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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  May 04 2011, 8:50 AM

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After a shaky start to the 2011 World Challenge series season, Cadillac‘s CTS-V Coupe race cars finally showed some promise over the weekend at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah. Drivers Johnny O’Connell and Andy Pilgrim finished fourth and fifth in the GT Class, helping both drivers move up the standings in the Championship race, and landing Cadillac second in the manufacturers points category.

As impressed as we are with the team’s effort, we’re perhaps more enthused by the selection of photos the team managed to gather from the scenic track. Browse the gallery of car porn below and watch for the V coupes to make their next run at the podium on the May 20-24 weekend at Mosport International Raceway.

GALLERY: Cadillac CTS-V Coupe Race Cars

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 |  May 01 2011, 10:16 PM

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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.

 |  Apr 17 2011, 4:00 PM

Thanks to the amazing technology of the interwebs fans of the SCCA’s World Challenge series no longer have to wait several weeks to watch a replay of the race on the official NASCAR network SPEED Channel. In fact, World Challenge races aren’t even on SPEED any more, but on Versus.

Regardless, so far this season the series has broadcast all of its races live online at www.world-challengeTV.com. That goes for today’s race too, which takes place at Long Beach.

Fans of the series won’t need any reason to check it out, or an explanation, but in case you’re not a World Challenge fan, the series is made up of three classes TC, GTS and GT, with sports cars of all shapes and sizes competing alongside each other, ranging from Honda Civics to Dodge Vipers. Plus, there’s a standing start, which is always good for some drama.

Qualifying has already taken place with all three winners from the last race taking the podium in their respective categories. These include Patrick Long in his Porsche GT3 in the GT Class, Jason von Kluge in his Ford Mustang Boss 302S in the GTS Class and Lawson Aschenbach in his Honda Civic Si in the TC Class.

Today’s race starts at 7 p.m. Eastern or 4 Pacific and we highly recommend you check it out at www.world-challengeTV.com. Plus, you can even catch up on the season so far with the previous two races available for your viewing pleasure.

 |  Mar 25 2011, 4:02 PM

Cadillac is back with their web series highlighting the CTS-V Race Car and its quest for victory in the World Challenge series. We’ve already brought you the first 3 episodes and now we have the 4th installment ready to go.

This episode shows the team gearing up for its first real race, and we’re about as excited to watch as the team is to hit the track.

Hit the jump to watch the video

Continue Reading…

 |  Mar 23 2011, 9:09 AM

As Cadillac gets ready for its return to racing this weekend, they’ve now quietly rolled out the first three installments of the ‘Refueled: The Return of the CTS-V’ YouTube miniseries.

The series profiles the creation of the cars, their testing and includes more insights on the team and drivers, with Andy Pilgrim driving the No.8 and Johnny O’Connell the No.3 car.

Set to take on everything from Vipers to Volvos in the GT class, the first race of the 2011 SCCA World Challenge series starts this weekend in St. Petersburg, Fla. And the best news, is, while in the past you’d have to wait at least two weeks to watch it on the NASCAR-obsessed SPEED channel, now you’ll be able to watch it live streaming at www.world-challengeTV.com with two races this weekend, 11:55 a.m. Eastern time on Saturday, March 26, and 4:35 p.m. Eastern time on Sunday, March 27th.

Watch episode 1 through 3 after the jump and subscribe to Cadillac’s YouTube channel for updates here.:

Continue Reading…

 |  Mar 08 2011, 1:20 PM

While the average person might think of Volvo as a safe, but boring brand, the truth is, Volvo has been involved in racing for a long time.

In recent years, K-PAX Racing has successfully entered an S60 in the GT Class of the World Challenge Touring Car championship, winning both the driver’s and teams championship in 2010.

For 2011, they want to repeat their achievement and will be running two Volvo C30 hatchbacks in the Touring Car class. No driver’s have been announced yet, but K-PAX team owner Jim Haughey is excited about his new race cars. He said, “The C30 is a front-wheel drive, two-door hatchback with a 5-cylinder turbocharged engine.  It’s relatively aerodynamic and makes for a great platform to race in the Touring Car class.”

