Heading into this weekend’s Pirelli World Challenge season finale in Sonoma, California, Jonathan Start and the Fiat 500 team looked poised to claim the inaugural B-Spec Championship. A win would also mark the first-ever series championship in North America for the Italian automaker.
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RealTime Racing has become a staple of the SCCA World Challenge series over the last decade, racing some of the world’s top-bred Acuras to success. Now the team looks poised and ready to reclaim the manufacturer’s championship in the GTS class with their newly-upgraded V6 TSX race cars.
In 2010, RealTime Racing took home the inaugural GTS class Manufacturers’ and Drivers’ championship but last year they had to fend off V8-powered Ford Mustangs. Even though it was a fairly successful campaign with one win, two pole positions, and eight podium finishes, the second place in the manufacturers standings didn’t sit well with the team. In the off-season, RealTime Racing decided to swap out the four-cylinder powerplant in its race car for a more formidable V6.
For the 2012 season, the TSXs will be powered by Acura’s 3.5L VTEC V6 engine, which will give it the power it needs to compete with the likes of the BMW M3, Nissan 370Z, Mitsubishi Evo, Audi TT, and more.
“In order to improve the competitiveness of the TSX in World Challenge, we have moved forward with switching RealTime from the four-cylinder to the V6,” said Lee Niffenegger, Senior Engineer at Honda Performance Development. “Making the switch to the top trim level of our TSX engine line-up will enable RealTime to continue its record-setting performance in the Series, while further establishing this Acura model as one of the most successful in World Challenge history.”
Peter Cunningham, team owner and the winningest driver in World Challenge history, will be back behind the wheel of the number-42 RealTime Acura TSX, joined by teammate Nick Esayian in the number-34 TSX. You can watch the St. Petersburg doubleheader season opener live this weekend.
As part of Cadillac‘s continued rebranding efforts the Cadillac Racing team has been releasing “ride along” videos from each of its races this season in the SCCA World Challenge series. The latest comes to use from the glass-smooth and world-famous Laguna Seca, where pilots Johnny O’Connell and Andy Pilgrim take us through all 11 turns of the circuit, displaying some incredible driving.
Unfortunately the race itself wasn’t what Cadillac Racing had hoped with O’Connell managing just a 4th place finish in the GT Class, while damage sustained to Pilgrim’s car put him entirely out of the running.
This particular video is particularly worth a watch with Pilgrim and O’Connell getting rather close to each other on a few occasions. Plus, watch out for a grenading Volvo engine.
GALLERY: Cadillac CTS-V
Watch the video after the jump:
Looking to improve upon some of the success the team found during rounds five and six of the SCCA World Challenge series, Cadillac Racing is competing with its duo of CTS-V Coupe race cars at Mid-Ohio this weekend.
So far the podium has been elusive, with the No. 3 car piloted by Johnny O’Connell forced off track only to battle back to 8th place. The No. 8 car of Andy Pilgrim came close, finishing fourth in the seventh round of the series. The race was won by Alex Figge in the Volvo S60, with Patrick Long in the No. 45 Porsche GT3 second and James Sofronas in the Porsche GT3 coming 3rd.
O’Connell and Long will have a second chance during the 8th round later this afternoon. Currently O’Connell sits 4th in the driver points while Pilgrim is 7th with Cadillac second in the manufacturer’s championship.
If you’re looking to get a feel of what it’s like to ride along with these pros. You’re in luck. Cadillac Racing has provided a narrated hot lap by O’Connell and Pilgrim, with an amazing display of speed and some excellent tips from two pros.
GALLERY: Cadillac Racing CTS-V Coupe Mid Ohio
Watch the video after the jump:
After a trying season, things are finally starting to turn around for Team Cadillac. Competing with a two car effort in the fifth and sixth rounds of the SCCA World Challenge series at Mosport International Raceway, Johnny O’Connell managed two podium finishes in his No. 3 CTS-V Coupe in front of a crowd that included General Motors North America President Mark Reuss.
In race one O’Connell moved from third on the grid to second on the start, then surrendering the position to the Corvette of Patrick Lindsey. O’Connell then took back second place when Lindsay encountered mechanical problems and then held on to second; the team’s best finish of the season.
