Sonoma, CA – It was solid two-car outing for the Calvert Dynamics Pirelli World Challenge team at Sonoma Raceway, with Preston Calvert and Michael Lewis driving for the team in a pair of Phoenix Performance prepared Porsches. Lewis scored a top five finish in the GT Class, while Calvert made his return to the GT Cup field.
After making a strong debut in GTA competition at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Calvert’s GTA program was sidelined with a car fire at Utah Motorsports Campus, with Calvert making the move back to his GT Cup entry for the reminder of the season. He will also partner with Michael Lewis in SprintX at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, and race in the SCCA National Championship Runoffs.
“At Sonoma, for me personally, the most satisfying part of the weekend was setting my personal best time in the GT3 Cup car in qualifying on Saturday, about a second faster than I had ever gone there last year,” said Calvert, who finished fifth in both races. “I look forward to MRLS, where Michael Lewis and I will drive in SprintX together again, in hopes of another successful weekend.”
For Lewis, Sonoma saw him finish sixth and fifth, respectively, in the GT races. His top five on Saturday saw him bring him the first Porsche in the field, as well as the first of the naturally-aspirated cars in the finishing order.
“In each session this past weekend in Sonoma our Porsche 911 GT3 R was performing well. It was nice to have solid performances for the many interested fans who attended the race,” said Lewis. “Our car was balanced in free practice, and after letting the track get worked in during those sessions, we made nice changes on it for qualifying. To be honest, everything seemed to run smoothly with the way we were working, and it resulted in strong finishes in qualifying and both races. Our results are a testament to our engineer Stefan and the mechanics doing their jobs well. The results are also from the team’s shared idea of always having fun in what we do; after all, we get to play with some pretty incredible machinery!
“For now, we will take in all of the gathered information from Sonoma, and work to use it for more strong runs in the last race held at Laguna Seca,” Lewis continued. “Thank you to Calvert Dynamics, Circle Porsche of Long Beach, Discount Tire, Curb Records, The Smile Generation, ASE, Cometic Gasket, Inc., CXC Simulations, and The Texas Liver Institute for providing the wonderful opportunity to compete and race hard during each event.”
While Lewis prepares for the season finale at Laguna Seca, Calvert moved directly from Sonoma to Mid-Ohio, the location of the SCCA Runoffs.
It was four years ago Calvert began racing in a Mazda MX-5. This year, he will drive two entries in the Runoffs, looking for top honors in both a Corvette and Mustang.
“It is fun and challenging for me to go from a high-horsepower, H-pattern manual gearbox Mustang, to a floor-shifted sequential Corvette GT2 car, to a Porsche GT car with aero grip and a paddle shifter. I think it has helped me build up a tool kit of skills from which I can draw going forward, and fortunately I have had the opportunity to drive such a great variety of excellent race cars. At Mid-Ohio for the SCCA Runoffs, I go back and forth during the day between my Mustang and my Corvette, with the main adjustment being the need to recalibrate cornering speeds and brake points to account for the added aerodynamic grip provided by the Corvette GT2 car,” Calvert said.
Next up for the Calvert Dynamics in Pirelli World Challenge is the season finale at Laguna Seca, Oct. 7-9.