Porsche Racing, NASCAR West Series Round out Toyota/Save Mart 350 Weekend in Sonoma
Sonoma Raceway is set to host an action-packed weekend of racing, as two series join the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at the Toyota/Save Mart 350, June 26-28.
For the first time in a decade, Sonoma Raceway will host two main events on Sunday of the Toyota/Save Mart 350 as the Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA series joins the NASCAR weekend and will feature a field of more than 25 Porsche 991, 997 and 996 GT3 Cup cars. The series is the premier point of post Porsche Club racing in the United States, and, in partnership with Porsche Motorsports North America, is one of 21 one-make platform series in the world for Porsche.
Drivers will compete for championships in four classes (Diamond, Platinum, Gold and Silver) during doubleheader 45-minute main events on Saturday and Sunday. The series will also hit the track for practice and qualifying on Friday, with the first main event set for Saturday just before the K&N NASCAR Pro Series West race. On Sunday, the Porsches will take the green flag for race #2 approximately 30 minutes after the checkered flag falls on the Toyota/Save Mart 350.
In addition to adding a luxury-car feature to the race schedule, the additional race is a chance for fans to extend their day at Sonoma Raceway and potentially ease some of the post-race traffic congestion, as fans stagger their departure times.
Race weekend will also feature some of the brightest up-and-coming drivers in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. The Carneros 200 will follow NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying on Saturday with a 64-lap West Series race.
This year, NASCAR introduced a 'game-changing' car that has dominated on the track. Built with aerodynamics, safety and cost-effectiveness in mind, the body has replaced steel-shelled cars with a design that's 35 pounds lighter and miles ahead of the competition when it comes to ease of repairs.
The influx of young talent to the NASCAR West Series over the past few years is also significant. And that talent continues to filter its way to NASCAR's three national series with the likes of Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott and Ben Rhodes.
In 2011, NASCAR Next was started to spotlight that young talent and begin to introduce the next generation of drivers to the public. The 2015-16 NASCAR Next class was introduced May 5 at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina. Five members of this new group are scheduled to compete in the Carneros 200 - Nicole Behar, James Bickford, William Byron, Cole Custer and Dalton Sargeant. NASCAR Cup drivers Austin Dillon and Trevor Bayne have been confirmed to race.
The NASCAR West Series will take to the track for two practice sessions on Friday, June 26, and for qualifying and their main event on Saturday, June 27.
Tickets, parking and transportation are all still available for the Toyota/Save Mart weekend, June 26-28. For more information, call 800-870-7223, visit www.RaceSonoma.com or follow at www.FaceBook.com/RaceSonoma or @RaceSonoma.