In race two, O’Connell looked poised for a repeat but managed just a third place finish after a late race caution stopped him from hunting down Patrick Long in the No. 45 Privacy Star Porsche 911 GT3. Both races were won by Mike Skeen in the No. 2 CRP Racing/Cragar Wheels Chevrolet Corvette.
The No. 8 CTS-V of Andy Pilgrim placed fifth in both races of the weekend, helping Cadillac secure second in the manufacturer’s points race behind Porsche.
Rounds seven and eight of the World Challenge series take place August 5-7 at Mid Ohio.
GALLERY: Cadillac CTS-V Coupe Race Car
Competing in the SCCA World Challenge series, the K-Pax Volvo has carried on this year sporting the same bodywork as the previous generation S60 sedan. But with the new 2011 S60 now out, some more svelte sheetmetal was in order. Or should we say carbon fiber, as the shapely new body of this touring car is made almost entirely from the black weave.
If you’re not familiar with the car, or the series, and are wondering just what a Volvo is doing involved in motorsports, well, the K-Pax team’s records speak for themselves. Last year they were Series Champions in the hotly contested GT Class, while pilot Randy Pobst took the overall driver’s championship.
See photos of the finished car, as well as the development process below.
GALLERY: K-Pax Racing Volvo S60R GT
And hit the jump to watch a video of AutoGuide editor Colum Wood getting a ride in the previous S60 by K-Pax driver Randy Pobst:
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What do you do if you’re a bored, successful race driver for an equally successful racing team in between races? You could go fly-fishing, maybe, or you could start practicing early for the next SCCA Pro Racing World Challenge behind the wheel of the Cadillac CTS-V coupe race car.
That’s what Johnny O’Connell and Andy Pilgrim, mounting their camera low in the front and taking us for a spin round Utah’s Miller Motorsports Park while they narrate the ins and outs of this tricky track. Perfect for aspiring Gran Turismo obsessives! It’s cold as hell, apparently, but they’re keeping warm inside their Nomex race suits. And that 535-horsepower supercharged 6.2-liter V8 should heat things up a bit.
The Grand Prix of Utah just wrapped up this past weekend; Andy and Johnny attack Mosport on May 20th at 3pm. For more information, check the Speed World Challenge website.
Defending World Challenge champions, K-PAX Racing, headed back to the podium in Utah over the weekend. After conquering their respective class last season and capturing the World Challenge Drivers Championship with their Volvo S60 in the GT Class, K-PAX’s newly built C30s are already looking like true competitors in the Touring Car class as well. Showing the team’s strength, the number 88 C30 driven by Aaron Povoledo topped the podium in the car (and the driver’s) second race.
Out in Utah, Povoledo started from fifth place and methodically worked his way to first by lap 18. From there he was never really challenged, taking the checkered flag 2.282-seconds ahead of second place finisher Ron Zitza.
Unfortunately their GT-class teammate, Randy Pobst, couldn’t put up much of a fight towards defending the team’s championship after his S60 ran into mechanical issues. Pobst currently sits eighth in the GT Drivers’ standings while Povoledo has now moved up to second in the Touring Car standings.
Volvo is third in the GT and Touring Car Manufacturers’ standings.
General Motors had considerable success with its Corvette Racing YouTube miniseries last year and so they’re decided to expand the marketing effort to focus on Cadillac‘s racing season for 2011.
Just released is a trailer for the ‘Refueled’ Return of the CTS-V’ miniseries, which aims to give fans a look inside the season, as well as everything that lead-up to the decision to get back in to racing this year.
Watch the trailer below and subscribe to Cadillac’s YouTube channel for updates here.
GALLERY: Cadillac CTS-V Race Car
See the video after the jump:
Cadillac will return to racing with a two car team in the SCCA World Challenge, echoing previous efforts at LeMans and the former Speed World Challenge series.
The new team will be a factory backed effort fielding two CTS-V Coupes. Drivers and other personnel haven’t been announced yet, but top drivers such as Andy Pilgrim previously piloted the CTS-V sedans that appeared in World Challenge a couple years ago.
GM will also be supporting various teams in the rival Grand-Am series, including those running Camaros in the GS class against their arch rival, the Ford Mustang.