SCCA – World Challenge Participation Booms

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Whitesell and I have been saying for a number of years now that the SCCA Pro Racing’s Pirelli World Challenge series is some of the best racing you’re ever going to see. It’s one of the things we look forward to the most when we go to Mid-Ohio. For a time, the World Challenge series suffered from small grid sizes and perinnial teams like Bimmerworld Racing moving from the SCCA’s World Challenge to Grand-Am’s Continental Tire SportsCar Championship. As the series retooled, redefined their classes, and took a close look at the cost of competition, things began to improve. Over the last few years, we’ve seen the number of team and the number of represented manufacturers increase.

This coming season will see the addition of a new TCA class aimed at keeping costs under control. If you look at the permitted modifications, you’ll see that most of them are what a typical SCCA Solo racer will do to be competitive in the Street Touring class. So basically, if you can afford to go autocross in an ST class, you’re not that far away from running in TCA in the Pirelli World Challenge!

Another new class that has drawn a significant amount of interest is GT-A. As opposed to TCA which is a classification based on the level of car preparation, GT-A is a driver-based class. As the competitive level of GT-class racing has increased, there’s been less of a motiviation for gentlemen drivers to be involved in the series. GT-A gives those drivers who are very talented, but who not earn their living driving a race car, a place to compete and test themselves against their peers.

These two new classes and the focus on reducing the start-up and operational cost of participation has caused a HUGE spike in interest. The series is expecting 80+ cars on grid by time the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg rolls around in the GT, GTS, and GT-A classes. The event at Barber Motorsports Park the following month will be insane as the three GT classes are joined by TC, TCA, and TCB.

With as many new and exciting changes that are happening in the world of sportscar racing here in the US, I think we at OpenPaddock.net will dub 2014 the “Year of the SportsCar”. It’s going to be a fun year!

Official Release from WC Vision

Denver, CO – WC Vision has announced team entries for the Pirelli World Challenge Championships’ 2014 25th anniversary season are substantially outpacing numbers from previous years. With 84 days until the first race weekend of the season at St. Petersburg, March 28-30, the series is welcoming an influx of new teams to race alongside returning competitors.

WC Vision is projecting fields of over 80 cars across the five series classes with new teams joining Pirelli World Challenge including EFFORT Racing entering a two-car Porsche 911 GT3 R team with Tim Bergmeister in GT and Michael Mills in GT-A, Roush Performance’s Ford Mustang entry in the GTS class with Jack Roush Jr. behind the wheel, and an all-GT3 team of two Ferrari 458 Italias and an Audi R8 LMS ultra fielded by DragonSpeed. Series fields in 2014 will include platforms from over 15 manufacturers including Acura, Aston Martin, Audi, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Ferrari, Fiat, Ford, Honda, Kia, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mini, Lamborghini, Nissan, Porsche and Volkswagen.

“We are pleased to see the fruits of our efforts develop the way they have. I am honored and humbled to see the results of these development programs as they have delivered steady series growth over the past five years since WC Vision took over the management of the series,” said Scott Bove, President and CEO, WC Vision/Pirelli World Challenge. “We are all looking forward to the start of the 2014 season; our 25th anniversary year is shaping up to be the best in the series’ history.”

With the continued growth of the series, WC Vision is already projecting that the first two race weekends of the Pirelli World Challenge 2014 season – St. Petersburg and Long Beach – will reach the maximum allowed entry levels.

“We are very delighted to once again feature the Pirelli World Challenge on our race weekend in April,” said Jim Michaelian, President/CEO of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach. “This Series continues to grow and is immensely popular with our fans. And the inclusion of Ferrari in this year’s GT class should make it even more entertaining.”

One comment

  • I love to watch Pirelli World Challenge in-person and on TV. Love to watch them racing cars that we can relate to (and some of us own), and I love to follow certain drivers such as O’Connell and Aschenbach,