Being native to Southern California, when we hear the words “Porsche” and “racing” in the same sentence, we immediately think of GMG Racing.
We’ve seen photos and videos of their Porsche Cup 911s and Pirelli World Challenge Audi R8 LMS cars on the track, as well as in person. Such prestigious cars have to be built in a well organized environment, using nothing but state-of-the-art tools and equipment, so we just had to head down to GMG Racing’s shop in Santa Ana, CA to see their awesome shop in person.
GMG Racing doesn’t only build and cater to racecars, they also work on an array of road-going cars including Porsche, BMW, Audi, Bentley, Ferrari and more. They also have their own line of forged monoblock wheels, exhaust systems, headers, suspension components, and chassis-stiffening components.
Follow along as we take an inside look where all of the magic happens.
The History of GMG Racing
Founded by Fabryce Kutyba and James Sofronas in 2001, GMG Racing started out as a 1,200 sq. ft. shop maintaining two racecars. It has quickly grown into a 15,000 sq. ft. shop and established itself as one of North America’s premium performance tuning facility. Before GMG, Kutyba had a small BMW performance shop with his father and didn’t even know Sofronas until he moved out to Southern California from back east. They met at a BMW car club in 1997 – their friendship and business relationship took off from there.
Kutyba had a customer with an M3 Lightweight that wanted to race and Sofronas had some professional racing experience with BMWs, so he offered to coach Kutyba’s customer. With Sofronas’ driving experience and Kutyba doing most of the wrenching, they had a perfect foundation to start a business. In 2000, they won the U.S. Touring Car Championship with a BMW 328 – there were seven races in the series and they won six of them overall. After that, they decided to sell the car to a customer and put a name to what they were doing. Up until 2004, Kutyba and Sofronas both worked for other companies. After Kutyba left his job, he and Sofronas started a little brick-and-mortar shop, which they outgrew in a short 18 months.
Once Safronas did a little leveraging in his life and pulled some funds together, he purchased a Porsche Cup car to campaign. “Our real claim-to-fame with Porsche was race at Limerock Park where we actually finished on the podium and out-qualified both of the factory entries for Porsche,” Kutyba explained.
We shouldn’t have been racing in GT, we should’ve been in Touring Car. – Fabryce Kutyba, GMG Racing
The announcers were so amazed with their performance because they just showed up with a Ford F-250, a 24-foot enclosed trailer, and their racecar. They did have some help at the race, but they were definitely the underdogs.
After gaining recognition from Porsche, they raced with the brand for a couple more years until 2006, which is when they found their current building. Thinking that they would never fill up that building, they actually had to expand three years later because their racing program was going so well. They expanded to next door, which was another 15,000 sq. ft, making their whole shop a combined 30,000 sq. ft.
GMG’s state-of-the-art facility is split virtually in half due to having so much going on at one time. The main shop is where all of the daily driven/customer cars are worked on and maintained, but in order to get to the main shop, you have to walk through the lobby, which is an awesome sight in itself. Right when we walked in, we were greeted by trophies, trophies, a couple of photos of their racecars on the wall, and more trophies. There was also an example of one of their Porsche exhaust systems, as well as an old Ferrari V8 racing engine on display which was a really cool sight to see. As far as achievements go, there were a bunch of Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo trophies, Pirelli World Challenge trophies, Pirelli Drivers Cup, and much more. Another part of the lobby we liked were the clocks up on the wall that showed the time at all of their favorite racetracks including Suzuka, Bathurst, Laguna Seca, Sebring, and Le Mans.
Walking through the wide glass doors, into the main shop, we were overwhelmed – we didn’t know what area to go check out first. Luckily, one of their parts/logistics guys, Jerry Truong, showed us around both shops and gave us the grand tour. It really is cool how both of their shops are adjoined because everything is in one spot and there’s no need to leave the building for parts or to send projects out. Everything is done in house, including tuning and fabrication. “We love to share our passion for cars and get people excited about what we do,” Kutyba stated.
