source: GMG Racing, photos: Audi Sport customer racing
SANTA ANA, CA – Returning to IMSA competition, where the team has competed multiple times at events such as The Rolex 24 at Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring, Global Motorsports Group (GMG) is proud to return to the high banks of Daytona with a two-car entry in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge. Competing in the season-opening BMW Endurance Challenge, GMG will re-join with Audi Sport customer racing to debut the new Audi R8 LMS GT4, with returning sponsor CrowdStrike Racing and driver George Kurtz joining forces with series champion Andrew Davis and James Sofronas, as well as a second car for team newcomer Daren Jorgensen, who will be joined by endurance champion Cameron Lawrence and British GT champion Rick Parfitt, Jr.
“We couldn’t ask for a better opportunity to return to IMSA competition,” stated GMG team owner and driver James Sofronas. “GT4 is an impressive global platform that North American sportscar racing has very wisely adopted, and Audi’s new R8 LMS is built on a proven platform with a level of support we’ve come to expect. This is a logical progression for CrowdStrike Racing and George Kurtz after an impressive 2017 season, and with veterans like Andrew and myself we should be strong. Daren Jorgensen is a great addition to our group and development platform, and I expect the addition of Cameron and Rick will prove fruitful.”
After competing at the same event one year ago, GMG’s 2018 campaign will feature a number of firsts. Most notably, the team will be part of a national debut for the Audi R8 LMS GT4, the latest in the marque’s fleet of customer-driven GT machines. With two entries, the team will compete in the GT4-driven GS category of the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, with three drivers per car in the four-hour season opener.
Driving the CrowdStrike No. 14 Audi R8 LMS GT4, a series of veterans will make up the team’s pursuit of victory. Making his series debut, George Kurtz will enter the event following an incredible 2017 championship in the Pirelli World Challenge GTS category. A similarly spec’d GT4-based series, Kurtz won an incredible nine races en route to the GTSA series title, suiting him well for the demands of the upcoming IMSA effort. Joining Kurtz will be Sofronas, also coming off an incredible 2017 that saw him take two separate titles in the Pirelli World Challenge, and finally the venerable Andrew Davis, a former Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge GS champion.
The second team entry will be the No. 13 Audi R8 LMS GT4, featuring a mxture of enthusiasm and experience. Headlining in his first ever Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race, team newcomer and car owner Daren Jorgensen, will come after a strong club racing season featuring two class championships and over 20 podium finishes, not to mention competing in multiple Touring Car races during the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge season. Joining Jorgensen will be Rick Parfitt, Jr., a rock and roll musician and the first double British GT Champion after winning GT4 and GT3 classes, as well as Cameron Lawrence, a veteran of sports car competition with multiple Trans-Am series championships and a title in the IMSA North American Endurance Cup.
Practice will begin on Thursday, January 25, with the four-hour race taking place on Friday, January 26. The real work begins this weekend, however, with both entries taking to the track during the three day “Roar Before the 24” at Daytona International Speedway from Friday through Sunday.
George Kurtz, Driver, #14 Audi R8 LMS GT4
“After a season like we had together, I’m very excited for CrowdStrke and myself to re-join GMG for a number of adventures together in 2018. We couldn’t have asked for a better season together in GTS, and stepping up to the endurance ranks at Daytona is a great addition to our efforts. Audi seems to have put together a great piece with the R8 GT4, and with the speed and experience of James and Andrew we should have a strong chance.”
Andrew Davis, Driver, #14 Audi R8 LMS GT4
“The addition of a key endurance race in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge makes for a great opportunity like GMG to introduce new drivers to the format, and I’m glad my history can enhance the experience. I’ve worked closely with Audi Sport customer racing on the development of the new GT4, and I can say with a lot of confidence that this is an excellent car for a program like this. The car is fast, balanced, and a lot of fun to drive, I look forward to finally getting out and racing it.”
Daren Jorgensen, Driver, #13 Audi R8 LMS GT4
“This is the kind of opportunity every driver relishes. I couldn’t be more appreciative of James and everyone at GMG for providing a program capable of this. This year will be a huge step forward, and Daytona is the starting point in a series of firsts this year in my racing development. Daytona is a track with incredible heritage and history, and I am confident in the new Audi R8 platform for this race. I’m excited about the upcoming race.”
Rick Parfitt, Jr., Driver, #13 Audi R8 LMS GT4
“Racing at Daytona is something every driver wants at some point in their career, and I’m thrilled that the time has finally come. GMG is a team with incredible history, and I’m looking forward to a competitive event.”
Cameron Lawrence, Driver, #13 Audi R8 LMS GT4
“The Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge continues to grow as one of the premier series on the continent, and I’m really happy to join GMG and take to the wheel of the new Audi. Daren and Rick are in for a great experience, and I hope to guide them as best I can through the challenges.”