Parente Leads Long, O'Connell and Cooper Heading to Elkhart Lake – GT Preview
With over 10 world-renowned manufacturers represented by some of the top drivers in the world, the GT class features some of the best sports car racing on the planet.
With back-to-back wins at Lime Rock Park, Alvaro Parente moved into the lead in the GT Driver's Championship standings with 995 points. Parente, a McLaren factory driver, has an impressive racing resume that includes winning the 2005 British Formula 3 Championship, the 2007 World Series by Renault Championship and the 2015 International GT Open Championship – he will drive the No. 9 K-PAX Racing McLaren 650S. K-PAX Racing also brings two McLaren 650S GT3s for McLaren GT Academy Driver and 2015 GT Cup Driver's Champion Colin Thompson, and young up-and-comer Austin Cindric. Thompson dominated in GT Cup last year winning 13 of 18 class races and will pilot the No. 13 K-PAX Racing machine. Cindric has raced in a number of series previously including Mazda's Road to Indy's USF2000 series and the Global Rally Cross Championship and will pilot the No. 6 K-PAX Racing McLaren 650S.
After an up and down start to the 2016 season, Porsche Factory driver Patrick Long, the former PWC 2011 GT Driver's Champion, comes into the Road America weekend second in GT driver's points with 931. Long finished in second place in Round 11 at Lime Rock Park and scored back-to-back victories back in May at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Long will pilot the No. 58 Porsche 911 GT3 R for Wright Motorsports. He also looks to help Porsche repeat as GT Manufacturer's Champions in 2016 – Porsche comes into the weekend leading McLaren 87-80.
Four-time and defending 2015 GT Driver's Champion Johnny O'Connell sits third in the Driver's Championship heading into the weekend with 887 points. The Cadillac Factory driver will pilot the No. 3 Cadillac Racing Cadillac ATS-V.R GT3. O'Connell's teammate Michael Cooper, the 2015 GTS Driver's Champion, comes into the weekend fourth overall with 867 points. Cooper will drive the Cadillac Racing No. 8 ATS-V.R GT3.
Up-and-coming sportscar racer Kyle Marcelli has slowly but surely put himself into the championship picture after scoring two thirds and a second – his best result to date – in the last three races. Marcelli currently sits fifth in the championship with 806 points and will drive the No. 2 CRP Racing Audi R8.
Nissan Motorsports and Always Evolving return with two GT-R GT3s for JD Davison and Bryan Heitkotter. Davison comes into the weekend sixth in Driver's Championship points – he will pilot the No. 33 AE Replay XD Nissan GT Academy Nissan GT-R GT3. Heitkotter will drive the No. 05 Always Evolving/Replay XD/Nissan Nismo GT3 GT-R and comes into the weekend eighth in the championship points standings.
Absolute Racing enters a Bentley Continental GT3 with Adderly Fong piloting the car. Fong won the 2013 Audi R8 LMS Cup and was Vice Champion of the 2015 GT Asia series. Fong will drive the No. 88 Bentley Team Absolute Bentley Continental GT3.
Sports car veteran Jon Fogarty enters his second year in PWC and will pilot the No. 99 Gainsco Auto Insurance /Bob Stallings Racing McLaren 650S. Fogarty's impressive racing resume includes 16 career Rolex Series victories, while being the 2007 and 2009 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Co-Champion. Fogarty finished 3 rd in Round 2 at COTA.
Calvert Dynamics Racing enters the No. 78 Phoenix Performance Porsche 911 GT3 R for Andrew Davis. Davis comes off a 2015 campaign that saw him co-drive the Championship-winning car in the GS Class of the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Championship. Among many racing accomplishments, the Athens, Georgia resident has an extensive history with Porsche, winning the 2011 Rolex GT Championship for the German manufacturer. Davis sits 10 th in the Driver's Championship. Teaming up with Davis, is Michael Lewis, in the No. 98 Calvert Dynamics/Curb-Agajanian/Phoenix Performance/Brett King Designs/Boys Republic Porsche 911 GT3R. Lewis returns to the series with a new team after his previous team, EFFORT Racing, announced a hiatus from competition in 2016.
