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Jul 18, 2014 - 03:23 PM
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GMG Continues Four-Car Lineup in Toronto
Posted by: newsla on Jul 18, 2014 - 03:22 PM
Sports Cars
GMG Continues Four-Car Lineup in Toronto


Continuing a busy season that has seen four cars at every event of the 2014 Pirelli World Challenge Championship, Global Motorsports Group (GMG) will head to this weekend’s Honda Indy Toronto with high hopes for the challenging street course.

 

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“Toronto is always a challenge for everyone involved,” stated GMG team owner James Sofronas. “There’s such a variety of fast corners, heavy braking, and all the challenges of a street course that it’s easy for the thing to turn on you quickly. Last year we may have had a shot at a win before things got away quickly, and we’re looking to replace that with some new memories. Everyone here is ready and it will be fun to see how the new cars perform against the competition.”

With the Pirelli World Challenge seeing more marques in the GT category than any time in recent history, the level of competition will be at a premium this weekend with the long straights and heavy bumps putting a premium on car compliance.

Leading the charge will be Andrew Palmer in the No. 21 Spyder / The Thermal Club Audi R8 LMS ultra. Palmer, making his first visit to the course, is looking to continue his podium trend on street courses. In four races on temporary tracks, the 20-year-old has been on the podium three times, a testament to GMG’s commitment to driver development and access to training tools.

“We spent a lot of time on the simulator this past week so I feel as prepared as can be,” stated Palmer. “Our last race at Road America was a little quieter than I would have liked, so hopefully we can return to form in Toronto. We’ve been pretty strong on the street courses so I’m looking forward to getting out there. Everyone at GMG has done a great job getting us prepared and we’re hoping to walk away with good points.”

In the No. 14 Mobil 1 / The Thermal Club / Spyder machine, James Sofronas will return to Toronto after a disappointing race in 2013. In hot pursuit of the lead last year, a failed wheel sensor would send the Villa Park, California resident spinning in the hard-braking turn three, striking a major blow to his championship pursuit. Following a fairly quiet 2014 season, the team owner and driver is in search of renewed form.

“After last year, I’m definitely coming back on a mission,” stated Sofronas. “We’ve had a few weeks off which has given us a chance to regroup a little and I think in that process we’ve found a few things that should make a big difference. Everyone here is ready and I’m excited.”

Sitting fifth in the GT-A standings is team veteran Bill Ziegler. Driving in the No. 95 Swisher Racing Audi R8 LMS ultra, Ziegler is heading to Toronto with the momentum of a well-earned podium during the most recent event.

“Toronto is always a hectic round, so we just want to keep our nose clean,” stated Ziegler. “Elkhart Lake was a good example of focusing on consistency to get up front, and hopefully we can continue that into Canada. Everyone at GMG has utilized the break to really get an even better handle on things, and I’m confident we’ll be in a good position for the start of the weekend.”

Finally, driving the No. 32 Spectra Resources / Valspar machine, Bret Curtis will make his first visit to the Grand Prix in hopes of more podium success. During the series’ last visit to a street course, in Detroit, the Texas resident drove a patient race en route to a well-earned second in GT-A.

“We’ve proven to be pretty good on the street courses so I’m looking forward to Toronto,” stated Curtis. “It was nice to have a few weeks away, but I’m excited to get back to it in Toronto. It should be a great course that plays to our strengths and I’d love to get some more hardware.”

Practice for the Molson Indy Toronto will begins today, with Race One taking place tomorrow, July 19, at 11:25AM ET and Race Two the following day at 12:15PM. Live coverage can be found on world-challengetv.com with NBC Sports coverage on Sunday, August 10, at 1:30PM.


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