(image credit: Morgan Rhodes)
The season finally begins next weekend on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida with GT, GTA, the re-vamped GT Cup, and GTS in action.
The GT category is filled with stars – Ryan Dalziel in the CRP Mercedes, Johnny O’Connell and Michael Cooper in the Cadillac. Defending champion Alvaro Parente is back with the KPAX McLaren, joined by Bryan Sellers. Patrick Long is back with the Wright Porsche and Ryan Eversley returns with the new Acura NSX GT3, partnering with Peter Kox. Returning to the series is R.Ferri Motorsport with Alex Riberas behind the wheel of a new Ferrari 488 GT3. Absolute Racing returns Adderly Fong and a TBD. James Davison jumps into a TRG Aston Martin, and Magnus Racing has a TBD in their second Audi. Jon Fogarty and GAINSCO/Bob Stallings features a Porsche instead of McLaren for 2017.
GTA sees James Sofronas in his GMG Porsche joining Alec Udell, who is taking the step up to GT3 machinery after winning the 2016 GT Cup title. Michael Schein returns in his Wright Porsche, John Potter brings his Magnus Racing Audi, Daniel Mancinelli comes with a TR3 Ferrari 488 and Tim Pappas will be in a Blackswan Mercedes. Pablos Perez Companc will also field a Mercedes with Champ 1. Mike Hedlund returns to the series in a KPAX McLaren.
GT Cup, which Ferrari and Lamborghini are now eligible, sees Preston Calvert in his 991 GT3 Cup car and Marko Radisic in a Precision Driving Ferrari Challenge Evo.
GTS sees 19 cars entered, led by Lawson Aschenbach and Tony Gaples in the new Blackdog Camaro GT4. Jason Bell jumps in a Racers Edge SIN R1 as does Chris Beaufait. Rodrigo Baptista and Nate Stacy join Flying Lizard in Porsche Cayman GT4. Anthony Mantella and Martin Barkey are back with their KTM XBow GT4s, and Bill Ziegler will return to the ANSA Motorsports KTM XBow, with a second TBD for the team. Parker Chase and Harry Gottsacker will again be in the PMG Ginetta and Andrew Aquilante fields a Phoenix Performance Mustang. Mark Klenin has his gorgeous blaze-orange McLaren from KPR, and George Kurtz will also field a McLaren, but from GMG. Adam Merzon and Cameron Cassels will both run Case-it Racing Porsche Cayman GT4s and Ian James will be in the Panoz Avezzano GT.