The 2018 Pirelli World Challenge season is the twenty-ninth consecutive year for the championship. There are five race weekends.
The Grand Touring category title chase kicks-off in March at Saint Petersburg.
This event is followed by races at Long Beach, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and Road America.
The finale takes place at Watkins Glen International on the Labour Day weekend.
As in the previous year, there were three Grand Touring categories:
Within their class, drivers are eligible to score points towards three championships – Sprint (fifty-minute races), SprintX (sixty-minute contests) and Overall (combined points scored in the Sprint and SprintX events).
The results of the final two races of the 2018 Pirelli World Challenge season at Watkins Glen International would decide the champions in the GT Sprint, GTA Sprint and overall GT classes. GT drivers would compete in two fifty-minute races around the eleven-turn 3.4-mile Watkins Glen road course. The event titled, The Grand Prix of Watkins Glen was presented by TM Performance.
|Pirelli World Challenge GT competitors enter Watkins Glen International’s final corner for the start of the penultimate round. Starting on the pole and pacing the field is Rodrigo Baptista driving the K-PAX Racing Bentley Continental GT3. Alongside Baptista is Daniel Mancinelli in the TR3 Racing prepared Ferrari 488 GT3. A total of ten GT drivers started and finished round eight.|
|K-PAX Racings’ Rodrigo Baptista wasn’t the fastest GT competitor in Friday’s two practice sessions but he was quick when it counted. The driver of the No. 3 Bentley Continental GT3 qualified on the pole for Saturday’s contest by over 0.5-second. In the race, Baptista led flag-to-flag to score his second victory of the season – his first was a SprintX event with Maxime Soulet at VIR. And on Sunday, he ‘completed a sweep’ of the weekend.|
|Canadian, Scott Hargrove and his co-driver, Wolf Henzler encounter problems at the Utah Motorsports Campus and failed to win the SprintX championship. Watkins Glen International provided, Hargrove with an opportunity to capture the GT Sprint title. During the weekend’s first race, Hargrove pitted with a tire issue and finished behind his chief rival for the title, Toni Vilander. On Sunday, he finished second and claimed the title.|
|The top-three GTA competitors (Martin Fuentes, Yuki Harata and Parker Chase) did not participate in the final two rounds of the season. This left the door open for a first-time winner in the category. The quickest GTA driver in the qualifying session was Anthony Imperato racing the Wright Motorsports prepared Porsche 911 GT3 R. Imperato took the class wins on Saturday and Sunday.|
|Toni Vilander and Miguel Molina clinched the SprintX championship at Utah. At Watkins Glen, Vilander would have an opportunity to sweep the category by securing the Sprint and Overall titles. The driver of the R. Ferri Ferrari 488 GT3 entered the final two rounds trailing Scott Hargrove in the Sprint class. In the final races of the season, Vilander scored fourth and third place finishes – not enough to beat Hargrove.|
|It was a ‘character building’ season K-PAX Racing’s Alvaro Parente. Accidents and mechanical issues prevented the 2016 Pirelli World Challenge GT champion from scoring points in five races. Despite these setbacks, Parente had five podium finishes and a victory at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. During the Watkins Glen weekend, he managed an eighth-place finish on Saturday and the following day Parente grabbed a third.|
|The No. 24 Alegra Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R was driven by Michael Christensen. The highlight of Christensen’s season did not occur in the Pirelli World Challenge series but at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. At Le Mans, he won the GTE Pro category with co-drivers, Kevin Estre and Laurens Vanthoor. Christensen took third and sixth place finishes at Watkins Glen and ended the year third in the Sprint and overall standings.|
|The standings at the top of the GT Sprint might have been different if Daniel Mancinelli participated in the first two rounds at St. Petersburg. At that event, Mancinelli’s team withdrew the car after a Balance of Performance dispute. Driving the TR3 Racing prepared Ferrari 488 GT3, he was victorious at Long Beach. On Saturday at Watkins Glen, Mancinelli was the runner-up but the next day, he completed only one-lap.|
|2017 GTA champion, Martin Fuentes had dominated the season with four victories in the first seven events. Despite a comfortable lead in the title chase, there was a chance that Yuki Harata or Parker Chase could win the championship. Fuentes practiced on Friday at Watkins Glen but when Harata and Chase failed to appear his teamed packed-up. Without competing in the final two rounds, he repeated as the GTA champion.|
|FINISH||CLASS||DRIVER||ENTRANT / CAR||LAPS|
|1||GT Pro||Rodrigo Baptista||K-PAX Racing / Bentley Continental GT3||29|
|2||GT Pro||Daniel Mancinelli||TR3 Racing / Ferrari 488 GT3||29|
|3||GT Pro||Michael Christensen||Alegra Motorsports / Porsche 911 GT3 R||29|
|4||GT Pro||Toni Vilander||R. Ferri Motorsport / Ferrari 488 GT3||29|
|5||GT Pro||Michael Cooper||CRP Racing / Mercedes-AMG GT3||29|
|6||GT Pro||Scott Hargrove||Pfaff Motorsports / Porsche 911 GT3 R||29|
|7||GT Am||Anthony Imperato||Wright Motorsports / Porsche 911 GT3 R||29|
|8||GT Pro||Mario Farnbacher||HART / Acura NSX GT3||29|
|9||GT Am||David Askew||DXDT Racing / Mercedes-AMG GT3||28|
|10||GT Pro||Alvaro Parente||K-PAX Racing / Bentley Continental GT3||27|
|FINISH||CLASS||DRIVER||ENTRANT / CAR||LAPS|
|1||GT Pro||Rodrigo Baptista||K-PAX Racing / Bentley Continental GT3||28|
|2||GT Pro||Scott Hargrove||Pfaff Motorsports / Porsche 911 GT3 R||28|
|3||GT Pro||Alvaro Parente||K-PAX Racing / Bentley Continental GT3||28|
|4||GT Pro||Toni Vilander||R. Ferri Motorsport / Ferrari 488 GT3||28|
|5||GT Am||Anthony Imperato||Wright Motorsports / Porsche 911 GT3 R||28|
|6||GT Pro||Michael Christensen||Alegra Motorsports / Porsche 911 GT3 R||28|
|7||GT Am||David Askew||DXDT Racing / Mercedes-AMG GT3||27|
|8||GT Pro||Mario Farnbacher||HART / Acura NSX GT3||15|
|NC||GT Pro||Daniel Mancinelli||TR3 Racing / Ferrari 488 GT3||1|
|NC||GT Pro||Michael Cooper||CRP Racing / Mercedes-AMG GT3||0|
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