Milwaukee native and seven-time series Driver's Champion Peter Cunningham owns almost every statistical record in PWC and looks to get his No. 42 Acura/HPD/RealTime Racing's Acura TLX-GT into victory circle this weekend at his home track of Road America. Teammate Ryan Eversley will pilot the No. 43 Acura/HPD/Red Line Oil/RealTime Acura TLX-GT – he sits 9 th in the Championship.
Rounding out the 17-car GT field is series veteran James Sofronas, in the No. 14 GMG/Spyder/Mobil 1/Thermal Club Porsche 911 GT3 R, and Michael McCann, in the No. 82 Yeti GT3R/McCann Racing/Dodge Viper GT3. Sofronas is set to make his 191st and 192nd series starts this weekend, while McCann returns to PWC to make his 54th and 55th starts – he last competed in the series in 2008.
Fuentes Continues to Lead Class Championship, Schein and Montecalvo Look to Close the Gap – GTA Class Preview
The GTA driver classification recognizes gentlemen drivers competing in GT class machinery. At season's end, the GTA driver that accumulates the most points will be awarded the GTA Championship and the Sportsman Cup presented by B.R.M Chronographes. Along with the cup, a B.R.M championship chronograph will go to the champion.
Martin Fuentes set a series record to open the season with seven straight wins, and he scored his eight win of the season in Round 11 at Lime Rock Park. He comes into Road America leading the GTA Driver's Championship with 1174 points and will pilot the No. 07 Hublot, Under Armour Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia.
Despite a tough start to the season, the 2015 GTA Driver's Champion Frankie Montecalvo sits second with 798 points and will pilot the No. 66 DIME Racing Mercedes AMG SLS GT3. Montecalvo put together a dominating second half of 2015 winning seven of the final nine races, including back-to-back wins last year at Road America, and has shown signs in the last couple of race weekends that he could start to challenge Fuentes throughout the remainder of the year.
Michael Schein, in the No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R, has been on a charge to close the gap to both Fuentes and Montecalvo. He scored his third win of the season at Lime Rock and sits third overall with 774 points.
Rounding out the six-car GTA field is Drew Regitz in the No. 19 iRACERCOACHING.com Stephen Cameron Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3, Walt Bowlin, in the No. 23 M1 GT Racing Audi R8 GT3, and Andy Wilzoch, in the No. 45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R.
Udell and Urry Deadlocked Heading into Road America – GT Cup Preview
GT Cup is a spec class with drivers piloting the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – the 2016 season thus far has featured a tremendous battle between two young, up-and-coming sportscar talents.
Alec Udell, piloting the No. 19 GMG Porsche 911 GT3 Cup continued to pad his growing list of positive series statistics winning Round 10 at Lime Rock, while finishing second in Round 9. He sits in a tie for the lead in the GT Cup Driver's Championship with 1054 points with another yound emerging driver Sloan Urry, who won Round 9 in the No. 20 Security National Mortgage/Avasis TruSpeed Autosport Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
Corey Fergus, the 2015 TC Driver's Champion, has moved up into the class and will pilot the No. 00 Byers Porsche, US LED, Motul Motorsports Promotions machine. Fergus had an impressive 2015 campaign scoring three TC wins and 13 top 5 finishes. He sits fourth in class driver's championship points.
Preston Calvert returns in the No. 77 Calvert Dynamics Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. Calvert sits third in the GT Cup standings.
Alex Welch, in the No. 08 GMG/Red Beard Racing/Morgan Adams Foundation/Torque Branding Porsche 911 GT3 Cup rounds out the GT Cup field entered for Road America.
Aschenbach Leads Class Heading into Road America – GTS Class Overview
The GTS class has featured some of the best wheel-to-wheel competition seen in racing in recent years. And 2016 has been no different with five different drivers piloting machinery from four different manufacturers scoring GTS race wins thus far this season.
With defending GTS Driver's Champion Cooper moving up to GT, four-time series and two-time GTS champion Lawson Aschenbach has returned to pilot the No. 10 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Z28. Since 2013, a Blackdog Chevy has claimed the GTS Championship – Aschenbach did so in 2013 and 2014, with Cooper winning in 2015. Aschenbach started off the season with a win at COTA in Round 1, and has since been victorious in Round 7 at CTMP and Round 9 at Lime Rock Park. He leads the class championship heading into the weekend with 884 points. He will team with series veteran Tony Gaples who will pilot the No. 11 Blackdog Speed shop Chevrolet Z28 – Gaples sits 8 th in the class championship with 445 points.
