By Audi Media
- Five Audi R8 LMS ultra cars will contest the season opening race in St. Petersburg, FL
- Winner of last year’s opening race, James Sofronas, returns as GT driver and team owner
- The Pirelli World Challenge kicks off this Saturday, March 29th 2014 in St. Petersburg, Florida
HERNDON – Audi of America announces a five car Audi R8 LMS ultra line-up for the 2014 Pirelli World Challenge opening race
Five Audi R8 LMS ultra race cars will contest the season opening race of the 2014 Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) race series. Competing in two classes, the Audi R8 LMS ultra GT3 specification cars, supported by customer racing across the globe, look to reach the podium during two 50 minute sprint races on the 1.8 mile St. Petersburg street course.
James Sofronas, who won last year’s race, will compete in the GT class in the No. 14 GMG Racing Audi R8 LMS ultra. Sofronas was in a tight race for the drivers’ championship that went down to the final race last season. He will look to repeat his win this weekend and vie for the points to take the drivers’ championship. Having spent the last few months racing at Daytona and Sebring in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, he is looking forward to kicking off the PWC this weekend. “This has been a particularly rewarding start to the year since we have been competing in endurance racing while preparing for the PWC season at the same time”, said Sofronas. “We’re hoping to build on our successes from last year and apply everything the team has learned about the R8 race car.”
The newly established GT-A class for gentlemen drivers will see three GMG backed Audi R8 LMS ultras taking to the street course. The drivers and cars include:
- Bill Ziegler – No. 95 Swisher Racing/GMG Racing Audi R8 LMS ultra.
- Bret Curtis – No. 32 GMG Racing Audi R8 LMS ultra.
- Andrew Palmer – will make his series debut in the No. 21 GMG Racing Audi R8 LMS ultra.
Veteran of the series and new to the Audi R8 LMS ultra, Jeff Courtney, will compete in the GT-A class in his No. 99 Kenda/RecStuff.com JCR Motorsports Audi R8 LMS ultra.
The Audi R8 LMS ultra shares more than 50% of its parts with the Audi R8 street car including the naturally aspirated 5.2 Liter V10 engine, the Audi Space Frame and a variety of other components. The R8 LMS ultra race cars also feature an anti-lock braking (ABS) and traction control (ASR) systems developed with the road car. Having won all of the major races around the world, owners of the Audi R8 street car can be confident in its race-tested performance and durability. Of great benefit to the race teams is the first service interval at 12,000 miles under race conditions which translates into lower operating costs.
Live internet telecast on www.world-challengeTV.com:
Saturday, March 29 3:10 PM EDT
Sunday, March 30 11:05 AM EDT
Tape delayed television on NBC Sports Network
: Sunday, April 6 – 5:30 PM (EDT)