Following a pair of podiums at the season-opening rounds of the revitalized Blancpain GT World Challenge America, Global Motorsports Group (GMG Racing) will head in to this weekend’s Grand Prix of St. Petersburg with two entries looking to continue the team's podium streak. Following two podiums by the driver pairings of Jason Bell and Alec Udell along with Brent Holden and James Sofronas, this weekend will kickoff the first rounds of the year’s “sprint” season with Jason Bell returning and team newcomer C.J. Moses, both in the series’ GT4 category.
“After a successful weekend in Texas, we’re all looking to continue our results in to St. Petersburg,” stated GMG team owner James Sofronas. “You always want to start your season strong, and with the changes in the series we’re seeing a super-competitive field. Jason and Alec did a great job to bring their Audi to the sharp end of the field last weekend, and with a little better luck it could have been a podium sweep in both races. Hopefully Jason can continue that momentum on his own this weekend. C.J. Moses, meanwhile, will make his team debut, and he’s been great to work with so far. We’re all anxious to get this sprint season going.”
Starting the year off right, the No. 2 Audi R8 LMS GT4 of Jason Bell and Alec Udell would enjoy a strong debut during last weekend’s race at Circuit of the Americas (COTA). Showing pace throughout the week’s practice sessions, Bell would take on starting duties for Saturday’s Race One, maintaining a steady pace before handing off to Alec Udell to battle throughout his final laps, Alec would take the checkered flag second in class. A better result was nearly achieved the next day were it not for a minor technical issue sidelining their effort.
For Jason Bell, a solid start to the season is all he could ask for.
“I really thought we had a chance to contend for the overall win on Sunday as we were fourth on track and within striking distance,” stated Bell. “When the gearbox reached a certain temperature, the car went into a fail-safe mode and cut the power down to 70%. It hurts as we were in the position we needed to be to have a chance, but that is part of racing. We have good days and we have bad days.”
Making his debut in the No. 04 CrowdStrike / AWS Audi R8 LMS GT4, C.J. Moses will make his team and series debut on the tricky streets of St. Petersburg this weekend, as part of a larger activation strategy for both CrowdStrike and Amazon Web Services.
“James and everyone at GMG have been great to work with,” Moses said. “The revitalized Blancpain series provides a great opportunity to take the next steps in my racing endeavors, and with the tools and data available at GMG I’m confident I’ll have everything I need to acclimate quickly. It’s tough to know just what our expectations will be, but it’s an exciting prospect.”
This weekend’s St. Petersburg round will wrap up an action-packed two weeks that would also see the team take a podium in their return to GT3 action last weekend, where GMG would debut their new No. 14 Porsche 911 GT3 R. Driven by team veteran Bren Holden along with James Sofronas, the paid would take third during Sunday’s Race Two, following a steady drive by both to capitalize on their category.
For Brent Holden, a solid start to the year sets a good foundation for future expectations.
“Leaving COTA with a podium is a great way to begin the year,” stated Holden. “It’s a brand new car and we continue to learn as we go, but the team was well prepared and did their best to make the weekend competitive. James was a great teammate as always, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the year.”
With the series undergoing a very different format for 2019, the next round of competition begins at St. Petersburg tomorrow with official practice, followed by Saturday’s Race One at 4:10PM ET, and Sunday’s Race Two at 11:25AM. Live streaming can be found via the series’ official YouTube Channel, https://www.youtube.com/user/gt1world