A number of new teams have entered the series bringing new platforms to PWC including the Performance Motorsports Group. Fifteen-year-old Rookie Parker Chase pilots the team's No. 19 Ginetta GT4 and has had an impressive season thus far – he sits third overall in the championship, 54 points behind Aschenbach. Parker equaled his best PWC finish in Round 6 at Barber with a second in Round 8 at CTMP. He will look to score his first PWC career series win this coming weekend. Parker will team with Harry Gottsacker, in the No. 29 Performance Motorsports Group Ginetta GT4.
ANSA Autosport is another team debuting a new platform in PWC in 2016. Championship contender Brett Sandberg pilots the No. 13 ANSA Motorsports KTM X-Bow GT4 – Sandberg won Round 2 at COTA and comes into the weekend second in the GTS standings with 835 points. PWC veteran Bill Ziegler will drive the No. 9 ANSA Motorsports KTM X-Bow GT4.
Jack Roush Jr. in the No. 60 ROUSH Road Racing Ford Mustang Boss 302, and 16-year-old phenom Nate Stacy in the No. 14 Rehagen Racing/Stacy Racing machine team up to lead the Ford charge. Roush won back-to-back races at St. Petersburg and comes into the weekend fifth. Stacy has had a good start to the 2016 season finishing second in Round 1, fourth in Round 2 and third in Round 8 at CTMP and comes into the weekend fourth with 738 points. Roush and Stacy as well look to help Ford win its second consecutive GTS Manufacturer's Championship in 2016 – coming into the weekend Ford sits five points behind Chevrolet.
Scott Dollahite, piloting the No. 46 SDR Motorsports Lotus Evora, comes into the weekend 6 th with 657 points. Dollahite has been a model of consistency this season recording seven top 5 finishes in eight starts.
Scott Heckert will pilot the No. 54 Racers Edge Motorsports SIN Cars/Racers Edge Motorsports SIN R1 GT4. Teaming with Heckert is Jade Buford who has won three races in four starts this season in the No. 45 SIN Cars SIN R1 GT4.
Canadian team Mantella Autosport Inc. brings a two-car effort to Road America with Anthony Mantella in the No. 8 Gulf KTM X-Bow GT4, and teammate Martin Barkey in the No. 80 MBRP Sportlab Sawmill Creative car.
TRG-AMR brings three Aston Martin Vantage GT4s for Max Riddle, in the No. 07 Adobe Road Winery, LaSalle Solutions machine, Derek DeBoer, in the No. 09 BRM Chronographes/Rebounderz/Rohnert
Park/Racing for Cancer/Pirata Della Strada/Simon Ward machine and George Kurtz, in the No. 04 Crowd Strike machine. Riddle won Round 8 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
The 21-car GTS field includes Kevin Marshall, in the No. 44 VSA Motorsports Lotus GT4; Mark Klenin, in the No. 62 Schomp/Premiere Copy Klenin Performance Racing Maserati GranTurismo MC GT4; Ron Ballard, in the No. 93 AK&J Sealants RT Motorsports, LLC Maserati GranTurismo MC Trofeo; Ernie Francis, Jr., in the No. 98 Breathless Racing/Beta Tools/Liquid Performance Ford Mustang Boss 302S; and Milwaukee native Jeff Courtney in the No. 99 RecStuff.com, Kenda JCR Motorsports Maserati GranTurismo MC Trofeo.
Grahovec Leads Class Heading to Road America – Touring Car Preview
With 2015 class champion Fergus moving up to GT Cup, a new champion will be crowned in 2016 from a very talented field of racers entered in TC this season.
Toby Grahovec in the No. 26 Classic BMW Motorsports BMW M235iR comes into the weekend first in the driver's championship with 584 points after scoring wins in Round 2 at COTA, and Round 4 at CTMP. Grahovec has yet to finish outside of the top 5 in six races this year.
