Category Archives: Pirelli World Challenge

Hargrove / Fuentes Take Second Wins In Incident-Filled Pirelli World Challenge GT R2 (11.03.18)

Scott Hargrove, driving the #96 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3, took his second victory of the weekend to win Round Two of the 2018 Pirelli World Challenge GT / GTA category in a race that was filled with incident and eventually red-flagged with ten minutes left to race.

Second in the GT class was the #26 Callaway Corvette C7 GT3-R driven by Daniel Keilwitz. Taking the final podium position in the GT category was Daniel Morad, driving the #2 CRP Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3

Continue reading Hargrove / Fuentes Take Second Wins In Incident-Filled Pirelli World Challenge GT R2 (11.03.18)

Hargrove / Porsche Win On GT Debut In Pirelli World Challenge (11.03.18)


Young Canadian driver Scott Hargrove, driving the #96 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R, won on his debut in the GT class of the 2018 Pirelli World Challenge, crossing the line 3.918 seconds ahead of Toni Vilander in the R. Ferri Motorsport Ferrari 488 GT3.

Taking the final podium position in the class was Daniel Morad in the #2 CRP Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3

The GTA class saw a win for Martin Fuentes in the #07 Squadra Corse Garage Italia Ferrari 488 GT3, 8.231 seconds ahead of Rodrigo Baptista in the K-PAX Racing Bentley Continental GT3. Yuki Harata rounded out the podium positions in the GTA class in the Dream Racing Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3.

The opening round of the 2018 Challenge was marred with a first corner incident which saw multiple contacts. 2016 GT champion Alvaro Parente in the #9 K-Pax Racing Bentley Continental GT3, Spencer Pumpelly in the #00 TRG Aston Martin Vantage GT3 and the #19 TruSpeed Motorsports Audi R8 LMS, driven by Parker Chase, were all unable to continue following the incident.

The ensuing clearing of the track took 18 minutes during which the race was neutralised behind the safety car. At the re-start Daniel Morad in the #2 CRP Racing Mercedes took the lead ahead of Hargrove and Vilander. Hargrove, pushing hard, took the lead into T1 on lap 18.

Toni Vilander, in the #61 R. Ferri Motorsport Ferrari, kept Hargrove honest throughout the race and set a new lap record of 1:12.059 in his attempt to take the lead. Hargrove held on to the lead up to the chequered flag, however, to take his first Pirelli World Challenge victory.

Hargrove was delighted at how race unfolded.

“In qualifying I clipped the wall just enough to collapse the front suspension but my mood had done a 360,” said the Tsawasson, BC resident. “I definitely had a feeling that we could have been on pole today. I’m thrilled with the win because the car is flawless. I was able to put the laps down when I needed them and I’m pretty excited for tomorrow (the second round). I don’t think there is much of a learning curve for me because I come from a sprint racing background. It’s not the same as a lot of these guys that come from endurance racing and it’s a shock (at how aggressive it is).”

#7 a.a. 18.03.11


In the GTA class, Martin Fuentes, driving the #07 Squadra Corsa Garage Italia Ferrari F488 GT3, stood on the top step of the podium, after having started from the back of the class grid.

“I knew every start here at St Pete is hairy,” said the driver from Mexico City. “I knew I had to pay attention in the front and definitely St. Pete took its customers. I just watched, tried to find the gap, saw some crashing on the left and on the right. I saw the curve was clear and saw the other guy spinning so I just stomped on the gas to get through there and to get myself out of trouble. This is the time I’m driving (the Ferrari F488 GT3) with TR3 and I’m very excited.”

The #31 TR3 entry, driven by Daniel Mancinelli, was withdrawn ahead of qualifying following a dispute over additional ballast.

Round Two for the GT and GTA classes takes place on Sunday March 11 at 15:15 local time (20:15 GMT)

Long Crowned Overall Drivers Champion, Cooper Takes Two Pro Wins At Sonoma For Pirelli World Challenge GT Season Finale. (18.09.17)


Patrick Long clinched the Overall GT Drivers Championship and Michael Cooper won twice at Sonoma Raceway on September 16 – 17 as the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge drew to a close for the GT classes.

Cooper, driving the #8 Cadillac Racing Cadillac ATS.V-R took the lead shortly after the start in Race One when pole-sitter Daniel Mancinelli in the #31 TR3 Racing Ferrari F488 GT3 had to back out of the throttle to avoid a potential jump-start penalty. Cooper held on the lead with Alvaro Patent, piloting the #9 K-PAX Racing McLaren 650S GT3, finishing second and Michael Cooper taking the final podium position.

