PIRELLI WORLD CHALLENGE
The series races at eleven tracks across North America with the majority of race weekends featuring double races. The races are fifty-minute sprints and run without scheduled pit stops or driver changes and typically run during IndyCar Series race weekends. It is the only series in North America that features standing starts. The Pirelli World Challenge is managed by WC Vision and sanctioned by Sports Car Club of America.
There are six classes in total, divided into two groups: GT and TC. The GT and TC groups have their own races and on combined weekends, there are over 80 cars racing. GT, GT-A and GTS feature the higher performance cars in the series and has been open to FIA GT3 cars since 2013, further driving increased manufacturer participation. TC, TCA and TCB classes encompass the tuner cars from Ford, Honda, Kia, Nissan, Mazda and Fiat. All the cars in the series race on Pirelli P Zero Racing Slicks.
The races were broadcast on NBC Sports Network in 2014 in ninety-minute or two-hour Saturday or Sunday time slots with re-airs on Thursdays or Fridays. All the races are also streamed live at www.world-challengetv.com
The series traces its roots back to 1972 when the SCCA created a “showroom stock” class for amateur club racing. In 1984, they combined existing races into a manufacturer’s championship and in 1985, the series became a six-race professional championship with sponsorship from Playboy. Escort radar detectors sponsored the series from 1986 until 1991.
In 1990, the series was officially named World Challenge and was restructured to adopt rules similar to the European Group A for homologated production cars. Speed TV network began sponsoring the series in 1999. With fields growing, the series began separate races for the GT and Touring classes in 2000. In 2010, the series signed a broadcast partnership with Versus (now NBCSN) for coverage.
The series has grown from strength to strength over its 25 year history. You would be hard pressed to find such a depth of manufacturer involvement in any other professional race series. As Pirelli World Challenge notes in their advertising: “This is How Racing Should Be.”
Pirelli World Challenge web site: Click Here