GMG Racing is firmly focused on the 2024 North American sports car racing season after a competitive 2023 campaign across multiple racing series delivered a solid run of podium results and a storybook finish with a pair of comeback race wins in the season-ending IMSA Porsche Deluxe Carrera Cup North America at Circuit of The Americas (COTA).
GMG once again fielded numerous drivers and a variety of modern sports car machinery, anchored primarily by Porsche 992 and 991 Cup and GT3 cars, in a select schedule of races spanning nearly the entirety of the 2023 calendar. Even in the recent and closing weeks of the year, GMG Racing has been hard at work with its “Winter Series” of track day and race events on their home circuit at the Thermal Club, where GMG Racing will open its expanded and soon-to-be-completed headquarters operation next year. Among the cars GMG is putting through its paces this December at Thermal is the new 992 Porsche 911 GT3 R Kyle Washington and co-driver Jeroen Bleekemolen debuted in Fanatec GT World Challenge competition in August at Road America.
“The 2023 racing season provided the perfect preparation for next year as it required a no-quit performance and 100% focus from each and every member of GMG Racing,” said James Sofronas, GMG Racing Founder and Principal. “The results were fantastic, particularly as we raced through the busy final months of the year with maximum momentum. There was nobody we couldn’t race with in several different series and the victories and podiums speak for themselves. It bodes well for even more success in 2024 and we can’t wait to get started.”
Longtime GMG driver Washington once again ran a packed schedule of races in multiple series, including Carrera Cup, USAC Porsche Sprint Challenge by Yokohama, IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, GT America powered by AWS and more. Washington delivered the first major podium finish of the season for GMG in his No. 32 GMG Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup in the opening Carrera Cup sprint at the Grand Prix of Miami Formula 1 race where he improved an incredible 20 race positions to finish third in Pro-Am and in the top-10 overall.
The Miami Grand Prix victory lane visit set the tone for GMG Racing driver podium showings and race wins on the biggest stages in North American motorsports all season. Washington added to his Pro-Am Carrera Cup haul with a pair of third-place showings in mid-September on the hallowed ground of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and continued to shine in major race events with another third in the opening Carrera Cup race at Rennsport Reunion 7 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca two weeks later.
The Carrera Cup Pro-Am success anchored a late-season surge in more than a month of nearly non-stop competition for Washington with a mix of Carrera Cup and multiple Porsche 992 and 991 races in Porsche Sprint Challenge starting in early September. The hectic schedule of 10 races on a pair of race weekends at both IMS and Laguna Seca produced an amazing run of nine podium showings – including second-place runs in the opening Sprint Challenge 992 race in early September at Laguna Seca and another runner-up result in the first Sprint Challenge 991 race at IMS in October – heading into the COTA Carrera Cup finale.
Washington closed out his competitive season with a pair of top-five Pro-Am finishes in the stacked Carrera Cup field that assembled to support the COTA Formula 1 race, but it was GMG team owner and driver Sofronas who made a triumphant return to professional competition in front of the massive Formula 1 crowd with a clean sweep in the Pro-Am class in the No. 14 GMG Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
In his IMSA Carrera Cup series debut, Sofronas turned in the perfect performance in his first major race since recovering from a back injury sustained this past summer in a race testing incident. He improved several positions in both COTA races, climbing from fourth on the starting grid on Saturday and second on Sunday for the pair of victories. The run to the top of the order in both races was even more impressive considering both sprints were slowed by time-draining caution periods. Sofronas wasted no time getting to the front in either race.
“For me personally and as the owner of GMG, it was very rewarding and incredibly emotional to finish the year like we did at COTA,” Sofronas said. “Just getting back in the car after my injury and realizing I could still perform at a highly competitive level as I have for my entire 30 year career was gratifying and, honestly, a relief. I had a couple of Sprint Challenge podiums earlier in the season but to return to the top step of the podium not once but twice in our last major race of the year – and my first in Carrera Cup – was incredible. The GMG team gave me a perfect Porsche 992 and it was great seeing Kyle finish fifth in Pro-am in both races too and wrap it all up with two GMG Racing Porsches in the top five in a pair of races. Kyle singlehandedly delivered our team’s best race results while I was recovering and his strong end to the season shows the incredible progress he has made. It is only going to get better next year.”
GMG Racing’s other podium player in 2023 was familiar team driver CJ Moses who was a frequent visitor to victory lane in the emerging GT2 division in the GT America powered by AWS series. Ending his season on a high note as well, Moses drove his unique No. 58 CrowdStrike/AWS Audi R8 LMS GT2 to a pair of podium showings at the Indy finale. After a third place finish in Friday’s race, Moses improved to a second-place finish on Sunday.
“We have been proponents of the GT2 format in SRO Motorsports America since it was announced and CJ Moses has been right there with us,” Sofronas said. “He had a limited but competitive schedule this year but he continues each season to develop his race craft and improve overall as a driver. There was a small but diverse GT2 field at Indy and it is great to see the class starting to grow. We know it will only get bigger in the future and we plan to continue to be a part of it.”
Sofronas has endless praise for the GMG Racing crew that stayed the competitive course – even through some heartbreaking times – throughout the 2023 season and is already hard at work on preparations for 2024.
“The crew is just incredible,” Sofronas said. “They know how to deal with the long and tough days at the track like the professionals they are, but we all head into this holiday season thinking about our teammate Bryce Cords who we lost in a fatal crash right at the height of the busy stretch run to close out the year. Losing a race is one thing, but with Bryce we lost a teammate, a leader and a brother. Earlier in the year, another primary member of our team, Michael Shanes, was sidelined as he fights cancer. We think of them both everyday, we will probably never race again without Bryce in our thoughts, and we look forward to Michael returning to the track with us as soon as possible.”
As 2023 comes to a conclusion, Sofronas and GMG are finalizing multiple team and driver development programs across several different North American racing series. The first announcements will be made in early 2024.