After a big opening event to launch the season in April, the 2017 Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA championship will return to racing action this weekend at Sonoma Raceway.
The California facility is one that is a driver favorite, with 2.52 miles of rolling asphalt that also features some 160 feet of elevation change from its highest point in Turn 3a, to its lowest point in Turn 10.
The track is also one that has long been part of the history of the series, from hosting some of the Pirelli GT3 Cup first-ever events to holding races as part of the NASCAR Monster Energy series weekends. Entering its 11th season under the management of Competent Motorsport, Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA will once again boast a large field with a crop of racers all looking to add their names to the list of race winners, who traditionally are toasted with a local wine to celebrate.
Three different classes - Diamond (2014-2016 Porsche GT3 Cup), Platinum (2010-2013 Porsche GT3 Cup), and Silver (Cayman GT4 Cup) will take to the track, giving drivers the opportunity to develop their skills in multi-class action, while also establishing competitive fields for the different iteration Porsche machines.
The season-opening event at Thunderhill was the tale of two different races, as young Max Root stormed to a debut victory under ideal track conditions in the first race. The second event was run with a heavy rain making for a new challenge at every corner as Loren Beggs converted his experience into a return to victory lane.
Despite the challenging conditions, the event marked another well-run weekend for Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy, which grew its infrastructure in the off-season with the addition of Series Director Steven Costello and Race Director Randy Buck as well as returning series driver coach Craig Stanton.
Heading to wine country, the forecast looks promising with clear and warm temperatures anticipated this weekend.
“Our drivers and their families all love having Sonoma on the schedule, and we have been looking ahead to this event for quite some time,” said Competent Motorsport President Greg Franz. “We were excited to make our announcement last week that Porsche Design has joined us as official timekeepers for the series. We’ve been working to grow the profile for our championship as well as continue to improve our event weekends so there is a lot of anticipation about getting back to racing again this weekend.”
The Sonoma event kicks off with practice on Friday, May 16.
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