Things were going well on Saturday for the No. 32 GMG / Spectra Resources Corporation Porsche 911 GT3 Cup in the American Le Mans Series Monterey presented by Patron.
Two hours in to the six hour contest, the GMG Racing Porsche was comfortably in second place on the back of a double-stint by James Sofronas.
“We had a plan at the beginning of the race for me to do a double-stint to help us get up the field,” said Sofronas, after he qualified the car in sixth place in GT-C. “So we set up the car in such a way that it wouldn’t use up the tires and would be easy for Bret, Terry, and myself to drive over the course of a long double-stint.”
The plan was working, as after the first cycle of pitstops Sofronas was well into second place and maintaining pace with the cars ahead and behind in GT-Challenge. And then, just after the two-hour mark, their race ended with a large bang from the gearbox – third gear had suddenly let go, sidelining the Porsche from a shot at a second-straight podium. The damage to the gear may have been caused by an incident in which Sofronas was hit in the rear by a GT Ferrari after a restart. It was a difficult end to a promising weekend, as the team had been near the front of the GT-Challenge timesheets since first practice.
“That’s just racing, but man, that was really frustrating,” said Sofronas afterwards. “We were in such a good spot, the car was handling great, and the strategy had worked. We also knew that Bret and Terry were going to be able to run the same pace, or go faster, and the tires would hold up. Just like in Sebring, we put ourselves in a great position but were knocked out by something that we couldn’t control. In each race this year, we’ve raced our way to the podium position, but only been able to finish there once. The luck, so far, just isn’t on our side.”
Now three races into the American Le Mans Series season, the team will now have an extended break as the series takes the month of June off for the teams competing at the 24 Hours of LeMans. GMG Racing will be back in action the weekend of July 10-11 at the Utah Grand Prix held at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah.
“GMG Racing receives a lot of support in the California races, and there were a lot of people cheering for James, Bret and Terry this weekend,” said Fabryce Kutyba, VP of Global Motorsports Group. “We have gotten a lot of words of support and encouragement, but we are still disappointed with how things turned out. The team will regroup and be back at it in Utah.”
GMG Racing’s fans can see the American Le Mans Series Monterey presented by Patron television broadcast on Saturday, May 29, on CBS Sports at 1:30 PM ET. The entire race is also available On Demand at radiolemans.com/laguna.
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