GMG Racing Dominates Long Beach Grand Prix with Four Podiums and Performance Awards

Picking up where they left off at SRO America’s season-opening event earlier this month at Sonoma Raceway, GMG Racing and its four competing drivers all earned visits to victory lane this weekend on the team’s “Home Turf” with a multi-class effort in the GT America powered by AWS doubleheader at the Grand Prix of Long Beach.

It was the first appearance for an SRO America series at the nation’s premier street race since 2018, and GMG Racing, based in nearby Santa Ana just south of Long Beach in Orange County, helped make it a grand return. The team’s four-car assault on Long Beach featured two entries in the top-tier SRO3 class and a pair of cars in the emerging GT2 category.

The four-strong GMG lineup included Kyle Washington in his 991.2 Type No. 32 GMG Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R alongside James Sofronas – the Founder, Principal and a Team Driver at GMG Racing – in the No. 14 GMG Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO2 in SRO3. The GMG contenders in the GT2 division were Brent Holden in the new No. 44 GMG Racing Mercedes-AMG GT2 and longtime GMG driver CJ Moses making his first 2024 race start in the No. 58 GMG Racing/CrowdStrike/AWS Audi R8 LMS GT2.

“As always, Long Beach was a great show for the fans, great racing and a great time being with lots of friends and family and clients so close to home,” Sofronas said. “Having that huge presence alone makes everything fall into perspective quickly after a race. We came so close to winning both days but there is nothing wrong with a podium and we all raced well. Everybody won an award, from fastest lap to EBOOST Hard Charger, to Brent and I getting on the podium again. So, all in all, I’m pleased with the results of our team. Everybody had a great time and that’s half of it. We want to enjoy this experience, but we also want to have strong results. We had a little bit of both at Long Beach and it was so great to be back.”

The GMG squad combined for three podium showings at Sonoma and went one better at Long Beach where Holden and Sofronas each recorded top-three finishes in both the Saturday and Sunday 40-minute sprint races.

Holden finished third in GT2 both days to match his previous podium finish at Long Beach in GTA competition with GMG in 2016.

“What can you say, this is one of the greatest races there is out there,” Holden said. “Not being here for almost 10 years and getting a podium sweep for the weekend in a brand-new car we just took delivery of a few months ago, it’s just overwhelming. Words can’t describe it. The Mercedes-AMG GT2 has a lot of potential. We’ve got it in a good spot right now and I think it will do even better when we get more time with it.”

Sofronas is a three-time career race winner in SRO America competition at Long Beach and battled for another victory to the end on both Saturday and Sunday. He finished third in tight formation with the other SRO3 leaders on Saturday and improved one more position to a second-place run on Sunday.

“I made one mistake with five laps to go Saturday when the car lunged on a downshift and it wouldn’t engage,” Sofronas said. “I ran wide and into the marbles, so I had to get out of it and I saw the guys scoot ahead. In the end, there’s nothing wrong with a podium, and we had a good race, but there were definitely some expletives shouted in the car! On Sunday I had a car that could compete, and I had zero mistakes. It came down to the traffic. When you are leading, it’s a little easier to manage the traffic than when you’re following the leader and trying to get through it. That really was the difference in the race. Just needed a little bit more luck in traffic and maybe that would have been the difference.”

Washington, who was making his fourth-straight start at Long Beach, was the only Porsche 911 GT3 R competitor in GT America at Long Beach and gave the Goldcrest faithful something to cheer about. Dropped to the back of the starting field for a non-performance related technical infraction on Saturday, Washington was a one-man highlight reel has he sliced through the field to a top-five SRO3 and overall finish.

His quick Saturday pace earned Washington the fourth-place starting position for Sunday’s race and he immediately charged at the drop of the green flag to second place going into Turn 1. Unfortunately, race officials ruled Washington made an improper move at the start, but the assessed drive-through pit penalty only momentarily slowed him down. Undeterred, Washington returned to the race and set the CrowdStrike Fastest Lap of the race on his way to seventh-place SRO3 finish.

“Long Beach is one of the best races of the year,” Washington said. “There’s so much action for families, there’s stuff to do on and off the track, and the series competing here offer so many automotive classes and brands for fans and competitors. It was a great weekend. The GMG Racing engineering team and all of the crew really put a great car under us, and I got the fastest lap at the end. It was pretty fun trying to pick off all the cars in both races, but we want to get back to battling for podiums.”

Moses earned his trip to the Long Beach winners circle for earning the EBOOST Hard Charger Award for improving the most positions in Sunday’s race.

“After a five-year hiatus of running here, it’s amazing to be back on this world stage here at Long Beach,” Moses said. “To race in an iconic race like this and to be back on the track. I need to get some more speed in the driver, but the car was great and I’m having a blast. Really, that’s what this is all about, to have fun around friends.”

Next up for GMG Racing in SRO America competition is the season’s third race weekend of the year at Sebring International Raceway, May 3 – 5.