The vice-president of public affairs at Volvo, Geno Effler is similarly enthused and said, “K-PAX Racing’s Volvo S60 surprised a lot of people by winning the GT championship last year, and I think winning a Touring Car title in 2011 with a C30 is a legitimate goal.” They are hoping to win both class titles this year with the S60 and the C30.

The 2011 World Challenge season begins with two races in St. Petersburg, Fla., the weekend of March 25-27. Check your local listings to see which TV channel is showing the race.

[Source: World Challenge]

 |  Mar 08 2011, 11:21 AM

The Mitsubishi Evo might be slated for the history books, but a few folks out there intend to send it off with a bang.

The team at GMG is currently prepping an Evo for the SCCA World Challenge Series, where it will compete in the new(ish) GTS class.

Just a few years ago World Challenge only had two levels of racing and as such the Evo was pegged into the top-tier GT category with cars like the Viper, making it unattractive to potential racing teams. Now, however, with the new GTS level, the Evo might just be the perfect balance of performance and grip to take on the Mustangs, Camaros, BMWs and Acuras of that class.

Registered under GMG, reports suggest the car will actually run under the Swisher Racing name, with GMG pilot and series veteran James Sofronas sticking to his Porsche in the GT class.

It’s not yet clear if the car will make its debut at the start of the series, March 15th in St. Petersburg

Considering the sad news around the demise of the Evo, it goes without saying that this is not a factory-backed effort.

 |  Dec 15 2010, 4:53 PM

The Honda Fit and Mazda 2 will headline a new racing class, known as B-Spec, that’s been designed as a new showroom stock racing series. The rule set is expected to be finalized within the next 60 days, and both the SCCA and NASA sanctioning bodies have expressed interested in adopting the class.

Using OEM specified wheel, tire and suspension components, the cars will have stock chassis and engines, but will be able to use weight reduction and ballasting to gain performance advantages. The Ford Fiesta, Hyundai Accent, Chevrolet Aveo, Nissan Versa and Toyota Yaris are also eligible for competition.

[Source: Autoweek]

 |  Dec 13 2010, 2:07 PM

Even though we brought you the news nearly a month ago, Cadillac has officially announced that they are campaigning a CTS-V Coupe in the SCCA World Challenge GT series.

With the cars prepped by Pratt & Miller and piloted by Andy Pilgrim and Johnny O’Connell, the CTS-V coupes should give stiff competition to the dominant K-PAX Racing Volvos.

The CTS-V Coupes will make their debut on March 25th at the season opener in St. Petersburg, Florida.

[Source: Cadillac]

Hit the jump for the official press release

Continue Reading…

 |  Nov 02 2010, 2:00 AM

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With plenty of other blinged out rides at the 2010 SEMA Show, Toyota‘s Yaris GT-S Club Racer is a refreshing change of pace. There’s no big stereo system in the trunk, and it doesn’t make 500-hp. Instead, it’s a purpose built track car that’s not only ready to do battle in SCCA competition, but has already done so.

Built by SportsCar Magazine the little Yaris was piloted by associate editor Jason Isley to win the Southern Pacific H Production Division Championship, eventually finishing 8th at the annual runoffs.

Sporting a significantly modified Toyota 1.5-liter 4-cylinder, the Yaris makes 145-hp thanks to bolt-ons like a DC Sports header, K&N intake and some interior engine work. A Scion xB final drive also assists in acceleration, while a Kaaz LSD keep ensured maximum traction. A completely stripped-out shell drops weight by 400 lbs, while outside the custom bodywork gets some retro-inspired livery while keeping the car glued to the ground are a set of tiny 13×7-inch Jongbloed Racing wheels.