Montreal's Nick Wittmer will drive the No. 91 Honda Ste-Rose Racing Honda Accord. He brings an impressive resume having previously won a number of sports car racing championships including back-to-back Canadian Touring Car Championships in 2009 and 2010. Wittmer won Round 3 at CTMP and Round 5 at Lime Rock Park and sits second in the championship with 495 points.
Anthony Geraci, in the No. 69 S.A.C. Racing/European Granite & Marble Group, Inc. Mazda MX-5 recorded his first career Pirelli World Challenge win at Lime Rock in Round 6 and sits third with 448 points.
Shea Holbrook returns for a full campaign in the No. 67 Shea Racing Honda Accord V-6 Coupe. In 2015, Holbrook ran a limited schedule while managing her race team. In 2014, Holbrook won five races in TCA and finished second overall in class. Holbrook sits fourth coming into the weekend with 352 points. Teammate Jason Fichter in the No. 7 Shea Racing Honda Accord V-6 Coupe comes into the weekend ninth in the championship.
The 23-car field also features Dennis Hanratty, Jr., in the No. 4 KRUGSPEED Racing/Beta Tools/OG Racing/Winmax Brakes Lotus Exige; Daniel Moen, in the No. 73 S.A.C. Racing Mazda MX-5; Patrick Gallagher, in the No. 54 Atlanta Motorsports Group Mazda MX-5; Dinah Weisberg in the No. 50 REDCOM Laboratories/Red Line Oil/Power Brake BERG Racing Mazda MX-5; Milwaukee native Gino Carini, in the No. 27 Palermos Screaming Sicilian Pizza/Marenzo Construction Group/Classic BMW Motorsports BMW M235iR; John Weisberg, in the No. 5 Power Brake/REDCOM/Red Line Oil/Powerflex/Mann's/Miller/MCS BERG Racing Mazda MX-5; Randy Hale, in the No. 17 TransAero, Inc. Hale Motorsports Mazda MX-5; Tony Rivera, in the No. 97 Brass Monkey Racing Tiburon Motorsports Nissan 370Z; Vesko Kozarov in the No. 3 Nissan/Nismo/Stance CA Sport Nissan 370Z; Steve Kohli in the No. 40 NDA Parallax Racing Honda Accord V-6 Coupe; Steve Burns, in the No. 43 VP Racing Fuels/Works Garage Ian Lacy Racing Ford Mustang; Andrew Rains, in the No. 44 National Bank of Commerce/PLK Investment Partners/Honda Motorsports Alabama Rains Racing Honda Accord V-6 Coupe; Austin Snader, in the No. 64 Mazdaspeed/SR Enterprises Snader Racing Mazda MX-5; Kevin Krauss, in the No. 88 Alyses Light.com Outlier/Scion Group Porsche Cayman; Paul Street, in the No. 93 Honda/HPD/Megan Racing/RV6 Performance/Gargae 56 Performance/SPEC Clutch/PR2/MOMOTeam HMA Honda Accord V-6 Coupe; Brian Lift, in the No. 99 Call One Outlier/Scion Group Porsche Cayman; and Max Fedler, in the No. 05 PLENCO, Molecule Summit of Everest Motorsports BMW M235iR.
Goulart Leads Talented TCA Field into Road America – TCA Class Preview
Elivan Goulart, in the No. 70 S.A.C. Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup, has had a dominating 2016 season thus far winning five of six TCA races and he leads the TCA Driver's Championship heading into the weekend with 669 points.
Eric Powell, in the No. 23 Tech Sport Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup, enters the weekend second in the driver's championship with 467 points after scoring two seconds at Lime Rock. Powell teams with Kevin Anderson, in the No. 22 Tech Sport Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup, who comes into the weekend fourth with 381 points.
Matthew Fassnacht will pilot the No. 74 S.A.C. Racing/Equity Residence Mazda MX-5 Cup and sits third with 451 points coming into the weekend.
Joey Bickers, in the No. 49 Atlanta Motorsports Group Mazda MX-5 Cup, comes into the weekend sitting fifth with 369 points after posting a third and a second at CTMP.
