In 2010, the World Challenge Championship kicked off at St. Petersburg, Florida in March as a support event for the IndyCar series. In previous years, the series shared race weekends with the American Le Mans Series but in 2010 World Challenge began sharing more events with IndyCar. The season ended mid-September at Miller Motorsports Park. In all, there were a total of twelve races at eight different venues (Streets of St. Petersburg, Long Beach, Mosport, Watkins Glen, Toronto, Mid-Ohio, Virginia International Raceway and Miller Motorsports Park).

The series also introduced a new class in 2010 – GTS. The additional category resulted in changes to the rules for Touring Cars. The three classes were:

  • Grand Touring (GT) – This group included the series quickest cars: Porsche 911 GT3, Chevrolet Corvette, Dodge Viper, Nissan GT-R and Volvo S60. The preparation rules remained unchanged from the previous year for these vehicles.

  • Grand Touring Sport (GTS) – These were many of the cars that competed in last year’s Touring Car class (Acura TSX, Honda Civic, BMW 325i and Mazda 6). Competitors from the Ford Racing Mustang Challenge were also able to participate using the Ford Mustang FR500S.

  • Touring Car (TC) – Touring Cars were not allowed many of the modifications permitted by the 2009 rules. The preparation of the vehicles was more closely aligned with Grand Am Cup and the Sports Car Club of America’s Improved Touring classes. Makes competing in the category included the Scion tC, Mazda RX-8, Honda Civic, MAZDASPEED3, Volkswagen Jetta and Golf.

    2010 also marked the end of races for each class. In the new season, all classes competed in the same 50-minute race – 1996 was the last time that categories competed together.

    The third round of the 2010, World Challenge Championship was held on the weekend of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Thirty-four competitors would race for 50-minutes around the eleven-turn 1.968-mile street course.

  • Thirty-four drivers prepare for the start of the World Challenge event at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. On the pole is the No. 13 Dodge Viper of Kuno Wittmer. Gridded next to Wittmer is Randy Pobst in the K-PAX Racing Volvo S60. Behind the front row is defending series champion and 2008 race winner, Brandon Davis in the Applied Computer Solutions Ford Mustang GT and Pobst’s teammate Andy Pilgrim in the second K-Pax entry.
    Grabbing the overall and Grand Touring class pole by just 0.050-seconds was Kuno Wittmer. In the race, Wittmer won the drag race to the first corner in the No. 13 Dodge Motorsports Dodge Viper. He proceeded to lead all twenty-nine laps of the contest and won by a margin of 8.475-seconds. It was a ‘clean sweep’ for Wittmer as he also set the fastest race lap.
    Robert Stout driving the DG-Spec/Scion/TRD/Lucas Oil Scion tC was quick in both practice sessions and qualified second in class. Before the end of the first lap, Stout had passed the Touring Car pole-sitter, Nick Wittmer. He stretched out a lead and was not challenged for the remainder of the race. Stout won the class by a 19.666-second margin and in the process became the youngest winner of a World Challenge event.
    Five-time World Challenge champion, Peter Cunningham drove the No. 43 Acura TSX prepared by RealTime Racing. Cunningham started the race second in the Grand Touring Sport category after trading fastest times with Tyler McQuarrie during the qualifying session. Unfortunately, he had contact with another competitor in the race3 that caused his hood to open and block his vision. He lost a lap when he pitted for repairs and finished sixth in class.
    Rookie, Eric Meyer drove the No. 32 Mazda RX-8 with support from XOWii Energy drink. Meyer was the third fastest qualifier in the Touring Car class. During the race, Meyer battled with Robert Stout’s teammate, Dan Gardner for second place. At the mid-point of the contest, Gardner brushed the wall. With the retirement of Gardner, Meyer had a trouble free run to second in class.
    The World Challenge Touring Car podium at Long Beach. On the right is second place finisher Eric Meyer and to the left is Nick Wittmer. Between these two is the winner Robert Stout. Stout’s victory gave him the record as the youngest World Challenge winner at 18-years 1-month and 16-days. He also left Long Beach with the Touring Car points lead.
    Formula Drift star Tyler McQuarrie made his World Challenge debut at Long Beach - his presence was felt immediately. During each practice session, he traded fastest laps with series veteran Peter Cunningham. At the end of qualifying, McQuarrie was the quickest in the GTS class driving a Lotus Exige S. When Cunningham had an incident early in the race, McQuarrie was able to lead flag-to-flag win by a margin of 49.535-seconds.
    Dino Crescentini drove the GMG prepared Porsche 911 GT3. Crescentini started sixth in the GT class and overall. He made a tremendous start and passed two cars before the first turn. At the mid-point of the race, Crescentini began to charge and passed Ron Fellows, Boris said and Brandon Davis. But there was no catching Kuno Wittmer and he finished second. His drive earned him the MTM Special Ops Best Move of the Race award.
    Randy Pobst drove the No. 6 K-Pax Racing Volvo S60. In qualifying, Pobst went under the track record but not by as much as Kuno Wittmer – he started next Wittmer on the front row. It was a forgone conclusion that the Volvo’s all-wheel-drive advantage would allow Pobst to lead the field into the first corner – but that was not the case. He was passed by Wittmer and Dino Crescentini and a number cars during the contest – he finished sixth.
    Peter Cunningham’s teammate Nick Esayian started twenty-fourth overall and third in the Grand Touring Sport category. When Cunningham had to pit early in the event, Esayian inherited second place in the class. At the checkered flag, he was nineteenth overall and second in class. This was Esayian’s third podium of the season.
    Defending World Challenge Grand Touring champion and local driver, Brandon Davis topped the timesheets in the opening practice session but the competition got quicker and he qualified three overall. Davis ran a steady race and was passed for second place on lap-23 by Porsche driver Dino Crescentini. He held his position and was third overall and in the Grand Touring category at the checkered flag.
    Nick Wittmer was entered in the Honda Racing/HPD Honda Civic Si. Although it was his first to Long Beach Wittmer learned the track quickly. He improved each practice session and by the end of qualifying was on the TC pole. At the start, Wittmer was passed by eventual winner Robert Stout. Then he had contact with another competitor which resulted in a flat tire. After pitting for a new tire, he returned to the race and finished third in class.
    In the center is the Grand Touring class winner of the Toyo Tires World Challenge event at Long Beach – Kuno Wittmer. To Wittmer’s left, is the second-place finisher from the Global Motorsport Group – Dino Crescentini. Taking the final position on the podium is 2008 Long Beach winner and defending series champion – Brandon Davis.

