Pirelli World Challenge

The Pirelli World Challenge celebrates its 25th anniversary this year as North America's longest running sports car racing series.   During the last 25 years the World Challenge has served as a support race for larger and more attention grabbing racing series, such as IndyCar, Champ Car (prior to the merger of Champ Car and IndyCar), and the American LeMans Series.  This year, the WC serves as support to IndyCar. 

Speed TV began sponsoring the series in 1999 and later it was picked up by Versus, now NBC Sports channel.  With the SpeedVision television contract, the World Challenge eventually succeeded Trans Am as the SCCA's premier series.  In July 2008, the World Challenge series was purchased by WC Vision, a group of investors. The Sports Car Club of America remains the sanctioning partner of the series.  Starting with the 2011 season, the series signed a partnership with Pirelli and the leading tire manufacturer became the official tire supplier and title sponsor of the series. 

This year, the Pirelli World Challenge will have a GT-A classification similar to the FIA's bronze category.  What does mean?  The world challenge invited cars and teams homologated to the European FIA GT racing series without restrictions, meaning this year witnesses a field of 49 cars for their first race this past weekend in St. Petersburg, FL.  The filed consist of 19 manufacturers with cars ranging from the McLaren 12C, Lamborghini Gallardo, Audi R8 GTS, Nissan GT, Mercedes SLS, Ferrari 458, BMW Z4, Porsche coupled with North America entries from Cadillac, Camero and Ford Mustang.

The first race in St. Petersburg saw the first place and second place cars finish the last 10 minutes of the race within mili-seconds of each other lap after lap as they battled through the traffic of slower cars.  The good news is that if you missed the race, the World Challenge YouTube page post fulls videos of each race.  You can see the first race at the bottom of this post.

Not many other racing series, if any, offer the competition of Europe's and America's finest sports cars battling on the same track driven by professional drivers and weekend warriors.

World Challenge action will occur again in Long Beach this weekend (April 12-13) supporting the IndyCar Long Beach Grand Prix.

Long Beach Preview

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Classes:

GT/Grand Touring

The allowed body styles within this class are coupe, sedan and convertible. The cars permitted in GT are typically sold in the market as “sports” cars, “sport-touring” cars, or performance versions of “luxury” cars. Forced induction is permitted on cars that come equipped with forced induction stock, or on cars that the series has determined need help reaching the target horsepower range. Power output ranges from 425-525 hp. Weight varies depending on power output and tire size. All of the vehicles in GT are rear-wheel drive, or all-wheel drive. FIA GT3 class cars are now approved to compete in the class starting in 2013.

GT-A

A new "GT-A" driver class is set to debut for 2014.  It is a designation to recognize gentlemen drivers that compete in the GT class.

GTS/Grand Touring Sport

The allowed body styles within this class are coupe, sedan and convertible. The cars permitted in GTS are typically marketed as “sports cars”, “sport-touring cars” or performance versions of “luxury” cars but at a lower permissible preparation level than GT. Forced induction is permitted on cars that come equipped with forced induction stock. Power output ranges from 300-400 hp. Weight varies depending on power output and tire size. Front-wheel, rear-wheel, and all-wheel drive configurations are permitted. Additionally, many FIA GT4 class cars are eligible. Models include the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, Acura TSX, Audi TT, Porsche Cayman, Kia Optima, Nissan 370Z and Scion FR-S.

Touring Car (TC)

The allowed body styles in this class are two-seat roadsters, coupes, hatchbacks, wagons, sedans. Power output ranges from approximately 230 to 260 hp. Weight varies depending on the power output of the individual drivetrain configurations. Front-wheel, rear-wheel, and all-wheel drive configurations are permitted. Forced induction may be allowed on cars that have forced induction systems available from the manufacturer which do not void the factory warranties.

Touring Car A-Spec

New for 2014, this class is an evolution of the current TC class with an emphasis on maintaining cost effectiveness while providing an easy avenue to entry into professional racing. Performance modifications will be limited to mainly chassis tuning. Front wheel and rear wheel drive configurations are permitted. Target power output is 200 crank hp from non-modified stock engines. Forced induction maybe allowed on cars that have forced induction systems available from the manufacturer as a stock engine option. Examples of eligible cars include the Honda Fit, Mazda 3, Fiat 500, Ford Focus, MINI Cooper, Chevrolet Sonic, and Kia Rio.

