(Saint Petersburg, Florida) This is the 25th anniversary season of SCCA Pro Racing’s Pirelli World Challenge Championships. And it begins this weekend in the Cadillac Grand Prix of Saint Petersburg Presented by StopTech.
The Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) is the playground of many auto makers as Acura, Aston-Martin, Audi, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Ferrari, Fiat, Ford, Honda, Kia, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mini, Lamborghini, Nissan, McLaren, and Porsche use the 22-race series as a technology proving ground — and a marketing tool.
Blackdog Speed Shop returns to the sports car wars to defend its 2013 team and driver championships with Lawson Aschenbach piloting the #1 Camaro SS alongside teammate
ROUSH Road Racing challenges the Camaros with its Ford Mustang BOSS 302s.
EFFORT Racing comes into the series with two Porsche 911 GT3 Rs, and K-PAX Racing has switched from Volvo S60.R sedans to a pair of McLaren MP-4-12C GT3s in the team’s traditional deep blue and yellow.
More European exotics include Ferrari 458 Italias, an Audi R8 LMS from DragonSpeed,
Reiter Engineering’s Lamborghini Gallardo FL2 GT3s, and Black Swan Racing’s chrome-wrapped Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG.
52 cars in six series classes are expected to take the green flags in two 50-minute sprint races, on Saturday and Sunday. Live Internet telecasts will be Saturday a 3:10 p.m. and Sunday at 11:10 a.m. (Eastern) on www.World-ChallengeTV.com. Tune in to NBC Sports Network for an encore presentation of both races on Sunday, April 6 at 5:30 p.m. (Eastern).
The streets of downtown Saint Petersburg will host two practice sessions on Friday and a qualifying session on Saturday morning.
Sports car veterans including Johnny O’Connell, Peter Cunningham, Lawson Aschenbach, Jack Baldwin, Tim Bergmeister, and James Sofronas, who know this course well, will vie for pole position. Alex Figge, who set the PWC Saint Petersburg lap record in a Volvo sedan, will likely best his 87 m.p.h. average in his new McLaren coupe.
Tickets for the Cadillac Grand Prix of Saint Petersburg Presented by StopTech — and the other races this weekend — are available at the Grand Prix of Saint Petersburg website and the ticket booth near the southern (Turn 3) gate to the race track.