The opening rounds of the 2021 Fanatec GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS get underway at Sonoma Raceway, California on March 5 – 7.
Two 90-minute contests will feature a grid of 14 entries, four in the returning-for-2021 Pro category, nine in the Pro-Am class and one in the Am category.
Sonoma-based K-PAX Racing makes up half of the Pro field, having stitched manufacturers from Bentley to Lamborghini during the off-season. The team’s #3 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 will be driven by Lamborghini Super Trofeo champion Corey Lewis and International GT Open champion Giovanni Venturini . The sister #6 car sees 2020 Bathurst 12 Hour winner Jordan Pepper joined by 2019 Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe champion Andrea Caldarelli, arguably the finest Lamborghini GT3 driver in the world.
Mercedes will be represented in the Pro class at Sonoma by the #33 Winward Racing AMG GT3, Russell Ward and Phillip Ellis sharing the driving duties while Turner Motorsport has entered its #96 BMW M6 GT3 for Michael Dinan and Robby Foley, 2020 Pirelli GT4 America SprintX champions.
The Pro-Am category sees three Mercedes-AMG GT3s on the grid, all entered by DXDT Racing. The #04 car sees 2020 Pro-Am champions George Kurtz and Colin Braun sharing the driving duties while Erin Vogel and Michael Cooper, graduating from Pirelli GT4 America, will pilot the #19 entry. Completing the trio of DXDT entries will be Ryan Dalziel and team principal David Askew, piloting the #63 car.
Two Lamborghinis will be on the Pro-Am grid. The #91 Rearden Racing Huracan GT3 will be driven by Jeff Burton and Vesko Kozarov while Zlad Ghandour and Giacomo Altoe will pilot the #240 TR3 Racing entry.
The sole British-manufactured entry, the #12 Ian Lacey Racing Aston Martin Vantage MR GT3 will be driven by Frank Gannett and Drew Staveley with the only Porsche on the grid, the #20 Wright Motorsports #20 911 GT3 R sees Fred Poordad share the driving duties with Jan Heylen.
Completing the Pro-Am field is the #77 Compass Racing Acura NSX GT3 in which Rodrigo Sales will drive alongside Matt McMurry, the latter having been recently announced as part of the 2021 HPD Junior Factory Driver line-up.
The single Am entry comes from AF Corse with its #61 Ferrari F488 GT3 driven by Jean-Claude Saada and Conrad Grunewald.
Live streaming of the event can be found on the series organiser SRO Motorsports Group ‘GT World’ YouTube channel alongside other streaming sources.
Track action got underway with test sessions on Thursday March 4 with the first official practice sessions starting at 10:30 local time on Friday March 5. The two 15-minute qualifying sessions begin at 09:25 on Saturday March 6 with the lights going out for Race One at 14:15 local time later in the afternoon. The green flag drops for the start of Race Two at 13:15 local time on Sunday March 7.