Pirelli World Challenge Enjoys Incredible Automobile Diversity in 2015
Pirelli World Challenge Enjoys Incredible Automobile Diversity in 2015
Pirelli World Challenge
July 15, 2015
For Immediate Release
GT Class presenting superb wheel-to-wheel action with Top 8 Drivers in Points in 8 Different Makes
Dalziel Porsche 2015
Davison in action
Dyson Wins at RA
Enge at RA
Eversley at RA
Ferrari in action
Full PWC Grid at RA
O'Connell in action
Skeen Audi 2015
– Few if any 2015 motorsports series can match the diversity seen in the Pirelli World Challenge.
With 22 different auto manufacturers displaying 39 separate car makes, the Pirelli World Challenge must rank as one of the most intriguing racing campaigns currently competing in North America. And the on-track action in the sports car series has been spectacular too.
Take the top series in PWC right now, the GT division which sports the top eight drivers in the point standings representing eight different automakers. And a ninth manufacturer, Lamborghini, recently won in GT at Road America.
“We are thrilled with the competition level through our seven racing categories this year,” said Scott Bove, president and CEO of WC Vision, operators of the Pirelli World Challenge. “The racing in the GT class this year is some of the best in the world. The list of drivers and manufacturers makes for great diversity and some sensational competition. And the same holds true in the other categories as well. It’s been a very exciting season thus far.”
With names like Oliver Beretta, Ryan Dalziel, Johnny O’Connell, Kevin Estre, J.D Davison, Chris Dyson, Mike Skeen and Ryan Eversley leading the points, the array of GT racers makes for a thrilling contest in each round. Seven drivers have captured GT events in 2015 already.
Those eight leaders in GT points race vehicles from makes such as Ferrari, Porsche, Cadillac, McLaren, Nissan, Bentley, Audi and Acura. Now that’s some competition.
“This season is the toughest ever in Pirelli World Challenge,” said O’Connell, the three-time defending GT champion and a four-time winner at the 24 Hours of LeMans. “It’s just an incredible field of drivers and cars right now. Just look down the list of entries and factories involved. You can have a new winner almost every race. It’s going to be a dogfight for the championship this season.”
And even the regulars in the GT division see the likes of world-renowned drivers like Tomas Enge enter selected races and battle for victories. Enge took the Lamborghini Gallardo R_EX to the winner’s circle recently at Road America.
“I know the standard of this series is very high,” said Enge in victory lane at the famed four-mile permanent road circuit. “They have increased the series with good GT3 cars and professional drivers. I knew today’s race wasn’t going to be easy. Winning here in the Pirelli World Challenge is very difficult. It is an exciting series.”
Young open-wheel stars also have enjoyed success in the GT class in 2015 with Davison, an Indy 500 starter this year, capturing two features in the all-new Nissan GT-R GT3 sedan. He placed 1-2-2 in the three GT main events last month at Road America.
“We have a huge range of manufacturers from Europe and the drivers are what take it to another level,” said the young Australian. “Having factory McLaren drivers like Estre and ex-Formula One guys like Enge and Beretta, we certainly have our work cut out for us as drivers and teams. It’s awesome to see how this series has grown.”
However, the GT class isn’t the only division to host a large group of auto makers with great competition in 2015. The other GT categories such as GTA, GTS and GT Cup presented by MOMO feature popular makes like Aston Martin, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Chevrolet, Ford, Nissan, Kia, Hyundai and Porsche.
“We came back to the Pirelli World Challenge and it has been fun with the Aston Martin,” said Lou Gigliotti, the 24-time winner in the PWC. “It was like getting back on a bike. But it was a big bike due to the competition level. We have some very good racing here.”
The racing in the Touring Car classes is always some of the best in the series with 18 different makes campaigning in the three categories – TC, TCA and TCB. The Touring Cars include everything from the VW Jetta GLI to Pontiac Solstice (TC) to Mazda R-8 to Scion FR-S (TCA) to Mini Cooper to Honda Fit (TCB).
“Everyone has been racing very clean and professional,” said Jeff Altenburg, a longtime Touring Car driver. “It gets exciting running with the smaller class cars but the racing is very good.”
Veterans like Beretta and Dyson continue to race and win in 2015 but both applaud the competitive level of the Pirelli World Challenge this year.
“Like many have said, the championship is very competitive,” said Beretta, the current GT point leader in the Ferrari 458 Italia and a six-time winner of the 24 Hours of LeMans. “There are good drivers and good teams. So you have a very good series.”
Dyson, a winner in the Bentley at Road America, has driven a variety of racing vehicles throughout his career and enjoys the level currently in the Pirelli World Challenge.
“As always with the Pirelli World Challenge, we put on a great race,” he said. “It is so competitive, so hardnosed. The quality of the top eight guys in this series is unbelievable and the racing is so ferocious that you’ve got to fight for every square inch out there.”
The Pirelli World Challenge now moves to the picturesque Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on July 31-August 2 with rounds 14 and 15 for the GT and GTA classes, rounds 12 and 13 for the GT Cup presented by MOMO and rounds 11 and 12 for the GTS division.
Mid-Ohio also hosts the next rounds of the Touring Car categories – TC, TCA and TCB – on August 13-15 with rounds 10, 11 and 12.
# # #
Pirelli World Challenge Automobile Makes -- 2015
|Class GT:||Class TC:|
|Audi R8 LMS Ultra||Nissan Altima|
|Cadillac ATS-VR||Volvo C30|
|McLaren 650S||VW Jetta GLI|
|Bentley Continental||Mazda MX-5|
|Lamborghini Gallardo R_EX||Porsche Boxster|
|Nissan GT-R||Pontiac Solstice|
|Porsche 911 GT3R||Ford Mustang V6|
|Acura TLX-GT||VW Golf GTI|
|Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia||Honda Accord|
|Dodge SRT Viper|
|Class GTA:||Class TCA:|
|Aston Martin Vantage||Honda Civic Si|
|Mercedes-Benz AMG SLS||Mazda RX-8|
|BMW E89 Z4||Kia Forte Koup|
|Class GTS:||Class TCB:|
|Chevrolet Camaro Z28||Chevrolet Sonic|
|BMW E46 M3||Mini Cooper|
|Ford Mustang Boss 302||Mazda 2|
|Kia Optima||Honda Fit|
|Porsche Cayman||Ford Fiesta|
|Hyundai Genesis Coupe|
|GT Cup:||22 Different Manufacturers|
39 Different Makes
|Porsche 911 GT3|
GT Class Point Standings (After 13 rounds) (Wins)
1. Olivier Beretta, Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia (3) 1125
2. Ryan Dalziel, Porsche 911 GT3R 1016
3. Johnny O’Connell, Cadillac ATS-VR GT3 (2) 1009
4. Kevin Estre, McLaren 650S GT3 (3) 972
5. J.D. Davison, Nissan GT-R GT3 (2) 901
6. Chris Dyson, Bentley Continental GT3 (1) 892
7. Mike Skeen, Audi R8 LMS Ultra 842
8. Ryan Eversley, Acura TLX-GT (1) 805
Other wins, Tomas Enge, Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 FL2
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