Rearden Racing has announced plans to enter the Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS with three Lamborghini Huracan GT3 cars, beginning with the SRO America season opener on March 5-7 at Sonoma Raceway.
After winning numerous GT4 SprintX races as well as the 2019 Pirelli GT4 America SprintX West Am series championship, Rearden Racing, led by team owner Lara Tallman, will campaign three Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo machines in the GT3 SprintX and Sprint competition with drivers Jeff Burton, Vesko Kozarov and Dmitri Novikov.
Burton and Kozarov, the 2019 GT4 West Am champions from Salt Lake City, will team up in the No. 91 Burton Lumber/Rearden Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo for the Fanatec GT World Challenge America two-driver, 90-minute contests. Novikov will compete in the No. 29 Rearden Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 in the one-driver, 50-minute GT America Sprint races.
In addition, Rearden Racing will field the No. 888 Audi R8 LMS GT4 car for Utah veteran Kris McCoy in the GT America Sprint action which features GT2, GT3 and GT4 machinery.
The new Lamborghini cars for Rearden Racing should feel similar for Burton, who raced in the Lamborghini Super Troefo series, and Novikov, who competed with the Lamborghini Huracan in club competition.
“We have run several of the Lambo cars in the past four or five years,” said Tallman, a part-time racer when time allows from her team ownership role. “We have been very pleased with these cars. That has been the number one reason for the switch this year.
“It’s been a good process working with the Lamborghini people. So, we are optimistic about the change. We know it is a process, though. We will learn more about these cars as we go down the path. We have enjoyed running the Lamborghini machinery in different club races.”
Tallman is pleased with the drivers’ feedback with the new Lamborghini cars after their past experience with similar race cars.
“Jeff started his career racing in Lamborghini Super Trofeo, so he is familiar and comfortable with the cars and he likes the new cars,” Lara said. “It’s been a good fit for him to go back to the Lambo now. Dmitri has loved the Lamborghini. This is his second Huracan GT3. He also had one early in his driving career in events at The Thermal Club (in Southern California).”
Tallman admits that preparing for the Fanatec GT World Challenge America has had its challenges over the winter, but her Rearden Racing operation have experience and knowledge with pit stops and the extended race time of 90 minutes.
“We had equipment from our IMSA days but, of course, none of it was the right equipment for now,” said Tallman. “We invested quite a bit to update everything and prepare it. The fuel rig, tire warmers, tire carts, telemetry and other equipment was needed. It’s a long list.
“It’s been big chore for the Rearden Racing guys but it’s been a good reason to update and go through all of our equipment for the 2021 season. We are certainly doing our homework to make sure we are ready.”
Tallman and the Rearden Racing team has been busy in the winter as well with weekly club events at The Thermal Club and other West Coast racing facilities.
“We have added some personnel this year as well,” Lara explained. “A lot of our staff has been with us for many years because we’ve run other series. And we had different staff in different parts of the country as well. But we needed to add some new people also. Everyone has done a great job working together and we’re excited for the 2021 racing season.”
Highlights of the GT World Challenge America rounds at Sonoma will air on CBS Sports Network on March 7 at 4 p.m. ET, with an encore showing on March 8 at 1 a.m. ET.