Touring Car B-Spec

These are smaller cars with small, efficient, naturally aspirated motors. Modifications are limited to manufacturer specified performance spring and shocks to keep overall cost down. Cars competing in TCB are prepared to the SCCA Club Racing B Spec rules. Cars eligible include the Fiat 500, Ford Fiesta, Mazda 2, Mini Cooper, Chevrolet Sonic, Honda Fit, Kia Rio, and Nissan Versa

Schedule:

  • Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

    Date: Friday, March 28 - Sunday, March 30
    Location: St. Petersburg, FL
    Round: GT/GT-A/GTS 1 & 2
    TV Broadcast Info: On NBC Sports Network. Sunday, April 6 at 5:30 p.m. (re-air Saturday, April 12 at 1 a.m.) (all times listed are eastern.)Also on www.world-challengeTV.com after initial broadcast
  • Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

    Date: Friday, April 11 - Sunday, April 13
    Location: Long Beach, CA
    Round: GT/GT-A/GTS, Round 3
    TV Broadcast Info: On NBC Sports Network. Sunday, April 20 at 5:30 p.m. (re-air Friday, April 25 at 1 a.m.) (all times listed are eastern.)Also on www.world-challengeTV.com after initial broadcast
  • Barber Motorsports Park

    Date: Friday, April 25 - Sunday, April 27
    Location: Birmingham, AL
    Round: GT/GT-A/GTS Rnds 4 & 5, TC/TC-A/TCB Rnds 1 & 2
    TV Broadcast Info: On NBC Sports Network. Saturday, May 10 at 4 p.m. (re-air Friday, May 16 at 1 a.m.) (all times listed are eastern.)Also on www.world-challengeTV.com after initial broadcast
  • Canadian Tire Motorsport Park

    Date: Friday, May 16 - Sunday, May 18
    Location: Bowmanville, Ont, CAN
    Round: TC/TC-A/TCB Rounds 3 and 4
    TV Broadcast Info: Live on www.world-challengetv.com. Specific broadcast times TBA.Also on www.world-challengeTV.com after initial broadcast
  • Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix

    Date: Friday, May 30 - Sunday, June 01
    Location: Detroit, MI
    Round: GT/GT-A/GTS Rounds 6 and 7
    TV Broadcast Info: On NBC Sports Network. Sunday, June 15 at 2:30 p.m. (re-air Saturday, June 21 at 12 a.m.) (all times listed are eastern.)Also on www.world-challengeTV.com after initial broadcast
  • New Jersey Motorsports Park

    Date: Friday, May 30 - Sunday, June 01
    Location: Millville, NJ
    Round: TC/TC-A/TCB Rounds 5 and 6
    TV Broadcast Info: Live on www.world-challengetv.com. Specific broadcast times TBA.Also on www.world-challengeTV.com after initial broadcast
  • Road America

    Date: Thursday, June 19 - Saturday, June 21
    Location: Elkhart Lake, WI
    Round: GT/GT-A/GTS Rnds 8 & 9, TC/TC-A/TCB Rnds 7 & 8
    TV Broadcast Info: On NBC Sports Network. Friday, July 4 at 6:30 p.m. (re-air Saturday, Aug. 2 at 12:30 a.m.) (all times listed are eastern.)Also on www.world-challengeTV.com after initial broadcast
  • Honda Indy Toronto

    Date: Friday, July 18 - Sunday, July 20
    Location: Toronto, Ont, CAN
    Round: GT/GT-A/GTS Rounds 10 and 11
    TV Broadcast Info: On NBC Sports Network. Sunday, August 10 at 1:30 p.m. (re-air Saturday, Aug. 16 at 12 a.m.)Also on www.world-challengeTV.com after initial broadcast
  • Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio

    Date: Friday, August 01 - Sunday, August 03
    Location: Lexington, OH
    Round: GT/GT-A/GTS Rnds 12 & 13, TC/TC-A/TCB Rnds 9 & 10
    TV Broadcast Info: On NBC Sports Network.Sunday, August 10 at 1:30 p.m. (re-air Saturday, Aug. 16 at 12 a.m.) (all times listed are eastern.)Also on www.world-challengeTV.com after initial broadcast
  • Sonoma Grand Prix

    Date: Friday, August 22 - Sunday, August 24
    Location: Sonoma, CA
    Round: GT/GT-A/GTS Rounds 14 & 15
    TV Broadcast Info: On NBC Sports Network. Saturday, August 30 at 1 p.m. (re-air Thursday, Sept. 5 at 12:30 a.m.) (all times listed are eastern.)Also on www.world-challengeTV.com after initial broadcast
  • Brainerd International Raceway

    Date: Saturday, August 30 - Sunday, August 31
    Location: Brainerd, MN
    Round: TC/TC-A/TCB Rounds 11 and 12
    TV Broadcast Info: Live on www.world-challengetv.com. Specific broadcast times TBA.Also on www.world-challengeTV.com after initial broadcast
  • Miller Motorsports Park

    Date: Friday, September 12 - Saturday, September 13
    Location: Tooele, UT
    Round: GT/GT-A/GTS Rnd 16, TC/TC-A/TCB Rnds 13 & 14
    TV Broadcast Info: On NBC Sports Network. Sunday, September 28 at 2:30 p.m. (re-air Thursday, Oct. 2 at 10 p.m.) (all times listed are eastern.)Also on www.world-challengeTV.com after initial broadcast

 

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Mark Farouk

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Rebellion Sno-totype Murders A Ski Slope!!!

Rebellion Sno-totype Murders A Ski Slope!!!