrolet Camaro GT4.R
GTS13 - ANSA MotorsportsTBAKTM X-Bow GT4
GTS14 - Flying Lizard MotorsportsNate StacyPorsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR
GTS19 - Performance Motorsports GroupParker ChaseGinetta G55
GTS25 - ANSA MotorsportsTBAKTM X-Bow GT4
GTS32 - Phoenix PerformanceAndrew AquilanteFord Mustang BOSS 302R
GTS45 - Racers Edge MotorsportsJade BufordSIN R1 GT4
GTS 50 - Team Panoz RacingIan JamesPanoz Avezzano GT
GTS62 - KPRMark KleninMcLaren 570S GT4
GTS69 - Performance Motorsports GroupHarry GottsackerGinetta G55
GTS80 - Mantella AutosportMartin BarkeyKTM 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.

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