GALLERY: Toyota Yaris GT-S Club Racer

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GALLERY: Toyota Yaris GT-S Club Racer Official Pics

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Get complete details on the car after the jump:

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 |  Jun 18 2010, 2:33 PM

BFGoodrich Tires has long had a passion for racing, both on the tarmac and in the dirt. In a unique move linking their on-road and off-road interests, BFG has just announced an expanded contingency program for five classes in the 2010 Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) National Championship Runoffs. This program offers SCCA competitors the chance to race in the BFGoodrich Tires / Wide Open Excursions “Baja Challenge” (BC) race car for the 43rd Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 in November.

Seats in the Wide Open Excursions BC race car, equipped with BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A tires, will be awarded to drivers who win their class using BFGoodrich tires at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs in September. This is in addition to BFG’s existing contingency program that offers SCCA Club Racing National drivers two BFGoodrich g-Force R1 tires for first place and one tire for second place.  Eligible classes include AS, T2, T3, SSB and SSC.

“Because of our legendary success both on- and off-road, BFGoodrich Tires is uniquely qualified to offer a program like this to our racers,” said Roberts Kukainis, motorsports manager, BFGoodrich Tires.  “One thing we know at BFGoodrich Tires is that those who race on our tires are all about fierce competition, and we expect this contingency program to become a race in itself among our SCCA racers.”

The 2010 SCCA National Championship Runoffs will take place Sept. 20-26 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. More than 600 drivers will participate in the event, making it the country’s largest amateur championship. Those who bolt on a set of BFGoodrich tires and display the required decals will be eligible for the contingency.

BFGoodrich Tires has definitely sweetened the pot for the track guys this season,” said Joel Lipperini, 2009 SCCA SSC class winner.  “We are very passionate about racing and winning – we aren’t out here to get rich, we do it all for the excitement on the track.  The chance to win championships on the track and in the desert, in the same season, is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  I’ve never raced in Baja, but you better believe that I’ll be at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs pushing my car, my tires and myself to the limit.”

The complete Press Release after the jump.

[Source: BFGoodrich Tires]

Continue Reading…

 |  May 03 2010, 9:06 AM

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Over the weekend Nissan unveiled the BRE 370Z at Road Atlanta, to celebrate 40 years since Peter Brock, John Morton and the Southern California-based Brock Racing Enterprises (BRE) team clinched the SCCA Championships, ending a long-sanding dominance by German and British sports cars. Painted in the now iconic red, white and blue BRE colors (just like the original 240Z race car), this sports car is an homage not only to the racers and their car, but to all that the Z has become.

The car itself is built to SCCA T2 regs and has a “old school” manual transmission combined with Nissan’s very modern SynchroRev Match system. Based on the 40th Anniversary 370Z it also gets Nissan’s full 370Z Sport Package, including front and rear lips, 19-inch Rays wheels, upgraded brakes and a limited-slip differential. Plus, there’s a long list of minor trim upgrades like red door panel inserts, red stitching on the center stack and shift boot, as well as 40th Anniversary badging inside and out.

Nissan will show the car at several Z Club events this year, including ZCon 2010, which makes its way to Nashville this year from July 28 to August 1.

While there are not plans (yet) to put the BRE 370Z into production, the 40th Anniversary Edition 370Z on which it’s based is available, with just  1,000 units being made.

GALLERY: BRE Nissan 370Z

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Official release after the jump:

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 |  Mar 11 2010, 7:48 PM

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As the world and its technology continues to progress at an exponential rate, it’s no surprise that many are finding themselves glued in front of their computer or laptop monitor more often than their television screen. Most major television networks has already grasped on to the concept, many of them allowing the streaming of their popular shows online a day or two after it’s been shown on television. Needless to say we were more than excited to hear the announcement from the SCCA that the World Challenge Races will be available over the Internet at www.speedcasttv.com. And much like most of our favorite television shows, the races will be available a day after they are broadcast on TV, rather than live. We’ll finally have something to complement our endless nights of watching Top Gear on the ‘Web. More importantly though, this helps keep our love of motorsports alive and well, satisfying every sponsor’s urge for additional impressions on their ad dollars. The full release from SCCA is available after the jump.