Following Johnny O’Connell’s off during FP2, the Cadillac Racing crew had worked through the night to repair the #3 Cadillax ATS-V.R and Cooper was quick to dedicate his victory to the team.

“It was an incredible race win today,” said Cooper. “The Cadillac guys were here till 2.00am last night finishing the #3 car and just to reward them with something like this is awesome and makes me so happy.”

Cooper was pleased that his concentration on the start had paid dividends.

“I asked the question in the drivers meeting about the start procedure because I know guys who have been messing with it a little and getting penalties for it,” said Cooper. “Then Daniel went a little early and had to get out of the gas and I kept going because he had gone and I’m like ‘I’m not going to let everyone drive away from me’.”

“From there he put some pressure on me early on but I was able to conserve tyres – the traction management in this Cadillac is unreal. It allowed me to keep the tyres under me and that’s why we still had the pace all fifty minutes.”

Patrick Long, driving the #58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R was pleased to have secured the drivers title but had been frustrated by a fellow competitor’s tactics.

Sonoma, CA - Sep 15, 2017: The Pirelli World Challenge racers take to the track on Pirelli tires during the PIRELLI WORLD CHALLENGE GRAND PRIX OF SONOMA at the Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, CA.


“He (Alvaro Parente) was wearing out my rear bumper and after last year I hate points-racing but there’s not a lot of trust with a few of my rivals out there,” said Long. “In the end it was the right move. I still had a lot of pressure from behind from Pierre (Kaffer) but the car was good today.”

“The Porsche GT3 R is the car to have on tracks like this where it’s technical and twisty – short wheel-base, lightweight and agile. Thank you to Wright Motorsports. These guys worked their tails off. We had to wait an extra year and it feels that much sweeter.”

Race Two saw Cooper and Long battling once again for the lead with the newly-crowned Overall GT Drivers Champion finishing less than a second behind Cooper.

The race got off to an unfortunate start after Daniel Mancinelli, driving the #31 TR3 Racing Ferrari F488 GT3, made contact with Alvaro Parente in the # 9 K-Pax Racing McLaren 650S GT3. The resulting damage and recovery brought out the Safety Car and caused the retirement of Parente. Mancinelli in the #31 car received a two-minute stop-gap penalty for causing the accident and went on to finish fifteenth overall.

Following his second victory of the weekend Cooper reflected on his progress as a professional driver.

“Most kids start out in karts or cars when they’re very young and I didn’t do that,” continued Cooper. “I started when I was 20, and I’m 28 now so it hasn’t been that long. But winning three championships in a short amount of time, and that I’ve done it – getting rides on merit and not any other way…. Also, Patrick Long mentioned the CVs of the factory drivers in this category and you look at my resume against those guys and it’s pretty easy to read so that makes me very proud that I can compete with guys like that and hold them off for the win.”

Following the final round for the GT classes in 2017, Pirelli World Challenge announced the calendar for the 2018 championship with the season-opener at St. Petersburg on March 9 – 11 next year.

2017 Pirelli World Challenge Heads To Sonoma For GT Showdown (13.09.17)

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The Pirelli World Challenge visits Sonoma Raceway, formerly Sears Point Raceway, in the Sonoma Mountains, California for the final weekend of GT action in the 2017 season on September 15 – 17.

There are 42 entries in the GT field with 14 cars entered in the GT (GT3) category, six in the GTA class (GT3 for non-professional drivers) and one in the GT Cup class. In the GTS (GT4 classes) there are eight entries in the GTS category and 13 in the non-professional GTSA class.

With the SprintX championship concluding at the previous round from the Circuit of the Americas, Texas, Sonoma will see the 2017 overall GT championships decided.

Patrick Long, driver of the #58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R, leads the Overall GT Driver’s standings on 320 points, 28 ahead of the second-placed Alvaro Parente in the #9 K-PAX Racing McLaren 650S GT3. Just four points behind Parente and driving the #8 Cadillac Racing Cadillac ATS-V.R is Michael Cooper.

“The COTA races were points days that we needed,” said Patrick Long, ahead of the Grand Prix of Sonoma. “I’m going to Sonoma with my head still down, 100% full throttle and completely focused because, as we learned last year, it’s never over till it’s over. We just have to push to close this out for the manufacturers, drivers and year-end championship.”

With five victories so far this season, and a second place in the previous SprintX round at the Circuit of the Americas, Patrick Long must go into the final two races of the 2017 championship as firm favourite. However, with 50 points on offer for the winners of the final two races and only 32 points separating the top three, anything could happen.

