The 2016 World Challenge season was the twenty-seventh consecutive year for the series.
There were eleven race weekends – the series kicked-off in March at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) and ended at Laguna Seca in early October.
The vehicle classes were the same as the previous year:
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca hosted the final rounds of the Pirelli World Challenge Championship.
The Grand Prix of Monterey presented by Nissan hosted two races for the GTS category.
The first event of the weekend was a make-up race due to a cancellation earlier in the season at Mid-Ohio.
As a result, the field was restricted to the fifteen drivers that were originally entered at Mid-Ohio.
Sunday’s grid was much bigger and included twenty-four entries.
Teams would compete in two races for fifty-minutes around the eleven-turn 2.238-mile road course.
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca hosted the final rounds of the Pirelli World Challenge Championship. The Grand Prix of Monterey presented by Nissan hosted two races for the GTS category. The first event of the weekend was a make-up race due to a cancellation earlier in the season at Mid-Ohio. As a result, the field was restricted to the fifteen drivers that were originally entered at Mid-Ohio. Sunday’s grid was much bigger and included twenty-four entries. Teams would compete in two races for fifty-minutes around the eleven-turn 2.238-mile road course.
|The round eighteen GTS podium for Mid-Ohio make-up race. To the left is the runner-up Nate Stacy who drove the Roush Performance Road Racing Ford Boss 302. And, on the right competing driving the ANSA Motorsports KTM XBow GT4 is third place finisher and 2016 GTS Champion – Brett Sandberg. In the center, is first-time winner, Martin Barkey who also drove a KTM XBow GT4.|
|The start of Saturday’s race and pole-sitter Scott Heckert driving the Racer’s Edge Motorsports SIN R1 GT4 jumps in to lead while entering turn two. Directly behind Heckert are the Mantella Autosport KTM XBows of Martin Barkey and Anthony Mantella. But the big surprise at the start of round eighteen was Tony Gaples in the No. 10 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro who moved from seventh on the grid to the third position before turn four.|
|Martin Barkey earned his first Pirelli World Challenge victory in round eighteen at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Barkey started Saturday’s event from the outside of the front row. He chased race leader Scott Heckert and inherited first place when Heckert retired on lap-11. Barkey stretched his lead and won by a margin of 6.102-seconds. The following day did not go as well. The driver of the No. 80 KTM XBow was out of the race after twenty-five laps.|
|Based on his performance and that of his rival’s in Saturday’s race Brett Sandberg won the GTS Driver’s title. Sandberg started the weekend’s first event from the fourth position on the grid and was third at the checkered flag. It is just as well that he clinched the championship in round eighteen as Sandberg spun early in Sunday’s race and dropped down the order. At the finish, he was in sixteenth place – a lap behind the leaders.|
|Scott Heckert started from the pole position in both of the weekend’s events. The driver of the Racer’s Edge Motorsports SIN R1 GT4 jumped out to the lead in Saturday’s race but retired on lap-12 with a mechanical issue. On Sunday, Heckert fared much better. Again, he took the lead going into turn two and despite pressure from Andrew Aquilante Heckert captured his second victory of the season by a margin of 1.101-seconds.|
|Andrew Aquilante returned to the Pirelli World Challenge Championship driving the Calvert Dynamics Ford Boss 302. Aquilante was not eligible to enter round eighteen but qualified third for Sunday’s finale. By the mid-point of the race, Aquilante was pressuring race leader Scott Heckert but he was unable to pass and finished second. During the event, Aquilante set the fastest race lap and won the Optima Batteries Best Start Award.|
|Anthony Mantella scored his first Pirelli World Challenge win in round fourteen at the Utah Motorsports Campus. In Saturday’s make-up race Mantella started and finished fourth in the Mantella Autosport KTM XBow GT4. The following day he was gridded ninth at the start but retired on lap-17.|