[Source: World Challenge]

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 |  Jun 23 2009, 1:29 PM

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The Corvettes, Porsches and Vipers that compete in the SPEED World Challenge GT series are about to get some serious competition from a serious car – the Mercedes McLaren SLR 722 GT. The car was homolgated to World Challenge specs by The Racers Group (TRG) and our sources at the series tell us it will first see competition at the Autobahn County Club outside Chicago on July 24-26th.

Designed specifically to run it a spec series in Europe, the 722 GT is powered by a modified version of the supercharged 5.5-liter V8 and makes 680hp and 612 ft-lbs of torque. It also only weighs 3,200 lbs, meaning it can accelerate to 60 mph in just 3.3 seconds. Thanks to some serious aerodynamics and a significantly lowered ride height, the 722 GT is also capable of hitting 2 Gs in the corners.

No doubt the SCCA (the governing body for World Challenge) will level the playing field, forcing the SLR to either add weight or reduce horsepower… or probably both.

TRG Motorsports should still put on quite a show with the SLR as the team has plenty of racing experience, running cars in the Grand-Am Koni Challenge as well as in the Grand-Am Rolex Series. In 2005 and 2006 TRG competed with a Pontiac GTO.R team in the Grand-Am Rolex Series GT class, and has since been involved with a two-car Porsche effort in the GT Class.

See the Speed World Challenge series website for more info:

http://www.world-challenge.com/

Follow the jump for all the specs on the McLaren SLR 722 GT

[Source: TheRacersGroup]

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Mazda Tops Podium in New Jersey

Jason Saini races his Mazda6 to victory at New Jersey Motorsports Park's Thunderbolt Raceway

 |  May 04 2009, 2:02 PM

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Jason Saini raced to the top of the podium in his Mazda6 this weekend, during the SCCA’s SPEED World Challenge Touring Car series event at New Jersey Motorsports Park’s Thunderbolt Raceway. Saini placed third in qualifying but quickly made it to second place off the standing start, and spent much of the rest of the race fender to fender with defending series champion Peter Cunningham in his RealTime Racing TSX.

Saini passed Cunningham on the third lap but only secured some distance when Cunningham got tied up defending his position from Andrew Aquilante in the Phoenix Performance Inc. Subaru WRX.

When the checkered flag flew, however, Saini had secured an almost three second advantage after Cunningham, giving him not only the race victory but also the lead in the points race.

“I raced with Peter a couple of times last year. We had some side-by-side battles. He came out on top last year. This time, I came out on top. It is a dream come true to race with a guy like Peter,” said Saini. “I looked at where his strengths and weaknesses were and tried to push him. I tried to stick the nose in every once and a while to see. I just had a bit of a stronger car at that point and I was able to get down on the inside. I tried one time. I didn’t make it stick. I tried again and it did.”

As for the third-place Aquilante, he managed the last podium spot in just his third World Challenge race. Initially much of the credit can be handed to Subaru’s all-wheel drive system, which allowed Aquilante to race from a standing-start grid position of 8th to 3rd overall in just one lap.

“The start was good,” Aquilante said. “It was kind of wild the first couple of laps, with Jason and P.D. going back and forth. Jason got around him and things settled in single file. Then, about halfway through the race, I started to try to pick it up and the tires started to go away.”

“I finally caught up to them. I had a few runs at Peter down the front straightaway. We went side-by-side. He knew what I was going to do, so he protected the inside well. There were a couple of times he let me on the inside, but I couldn’t quite make it stick. I tried not to run him off the road. It was a good race.”

Finishing out the top five were Cunningham’s teammates Kuno Wittmer in 4th and Pierre Kleinubing in 5th.

As for the points race, as mentioned, with the win Saini takes the lead, with Kleinubing in 2nd and Seth Thomas in 3rd with his BMW 328i.

The race will be broadcast on SPEED Chanel Friday, May 22 at 2 p.m.. The next race is scheduled for Mosport International Raceway on May 16th and 17th

[Photo Credit: Mark Weber/SCCA]

Complete race results after the jump:

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