LEXINGTON, Ohio - Aug. 8, 2010 - James Sofronas, of Newport Beach, Calif., led every lap in his GMG Porsche 911 GT3 Cupto win the Optima Batteries Mid-Ohio Grand Prix Presented by GameStreamer Sunday, holding off Andy Pilgrim at the finish of the...
LEXINGTON, Ohio - Aug. 8, 2010 - James Sofronas, of Newport Beach, Calif., led every lap in his GMG Porsche 911 GT3 Cupto win the Optima Batteries Mid-Ohio Grand Prix Presented by GameStreamer Sunday, holding off Andy Pilgrim at the finish of the World Challenge Championship Round Nine race. Peter Cunningham, of Milwaukee, Wis., and Ryan Eversley, of Atlanta, Ga., took the GTS and Touring Car class wins, respectively.
Sofronas capped off a great Porsche weekend at Mid-Ohio with a pole position, a win and second-place finish in World Challenge, and a second in the American Le Mans Series GT Challenge class - all in Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race cars.
Starting first in Sunday's World Challenge event after finishing second in Saturday round, Sofronas got away cleanly at the start in his No. 14 Global Motorsports Group Porsche 911 GT3, fending off a great start by third-gridded Pilgrim and his No. 8 K-PAX Racing Volvo S60. Saturday's winner, Mike Skeen's Corvette fell back from his second starting position to fifth at the start but was able to work back up to fourth by lap four. Sofronas led a seven-car train for the first seven laps until Charles Morgan's trip to the gravel brought out the race's first caution.
"I was far more aggressive through traffic this time," said Sofronas, who led Saturday's race as well from the pole until he was passed by Skeen's Corvette. "When the yellow came out, it was one of those 'Are you kidding me?' moments."
On the restart, Pilgrim got a jump on Skeen and moved into second. At the Keyhole, Skeen fell back further as he began to experience transmission problems in the Corvette. Sofronas had his mirrors full of Pilgrim for the remaining laps, and in the final corner on the final lap caught a slower Touring Car, allowing Pilgrim to get a run at the finish. In the end, Sofronas beat Pilgrim by 0.151-second to capture his fourth-career win.
"I feel great on a lot of levels. I want to dedicate this win to my Dad," Sofronas said of his ailing father, George. "To win today meant a lot to me. I thought about him when I was in the car and it kept me going because he never gave up in life and he's just an amazing man. It gave me the inspiration."
Sofronas admitted that traffic was a point of frustration during the race, with all three classes (GT, GTS and Touring Car) sharing the track together in the largest field of the season.
"The worst part was the last turn of the race, and [Robert] Stout was limping through the carousel," Sofronas said. "He was still on the proper race line, and I thought I was going to drill him because I had nowhere to go. It was that or run off in the grass and he just started to veer to the right and I kept my foot in it. All of a sudden, I saw this big Volvo nose that literally filled my entire mirror. I couldn't see anything except this big blue hood. That would have been a tough one to lose, but I think its poetic justice the way this weekend went. The Volvos got back up front, the GMG guys are running up front where we should be, and everything is great."
Pobst now leads Nick Wittmer by 146 points (955 to 809) with just three Rounds remaining in the Championship. Sofronas moved to third despite missing a Round, with 784, followed by Dino Crescentini, who crashed on the opening lap, with 723, and Lindsey, with 711. Porsche cut into Volvo's Manufacturers' Championship lead with the win, and now trails by just three points, 58 to 55. Dodge sits third, with 39.
The World Challenge Championships next travel to VIRginia International Raceway for Rounds 10 and 11, part of the SCCA Pro Racing Sports Car Wars weekend, September 10-12.
-source: porsche motorsport