ATLANTA, GA (Wednesday, April 17, 2024)  – After a successful 2024 GT America Powered by AWS season debut at Sonoma Raceway, SKI Autosport and Johnny O’Connell are heading into the Long Beach Grand Prix event with the championship points lead. 

Celebrating 40 years as a professional race car driver in 2024, O’Connell finished second in the first race at Sonoma and finished the weekend with victory on Sunday.

The veteran O’Connell has never been shy about his love for street circuit racing as he prepares for his Long Beach return.

“Long Beach has always been one of my favorite street circuits,” said O’Connell.

“From my Formula Car days to the years with both Corvette and Cadillac, I’ve always had good luck there.

“The fact that we are going back again with SRO is a good thing and speaks well to what the series is doing.  

“I’ve won many times over the years at Long Beach, and fingers crossed we can get a good result again this weekend.”

SKI Autosport ran its first official racing laps at Sonoma in their new Audi R8 LMS EVO II. Team Engineer Rossella Manfrinato, one of the most experienced and respected race engineers in sports car racing, also has extensive street circuit knowledge.

“The street course is always a challenge, and Long Beach is no exception,” she said.

“With the tight course and not much running time, you have to adapt quickly. The circuit has long straights, which are not all too straight, and things always happen quickly there.

“The last time I was at the Long Beach Grand Prix, I was in the role of Ferrari Technical Support Engineer. We were biting our nails the entire time as two 488 GT3s battled each other, but we were thrilled to finish first and second!

“I’m counting on Johnny’s experience and finesse at these kinds of circuits to have another successful outing for SKI Autosports.”

Friday, April 19
7:45 – 8:15: Practice #1
11:30 – 12:00: Practice #2
4:25 – 4:40: Qualifying
Saturday, April 20
4:45 – 5:2: Race #1
Sunday, April 21
4:20 – 5:00: Race #2

Live on-track race action is available at

Follow SKI Autosports at:
Twitter @AutosportsSki
Instagram @skiautosportsofficial



“I have to say GT America this year really surprised me with the pace of the guys that we saw at Sonoma.

“There are probably five or six of us that should be in an excellent position to get a win at Long Beach. 

“We at SKI Autosport are still in the very early stages of learning our new car; with Sonoma, we now have a whopping total of five days in the car, but I have so much faith in the team and our engineer Rossella. Racing is a team sport; although it is a tiny team, everyone works well together.

“It should be an interesting schedule for us at Long Beach. Friday will be busy with three sessions, and then races will be held on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Track conditions will be changing, and hopefully, we as a team will adjust well and once again achieve a good result.”