Inaugural Aspiring Driver Shootout winner set for GR Cup debut this weekend

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Inaugural Aspiring Driver Shootout winner set for GR Cup debut this weekend

Henry Drury ready to make his series debut in this weekend’s doubleheader at Sonoma

MILLVILLE, NJ (2 April 2024) – Two years ago, Henry Drury sat in front of his sim racing gear, desperately trying to figure out how to jump start his racing career. Fast forward two years, and 2024 will see the 24-year-old English born, Tampa, Fla. resident – who earned a racing scholarship as the inaugural PT Autosport Aspiring Driver Shootout winner – make his professional racing debut in the Toyota GR Cup.

A partnership between Toyota Gazoo Racing North America and SRO America, the Toyota 2024 GR Cup includes a seven-event, 14-race season at some of the most iconic road courses in the U.S., beginning this weekend at Sonoma Raceway. The series features the Toyota GR86 Cup car with the latest in safety and technical components – and a $1 million purse and prize package in 2024.

Under the tutelage of Alex Sedgwick, PT Autosport’s driver development director (and driver of the team’s marquee Porsche Carrera Cup North America program), and team principal Jason Myers, Drury competed in several Porsche Club of America and SCCA race weekends in 2023, ramping up his race craft skill set. Now comes the real test.

“I’m definitely ready to get back to racing,” said Drury. “Ready to get to work and prove that I belong out here. The GR Cup is a big step up in terms of talent level: I’ll be racing against some of the best young drivers in the country and that’s part of what I’m excited about, to prove myself against them.”

Drury tested the Toyota GR86 Cup car last December and found an immediate symmetry with the car that enabled him to get up to speed more quickly than he could have anticipated.

“Testing the car, I have to say, I was surprised by how comfortable I felt from that first day, how quickly I was able to really push. It’s a big step up from what I’ve driven before. The car is built so well and set up so well that I didn’t  have to adapt my style at all to make it go fast.”

Myers was impressed with Drury’s race craft in that initial test, which quickly prompted the team to secure the seat – hopefully for the full GR Cup season.

“We’re excited to finally get Henry’s professional racing career going,” said Myers. “Henry was our first shootout winner and first Junior Driver Partner. To see him campaign the No. 88 PT Autosport GR86 Cup Car with Precision Racing LA is kind of a dream scenario for all of us. After a visit to COTA last summer and a chance meeting with team principal Mario Biundo, we knew that if we were going to run in this series, it was going to be with his team. Mario and his team are a top-notch outfit and we’re stoked to be able to partner with them on this endeavor for Henry.

“And while we’ve got plans to run the full season, partnership and sponsorship opportunities still exist to help Henry complete his season,” Myers continued. “With strong hospitality options and some incredible B2B opportunities in the SRO paddock, we know there’s some great potential for the right partners/sponsors.”

Putting his sim racing background to good use, Drury has spent a great deal of time learning the Sonoma layout, but is loath to reveal all his preparation regime, knowing his competitors are doing the exact same thing.

“I’m very lucky in that the GR Cup and most of the tracks are on iRacing, so in addition to analysis from other races that the team has, I can use the sim to commit the track to muscle memory. The goal is to really know the track before I get there, so the right habits are ingrained.”

Precision Racing LA will field a five-car, six-driver lineup across the pair of SRO series – GT4 America and the GR Cup – with both series racing together most weekends. The team’s GT4 effort includes veteran Ryan Eversley, who serves as Drury’s driving coach.

“Working with Ryan has been a blast so far,” said Drury. “On top of his in-car skills, he’s experienced in all of the off-track aspects of being a professional racing driver, and knows how to have a laugh! I’m excited to continue working with him and learn from him both on and off track, and I’m sure there’ll be plenty of fun involved too.”

Precision Racing LA with PT Autosport kicks off the 2024 Toyota GR Cup season with two races at Sonoma Raceway April 5 to 7, to be broadcast live