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Pirelli World Challenge Enjoys Incredible Automobile Diversity in 2015

Sports/Touring Car Racing

Pirelli World Challenge Enjoys Incredible Automobile Diversity in 2015

Tom Blattler
Pirelli World Challenge
July 15, 2015

For Immediate Release

Pirelli World Challenge Dalziel Porsche 2015Dalziel Porsche 2015 Pirelli World Challenge Davison in actionDavison in action Pirelli World Challenge Dyson Wins at RADyson Wins at RA Pirelli World Challenge Enge at RAEnge at RA Pirelli World Challenge Eversley at RAEversley at RA Pirelli World Challenge Ferrari in actionFerrari in action Pirelli World Challenge Full PWC Grid at RAFull PWC Grid at RA Pirelli World Challenge Kevin EstreKevin Estre Pirelli World Challenge O'Connell in actionO'Connell in action Pirelli World Challenge Skeen Audi 2015Skeen Audi 2015
GT Class presenting superb wheel-to-wheel action with Top 8 Drivers in Points in 8 Different Makes

DENVER, Colo. – 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 UltraNissan Altima
Cadillac ATS-VRVolvo C30
McLaren 650SVW Jetta GLI
Bentley ContinentalMazda MX-5
Lamborghini Gallardo R_EXPorsche Boxster
Nissan GT-RPontiac Solstice
Porsche 911 GT3RFord Mustang V6
Ferrari 458 GT3 ItaliaHonda Accord
Dodge SRT Viper

Class GTA:Class TCA:
Aston Martin VantageHonda Civic Si
Mercedes-Benz AMG SLSMazda RX-8
BMW E89 Z4Kia Forte Koup
Scion FR-S
Class GTS:Class TCB:
Nissan 370Z
Chevrolet Camaro Z28Chevrolet Sonic
BMW E46 M3Mini Cooper
Ford Mustang Boss 302Mazda 2
Kia OptimaHonda Fit
Porsche CaymanFord 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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