The tuning is done on their 4-wheel-drive chassis dyno, which is located in a test cell within the shop. It’s a really smart area to have a chassis dyno. It’s ventilated, secluded, and keeps the shop a tad bit quieter, opposed to being out in the open. For any given car enthusiast, GMG’s main shop would be considered a playground. There’s an alignment rack and machine, Rotary Lifts and Bendpaks scattered all around and to top it off, there’s Porsches, Audis, and other fine automobiles being worked on all at once. When we first walked in, we noticed a really clean Audi R8 V10 that was getting a hefty twin-turbo kit. We were already drooling, to say the least.
Next to that was Kutyba’s personal Audi R8 V8 that was actually featured in the Fusion Brakes booth at SEMA. Against the wall ahead of the two R8s, there were displays that showcased the wheels that they sell, as well as their own GMG forged wheels. They offer them in centerlock for the high-end Porsche crowd. Walking around, we noticed that GMG will work on almost anything. A 2013 Mustang GT500 was undergoing some rewiring, but before that, it had a full Cortex suspension kit with full watts link, coilover conversion in the rear, torque arm, and a differential oil cooler.
On the other side of the shop, there was a rare 1980’s-era Porsche 911 SC Targa that was being restored mechanically and aesthetically. There was also a Porsche 911 Turbo that was getting a GMG bolt-in roll cage setup and another brand new 911 Turbo that was having some routine maintenance performed. Seeing the wheels off of the Porsches gave us a great look at the centerlock hubs – just another aspect of racing that Porsche integrated into some of their high-end road cars.
After checking out the main shop, we wanted to see where all of their race cars and customer’s race cars are built and maintained. Truong took us through an unsuspecting door that lead to the race shop and we were in an instant daze of amazement. There weren’t a lot of cars being actively worked on or prepped, but there were at least three Porsche Cup cars and four Audi R8 LMS Ultras, one of which is raced by Sofronas in the Pirelli World Challenge.
The race shop is just as immaculate as the main shop, maybe even cleaner! There is absolutely no clutter anywhere, the floors are clean enough to eat off of, and the bays are nice and spacious for tearing down the cars and maintaining them. In the race shop there was also some equipment that they keep in their stacker trailers on race weekend like roller toolboxes, coolers, and other miscellaneous trailer stuff.
We watched some of the mechanics work on the Porsche Cup cars they had in the shop and noticed right away that these guys are seasoned veterans at what they do. One of their mechanics used to race JGTC in Japan back in the day and is a very well known GT-R builder, another one of their guys came from Pratt and Miller working on the Cadillac and Corvette team, and they have a mechanic that came from the Volvo team in the Pirelli World Challenge. It’s safe to say that they have built a great team of well-rounded mechanics that really know about and love what they do, which in turn makes a great race team.
To the far end of the shop past all of the bays where the racecars are worked on, there is a little bit of storage space for parts, cars and other miscellaneous items. We had to go check out their Audi B5 S4 racecar that was sitting so calmly in the corner. There’s actually a cool story behind this car, too. Out of five B5 S4 Comp chassis built by Audi Motorsport UK for Champion Racing, this car is number five. GMG bought it off of Stasis, who ran it as a touring car in the Speed World Challenge competition. They also used to own the Derek Bell S4 Comp EVO, which was the sister car of this one.
We’ll Be Back Soon Enough
We had a lot of fun visiting GMG Racing’s shop and seeing where they build and maintain racecars, road-going daily drivers, and track toys. We definitely can’t wait to come out to a race or two and get a bird’s eye view of how everything happens in the pits and on the track as well. It definitely isn’t the last time we’ll be there either. Be sure to watch out for a few car features in the near future and some racing coverage!
We also want to give a big thanks to Fabryce Kutyba for allowing us to come up there to shoot photos and Jerry Truong for showing us around and making us feel right at home. If you’re interested in any of their services, or want to purchase some performance parts, check out their website or give them a call!