Others to watch in the 13-car TCA field include Kris Wright in the No. 35 Kinetic Motorsports Kia Forte Koup; Jay Salinsky, in the No. 16 Fuse Lenses/Regenexx Cayman/Red Line Oil/Redcom/BERG Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup; Daniel Williams, in the No. 36 S.A.C Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup; Samantha Tan, in the No. 38 GPI Global Samantha Tan Racing Honda Civic SI; Hubertus Wisconsin's Sam Adams, in the No. 48 Atlanta Motorsports Group Mazda MX-5; Paul Whiting in the No. 51 PWR & LDL Speed Shop Honda Civic SI; Tom Noble, in the No. 66 Bubba Burger/Prostate Cancer Awareness Shea Racing Honda Civic SI and Spencer Patterson, in the No. 79 Jim Locke Automotive Patterson Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup.
Morse and Groenke Vie for Lead in TCB – TCB Class Preview
Touring Car B-Spec or TCB is the most cost-effective class category of the series and features some of the most entertaining door-to-door racing on the planet.
Rookie Henry Morse in the No. 14 Hale Motorsports MorseGPS powered by CalAmp/MazdaSpeed/FreeM USA/Corksport Performance/Rolling Hills Prep Mazda 2 was impressive in his first career series win at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Round 3 and comes into the weekend second in TCB Driver's Championship points with 518 points only 14 behind Will Rogers who sits in first in the standings – Rogers however will not be competing at Road America.
Canadian P.J. Groenke in the No. 25 Tech Sport Racing Chevrolet Sonic enters the weekend as the most experienced competitor in class – Groenke finished sixth overall in the TCB championship last year and is set to make his 55 th and 56th PWC career starts at Road America. Groenke sits third in class with 506 points. Teaming with Groenke is Michael Johnson in the No. 24 Tech Sport Racing Chevrolet Sonic.
Ted Hough in the No. 68 Breathless Racing Mazda 2 scored a sixth and a fourth at CTMP to go along with a win and a third earlier in the season at Circuit of the Americas. Hough comes into the weekend fifth in the TCB Driver's Championship with 368 points.
Rounding out the field are Travis Washay in the No. 30 Indian Summer Racing MINI Cooper; Jasper Drengler, in the No. 01 Drengler Racing Chimney Mechanix Honda Fit; Tom O'Gorman, in the No. 94 TNIA, Black Armor Helmets Honda Fit; Noah Grey, in the No. 65 Solvang Brewing Co/Kelly Benefit
Strategies/Foundation Fighting Blindness Hale Motorsports Mazda 2; James Wilson, in the No. 55 Black Armor Helmets/Mazdaspeed Motorsports Mazda 2; Racine, Wisconsin's Blake Thompson, in the No. 37 Black Armor Helmets Mazda 2; Racine, Wisconsin's Stephanie Andersen, in the No. 28 ISellMiataParts.com/Black Armor Helmets Black Armor Mazda 2 and Patrick Wilmot, in the No. 18 MyBamaHome.com/Track9 The Precision Motorsports Group MINI Cooper.
Road America, 14-turn 4.048-mile road course road course
Thursday, June 23:
1:45 PM – 2:15 PM: TC-TCA-TCB Qualifying
Friday, June 24:
5:15 PM – 5:40 PM: GTS Qualifying
Saturday, June 25
10:00 AM – 10:20 AM: GT-GTA-GT Cup Qualifying- Group 1
10:25 AM – 10:45 AM: GT-GTA-GT Cup Qualifying – Group 2
50 minutes (GT/GTA/GT Cup, GTS)
40 minutes (TC/TCA/TCB)
Live Internet Telecast (on motortrendondemand.com ):
Thursday, June 23:
4:00 PM – 4:45 PM: TC-TCA-TCB Race # 1
Friday, June 24:
5:50 PM – 6:50 PM: TC-TCA-TCB Race # 2
Saturday, June 25:
4:30 PM – 5:30 PM Pirelli World Challenge GT-GTA-GT Cup Race # 1
5:45 PM – 6:45 PM Pirelli World Challenge GTS Race # 1
Sunday, June 26:
9:55 AM – 10:55 AM Pirelli World Challenge GT-GTA-GT Cup Race # 2
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM Pirelli World Challenge GTS Race # 2
All times listed above Central
Television (on CBS Sports Network):
GT/GTA/GT Cup: July 3, 3 PM
TC/TCA/TCB: July 7, 8 PM
GTS: July 7, 9 PM
All times listed Eastern.