The Overall GT Manufacturer’s Championship fight is equally close with only seven points covering the top three. Porsche leads the standings on 113 points, six points clear of Cadillac. McLaren GT sits just one point behind Cadillac.

With Lawson Aschenbach, driving the #10 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro GT4, having secured the 2017 Sprint GT Drivers Championship, all eyes will be on the fight for second place where Ian James in the #50 Team Panoz Racing Panoz Avezzano GT has a 17-point advantage over Martin Barkey in the #80 KTM Xbow GT4. James has displayed a high level of consistency as the season has progressed with victories at Road America, Mid-Ohio, Utah and the Circuit of the Americas. It would be brave to bet against him.

The format of the weekend sees qualifying for all classes taking place on the Saturday morning with one-hour races for the GT/GTA/GT Cup classes and GTS classes taking place on Saturday afternoon and evening and again on the Sunday morning and afternoon.

All races are live-streamed on the Pirelli World Challenge at with live timing at

The 2017 Pirelli World Challenge season has witnessed some close, highly competitive racing across all the classes and the Grand Prix of Sonoma will be no exception. If you enjoy GT racing at its best, you won’t want to miss it.

Parente Takes Second Win At Mid-Ohio (30.07.17)


Alvaro Parente, driving the #9 K-PAX Racing McLaren 650S GT3 took his second victory of the weekend in the GT class in Pirelli World Challenge at Mid-Ohio. The Portuguese driver crossed the line 6.628 seconds ahead of Patrick Long in the #58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.

Third in the Pro class was Alec Udell, driving the #17 GMG Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R.

In a race which ran uninterrupted by cautions and safety cars, Parente took the lead from pole-sitter Long at the start of the second lap and maintained a lead of over 1.5 seconds for the majority of the 50-minute sprint, extending the gap in the final 15 minutes.

Continue reading Parente Takes Second Win At Mid-Ohio (30.07.17)

Third Win of The Season For James And Panoz At Mid-Ohio (30.07.17)


Ian James, driving the #50 Team Panoz Racing Panoz Avezzano GT, came home to take his third victory of the season in Race Two, Round Twelve of the GTS class of the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge at Mid-Ohio. Second across the line was the pole-sitter and winner of Race One, Lawson Aschenbach in the #10 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro GT4.

Taking the final podium position was Harry Gottsacker, driving the #69 Performance Motorsports Group Ginetta G55.

Aschenbach led the field away from pole-position and appeared to be controlling the race from the front but James, in the #50 car, was on Aschenbach’s rear bumper after twenty minutes of racing, pushing the Floridian driver to the point where race officials were starting to become concerned about Aschenbach’s defensive tactics.

The decisive move came at the start of the eighteenth lap when James took the lead going into Turn One. James then managed to pull out a lead of just under three seconds but Aschenbach remained a threat for the remainder of the 50-minute race, crossing the line 1.917 seconds behind the #50 car.

Ian James knew he was going to have to work hard to pass Aschenbach.

“I had a great battle with Lawson,” said James. “They set their car up to go fast on short stints and we did the opposite and it went in our favour.”

“I was working him round the back of the circuit so I was hoping to get him by surprise. I knew I would only have one chance as I know he’s a pretty good defensive driver, let’s say.”

The Am class was won by George Kurtz in the #04 GMG Racing McLaren 570S GT4, passing Tony Gaples in the #11 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro GT4 on the final lap to win by .615 seconds. Third in the Am class was Bob Michaelian in the Racers Edge Motorsports SIN R1 Gt4.

“It was a great win,” said Kurtz. “We didn’t have a great start – we got checked up at the beginning but we were able to get our heads down and hustle through. It was a long way to go to beat Gaples. Unfortunately I had to wait until the last lap but that’s the only lap that counts.”

“I figured I could get him in the back straight-away and I really just wanted to stay tight and keep the gap close. It was the ‘King Of Late Brakers’ between the two of us! He’s a great driver and it was clean so we were able to get through and we got the win.”

The 50-minute race was largely incident-free with no yellow flags or Safety Cars. The sole retiree was Rodrigo Baptista in the #3 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR following damage the car sustained in Race One.

Following his second place, Achenbach maintains his considerable lead in the GTS Drivers Standings on 268 points. Ian James, however, moves into second place in the standings on 181 points, two points ahead of third-placed Martin Barkey in the #80 Mantella Autosport KTM Xbow GT4 on 179 points.

George Kurtz’s win means that he extends his lead over Tony Gaples in the Am class Drivers Standings by two points to 10 points.

Rounds 13 and 14 for the GTS class take place at Utah Motorsports Complex on August 11 – 13.