|It was a difficult season for four-time Pirelli World Challenge Champion Lawson Aschenbach. Aschenbach entered the final two rounds with a chance of earning another title. He started the weekend’s first race in the seventh position. On the final lap, Aschenbach was third but his transmission broke in the last corner and he finished fifth. The following day ‘things went from bad to worse’ when he retired with mechanical problems after just sixteen laps.|
|Sixteen-year-old Parker Chase finished fourth in the final Pirelli World Challenge GTS Driver’s Championship on the basis of consistent finishes. At Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, the driver of the No. 19 Performance Motorsports Group Ginetta GT4 qualified second for the season finale and finished fourth.|
|The Ford Boss 302 of Nate Stacy shows the scars as the result of an off-track excursion during qualifying when the car broke a ball joint. Repairs made to the car meant that Stacy had to start the season finale in the twenty-first position. He charged through the field and grabbed the final spot on the podium. In the Mid-Ohio make-up race, he finished second. Stacy’s performance in the last two events earned him a second in the Driver’s Championship.|
|FINISH||START||DRIVER||SPONSOR / CAR||LAPS||RETIREMENTS|
|1||2||Martin Barkey||Mantella Autosport Inc. / KTM XBow GT||33||-|
|2||6||Nate Stacy||Roush Performance Road Racing / Ford Boss 302||33||-|
|3||4||Brett Sandberg||ANSA Motorsports / KTM XBow GT4||33||-|
|4||3||Anthony Mantella||Mantella Autosport Inc. / KTM XBow GT4||33||-|
|5||7||Lawson Aschenbach||Blackdog Speed Shop / Chevrolet Camaro||33||-|
|6||8||Harry Gottsacker||Performance Motorsports Group / Ginetta GT4||33||-|
|7||10||Tony Gaples||Blackdog Speed Shop / Chevrolet Camaro||33||-|
|8||13||Mark Klenin||Klenin Performance Racing / MASERATI GranTurismo||33||-|
|9||9||Jason Alexandridis||TRG-AMR / Aston Martin Vantage GT4||33||-|
|10||12||Bill Ziegler||ANSA Motorsports / KTM XBow GT4||33||-|
|11||14||Chris Beaufait||Racers Edge Motorsports / SIN R1 GT4||32||-|
|12||11||Parker Chase||Performance Motorsports Group / Ginetta GT4||23||-|
|13||15||Jeff Courtney||JCR Motorsports / MASERATI GranTurismo MC T||18||-|
|14||5||Scott Dollahite||SDR Motorsports / Lotus Evora||14||-|
|15||1||Scott Heckert||Racers Edge Motorsports / SIN R1 GT4||10||-|
|FINISH||START||DRIVER||SPONSOR / CAR||LAPS||RETIREMENTS|
|1||1||Scott Heckert||Racers Edge Motorsports / SIN R1 GT4||31||-|
|2||3||Andrew Aquilante||Calvert Dynamics / Ford Boss 302||31||-|
|3||21||Nate Stacy||Roush Performance Road Racing / Ford Boss 302||31||-|
|4||2||Parker Chase||Performance Motorsports Group / Ginetta GT4||31||-|
|5||20||Harry Gottsacker||Performance Motorsports Group / Ginetta GT4||31||-|
|6||19||Scott Dollahite||SDR Motorsports / Lotus Evora||31||-|
|7||10||Jeff Courtney||JCR Motorsports / MASERATI GranTurismo MC T||31||-|
|8||6||Aristotle Balogh||Stephen Cameron Racing Racing LLC / Aston Martin||31||-|
|9||14||Kevin Marshall||VSA Motorsports / Lotus GT4||31||-|
|10||15||Tony Gaples||Blackdog Speed Shop / Chevrolet Camaro||31||-|
|11||16||Mark Klenin||Klenin Performance Racing / MASERATI GranTurismo||31||-|
|12||23||Chris Beaufait||Racers Edge Motorsports / SIN R1 GT4||31||-|
|13||11||James Sofronas||GMG Racing / Porsche Clubsport GT4||31||-|
|14||17||Bill Ziegler||ANSA Motorsports / KTM XBow GT4||31||-|
|15||18||Greg Milzcik||TRG-AMR / Aston Martin Vantage GT4||31||-|
|16||4||Brett Sandberg||ANSA Motorsports / KTM XBow GT4||30||-|
|17||9||Martin Barkey||Mantella Autosport Inc. / KTM XBow GT||25||-|
|18||7||Anthony Mantella||Mantella Autosport Inc. / KTM XBow GT4||17||-|
|19||5||Lawson Aschenbach||Blackdog Speed Shop / Chevrolet Camaro||16||-|
|20||8||Max Riddle||TRG-AMR / Aston Martin Vantage GT4||7||-|
|21||24||Ron Ballard||RT Motorsports / MASERATI GranTurismo MC T||0||DNS|
|22||22||Jason Alexandridis||TRG-AMR / Aston Martin Vantage GT4||0||DNS|
|23||13||Jason Wolfe||ANSA Motorsports / KTM XBow GT4||0||DNS|
|24||12||George Kurtz||TRG-AMR / Aston Martin Vantage GT4||0||DNS|
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