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A record 92-car field will be competing in the Pirelli World Challenge at The Circuit of the Americas on May 17-19, 2013.
For the eighth straight year, Long Beach will play host to the Pirelli World Challenge as the race returns to the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Only the GT and GTS classes will compete on the 11-turn, 1.968-mile street course.
The 2013 Pirelli World Challenge season kicks off today in St. Petersburg, Florida and for the fourth year in a row is part of a doubleheader weekend with the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg IndyCar race.
SCCA and Pirelli World Challenge will be adding a B-Spec Shootout at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs, which will kick off on September 20th at Road America.
This weekend has plenty of motorsport options for those in Detroit, with Grand Am, Indy Car, and the Pirelli World Challenge going on at the same time.
Those interested in catching the Pirelli World Challenge Championship races from Detroit’s Belle Isle this weekend can tune into www.world-challengeTV.com to watch live streaming of the event. GT and GTS drivers will take to the track for two races, the first one starting on June 2nd at 2:50pm EST, while the second race will begin the following day at 11:50am EST.
The individual races will continue to be hosted on the site as well, so even if you miss the live streaming, you can still check back in to catch all the action.
Live streaming will also be available to those with Android phones, but Apple’s iPhone is out of the question due to its lack of support for Flash.
During the offseason, the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) announced its new B-Spec class to give automakers and racers a relatively affordable platform to go racing. The season has finally kicked off with Carbotech’s Fiat 500 claiming the first victory.
The ‘showroom stock’ racing series includes race cars like the Honda Fit and Mazda 2, while Ford represents for the domestics with its Fiesta. From Europe are the MINI and Fiat contenders with the Italian automaker holding off the contenders in its inaugural race.
While it’s definitely noteworthy that Fiat claimed the first win in a new racing series, the more important question to ask is when was the last time Fiat won a race in America?
Driving the number-00 Fiat USA/SRT/Carbotech 500 was Jonathan Start who swept the doubleheader of two 30 minute races separated by a brief 10 minute break. Craig Capaldi in the number-86 Ford Fiesta lead for the opening seven laps, before Shaun Bailey overtook with the number-0 Road & Track Mazda2.
Capaldi then led three laps in the middle stage of the race before Start took the lead in the Fiat 500, holding on to a 2.171 second win. His pass for the lead also net him the Invisible Glass Clean Pass of the Race award.
“Race one was exactly what B-Spec should be,” Start said. “Close, tight, and very similar cars. I had the race of my life in the fun category. We were able to flip and flop, and we raced each other clean. This is what World Challenge is.”
In the second race, Start took the green flag from start to finish with a 1.392 second victory to sweep the doubleheader.
Fiat currently is ahead in the Manufacturers’ Championship with 19 points and it will be interesting to see if the 500 remains a contender through the rest of the season in the highly competitive B-Spec class.
This weekend, the Pirelli World Challenge will throw a doubleheader event at St. Peterburg and WC Vision announced that Rounds One and Two will be streamed live online.
Both races are part of the Acura Sports Car Challenge of St. Petersburg presented by Pirelli, and those that are on the go with Android phones will also be able to catch the live feed. It appears that Apple iOS users will be out of luck as the stream will be done in Flash.
The online feed for Round One will kick off at 5:50pm EDT on Saturday March 24th, while Round Two will commence at 10:50am EDT the following day.
Sanctioned by SCCA Pro Racing, the Pirelli World Challenge is entering its 23rd consecutive season.
To watch the race, visit the World Challenge website.
Honda is increasing its commitment to racing in 2012 by officially sponsoring teams entering the Pirelli World Challenge thanks to growing interest in both the U.S. and Canada.
Honda Performance Development (HPD) provides components and support to teams ranging from amateur to professional levels. In the past the company supported teams in the Grand-Am Continental Tire Challenge Series, but will move into the Sports Car Club of America’s World Challenge and B-Spec categories as well.
“With the development of the 2012 Honda Civic Si for Touring Car racing and the introduction of B-Spec for both professional and club racing, it’s been a very busy off-season for HPD,” said Lee Niffenegger, HPD senior engineer responsible for production-based racing.
“There has been a definite upsurge in interest from both the U.S. and Canada for this year, and we’re looking forward to exciting seasons in Grand-Am, World Challenge and Canadian Touring Cars,” he said.
According to Honda, the Civic Si is the car of choice this year with at least five teams taking part in the 14-race schedule in the World Challenge Touring Car class. Cars that run these races range from being almost factory stock to heavily modified based on the series. World Challenge Touring Car entrants run on the less modified end of that spectrum.
In the B-Spec segment, Honda will race their Fit cars, which represents and inexpensive, entry-level option for racers to get into the sport.
Compass360, a Toronto-based racing team has long used Hondas to compete in the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) and Gand Am series and claimed first place in the 2010 Canadian Touring Car Championship for Honda.
This year Compass360 will also enter the World Challenge for Honda with a multi-car effort in the SCCA Pirelli World Challenge and Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.
GALLERY: Compass360 Civic Si
The NBC Sports Network, formerly known as VERSUS, has announced their broadcasting schedule for one of our favorite racing series, the 2012 Pirelli World Challenge Series. All races of the series will be broadcast in either 90-minute or two-hour programs airing on Saturday or Sunday afternoons.
Greg Creamer and Calvin Fish, both renowned motorsports announcers, will play hosts to the coverage offering commentary and play-by-play, in-depth analysis at each race. Each episode will also include some unique feature segments, series personalities and behind-the-scenes footage.
See below for the complete schedule:
Four of the eight venues for the 2012 Pirelli World Challenge Schedule has been announced, but the bigger news is the confirmation of the new Touring Car B-Spec Class, something we’ve been eagerly awaiting.
B-Spec races will only run at three of the eight event weekends scheduled, but we believe that this is merely a way to keep it affordable for the racers in that class. Over those three event weekends, nine B-Spec races will take place.
The four venues already announced were the Streets of Long Beach alongside IndyCar and ALMS, where only the GT and GTS classes will compete on April 13th-15th 2012. April 27th-29th 2012 will bring GT, GTS, Touring Car and Touring Car B-Spec to Miller Motorsports Park in Utah. June 1st-3rd 2012 will share again with IndyCar at Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix with all classes competing that weekend. Last of the announced events is the June 22nd-24th event taking place at Mosport International Raceway in Ontario, Canada. All classes will be competing as this event is the Pirelli World Challenge Headliner.
Four more venues and events will be announced shortly by the SCCA.