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  • Writer's pictureMitchell Weitzman

2024 Fanatec GT World Challenge America Sonoma Recap

After some 'complications' with the new track surface, racing got underway without a hitch. And it was glorious as usual with stunning golden hour light to play with on multiple days.

Sonoma SRO GT World Challenge America 2024

All photos by Mitchell Weitzman.

Not exactly the greatest start to the year, as track activities were mostly (and most unfortunately) suspended on Thursday and Friday during the first race weekend of the 2024 Fanatec GT World Challenge America season. Sonoma Raceway recently received a fresh and shiny coat of new asphalt, and while a new track surface is usually worth getting excited over, this is not the case when the track seemingly begins to crumble. However, rescue crews were on the scene, simultaneously working on multiple sections of track at once, pouring fresh and improved asphalt. By early evening, with the sun setting over the rolling hills of Sonoma Raceway, the Toyota Gazoo Racing GR Cup North America cars were sent out right at golden hour. And guess what? the track held up! By the next day, a hilariously busy Saturday with no break periods, the freshly re-repaved Sonoma Raceway was ready for business and delivered thrilling racing for the rest of the weekend. Seriously, a huge shoutout to the crews, track operations, and the SRO Motorsports Group organizers for making this event still happen.

Without any time remaining for dedicated qualifying sessions, Saturday consisted of practice sessions that also accounted as substitute qualifying, setting the grid for that afternoon's races. So, an abbreviated weekend overall, but if anything, it made for more eager and active practice sessions given the limited running time that teams faced.

GT World Challenge America Sonoma 2024

The headline event, the Fanatec GT World Challenge America, featuring a 90 minute race with driver changes on both Saturday and Sunday, were dually and duly won by the Wright Motorsports Pro duo of Adam Adelson and Elliott Skeer in convincing fashion. The pair recently also captured a podium in the 12 Hours of Sebring in the GTD class. This pairing of both drivers and team are surely one to watch as they move up the ranks from an amateur to a more serious pro entry against the continent's top GT teams. Really exciting to see where they go from here. In both feature 90 minute races, they finished ahead of the Pro-Am Crowdstrike Mercedes entry of George Kurtz and Colin Braun.

Because of the shuffling schedule changes made over the weekend, we were excitedly treated to multiple track times during golden hour, making for gorgeous, fun, and creative opportunities for photos. Sonoma is also still very green during spring, as opposed to when NASCAR visits in summer and the abundant vegetation is reduced exclusively to dirt and dead grass.

Unable to stay for the concluding Sunday races, I was more than satisfied with the on-track action I got to see, especially considering that at one point, I was entirely convinced the whole weekend could be canceled due to the sudden track disintegration. Well done to all involved to get the event and season started and I can't wait for the next installment in the growing stature of GT racing in North America.

Full gallery by Mitchell Weitzman Photo and The Road Beat from GT World Challenge America Sonoma below:


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