    FINISHCLASSCLASSDRIVERCARLAPSRETIREMENTS
    11GTKuno WittmerDodge Viper29-
    22GTDino CrescentiniPorsche 911 GT329-
    33GTBrandon DavisFord Mustang GT29-
    44GTBoris SaidFord Mustang GT29-
    55GTJames SofronasPorsche 911 GT329-
    66GTRandy PobstVolvo S6029-
    77GTJeff CourtneyDodge Viper29-
    88GTRob MorganPorsche 911 GT329-
    99GTAndy PilgrimVolvo S6029-
    1010GTTony GaplesChevrolet Corvette29-
    1111GTWilliam ZieglerPorsche 911 GT329-
    1212GTJason DaskalosDodge Viper29-
    1313GTCharles MorganPorsche 911 GT329-
    1414GTTomy DrissiFord Mustang GT29-
    1515GTBrent HoldenPorsche 911 GT328-
    1616GTFred RobertsDodge Viper28-
    1717GTNick MancusoAston Martin DB928-
    181GTSTyler McQuarrieLotus Exige S27-
    192GTSNick EsayianAcura TSX27-
    203GTSMichael PettifordChevrolet Corvette27-
    2118GTRon FellowsChevrolet Corvette26Mechanical
    224GTSCharles EspenlaubMazda 326-
    235GTSGary TolarPorsche 99626-
    246GTSPeter CunninghamAcura TSX26-
    251TCRobert StoutScion tC26-
    262TCEric MeyerMazda RX-826-
    273TCNick WittmerHonda Civic Si25-
    2819GTPatrick LindseyPorsche 911 GT323Mechanical
    294TCTommy ChenMazda RX-823-
    3020GTSteve OttNissan GT-R20Mechanical
    3121GTTony RiveraNissan GT-R17Mechanical
    325TCDan GardnerScion tC14Mechanical
    337GTSScott KuhnePontiac Solstice13Mechanical
    348GTSKevin MarshallLotus Exige S0Mechanical
    359GTDale LaaksoAcura RSX0Did Not Start
    3610GTSKyle KelleyChevrolet Corvette0Did Not Start

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