The 2018 Pirelli World Challenge season is the twenty-ninth consecutive year for the championship. There are six race weekends for the Touring Car categories. The title chase kicks-off in March at Circuit of the Americas. This event is followed by races at Virginia International Raceway, Lime Rock Park and the Portland International Raceway. The penultimate rounds are held at the Utah Motorsports Campus with the finale taking place at Watkins Glen International on the Labour Day weekend.

As in the previous year, there were three Touring groups; however, there were some significant changes. With dwindling entries in Touring Car B class series management decided it would not be included in the 2018 championship and was replaced by a new category, TCR.

  • Touring Car (TC) – This class is for smaller sedans and sports cars which are allowed some performance modifications. These front or rear-wheel-drive vehicles may be powered by turbocharged or normally aspirated engines. Examples of cars competing in this category include: Honda Civic Type R, Nissan 370Z, BMW235iR and Genesis Coupe.
  • Touring Car A (TCA) – Many of the cars competing in this class are the same as those found in Touring Car. What sets them apart is the minimum amount of modifications that can be made – most changes are to improve the safety of the vehicles. Using turbocharged or normally aspirated powerplants, these cars produce between 160 and 185-horsepower.
  • Touring Car Race (TCR) – This is an international class which was first introduced in 2014 to address the expense of competing in the World Touring Car Championship. These production-based cars are powered by 2.0-liter turbocharged engines which produce approximately 300-horsepower. Examples of vehicles competing in this category include: Audi RS 3 LMS, Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR, Honda Civic Type-R TCR, Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR and Hyundai I30 N TCR.

The opening rounds of the Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car season took place during the Grand Prix of Texas weekend. Seventeen Touring Car drivers competed in the two forty-minute races around the Circuit of the Americas’ twenty-turn 3.4-mile road course.

The start of race one for the 2018 Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car championship. Seventeen cars head up the hill and into corner one at Circuit of the Americas. Leading the way is the pole-sitter, Vesko Kozarov in the Rearden Racing Nissan 370Z. Charging from fifth on the grid to second place is the orange Nissan 370Z of Tony Rivera.
Vesko Kozarov driving the No. 3 Rearden Racing prepared Nissan 370Z TC Spec opened the season with a dominant performance. Kozarov was quickest in the opening practice session and qualified on the pole for race one. He led flag-to-flag – capturing the opening round of the Touring Car season. It was much of the same on Sunday as Kozarov won by a margin of 2.885-seconds and took a comfortable lead in the title chase.
In 2018, Karl Wittmer exchanged the family’s well used Honda Accord (the Honda had been campaigned extensively by his brother, Nick) for a new BMW M235iR Cup. Wittmer qualified fourth in the first contest and grabbed the final spot on the podium. In round two, contact with Jacob Ruud on the second lap in turn twelve damaged his BMW but he was able to continue and earn a fifth-place finish.
The No. 81 Winding Road Team TFB BMW M235iR was driven by Jacob Ruud. Ruud qualified on the outside of the front row for Saturday’s event but dropped to third at the start. Contact with Tony Rivera caused him to spin and finish eleventh. The following day an aggressive move on Karl Wittmer in turn twelve caused damage to the right front on Ruud’s BMW. He retired on lap-2 and was not classified as a finisher.
The only driver that appeared to be a threat to Vesko Kozarov was his Rearden Racing teammate, Paul Terry. Terry topped the timesheets in the second practice session and qualified his Nissan 370Z TC Spec third quickest. In race one, he chased Kozarov and finished 1.634-seconds behind him in second place. On Sunday, Terry was gridded third but he retired before completing the first lap.
Touring Car veteran, Tony Rivera qualified his Nissan 370Z TC Spec fifth quickest for race one. An excellent start by Rivera allowed him to slot into second behind the pole-sitter, Vesko Kozarov. He lost several positions after contact with Jacob Ruud but regrouped and finished fifth. In round two, Rivera fared much better – starting on the outside front row, he chased the eventual winner Kozarov and took the runner-up spot.
2015 TCB Drivers’ champion, Johan Schwartz drove the No. 80 Rooster Hall Racing BMW M235iR Cup. Schwartz qualified sixth for the weekend’s opening round and challenged third-place finisher, Karl Wittmer most of the race – missing out on the position by just 0.298-seconds. The following day, Schwartz started fourth. He gained a spot when Paul Terry retired and maintained third to the checkered flag.
The Touring Car podium for round two at Circuit of the Americas. In the center and taking his second consecutive victory of the weekend is the driver of the Rearden Racing Nissan 370Z TC Spec, Vesko Kozarov. To Kozarov’s left is the runner-up and Pirelli World Challenge veteran, Tony Rivera. Completing the rostrum is former TCB Drivers’ champion, Johan Schwartz.

FINISHSTARTCLASSDRIVERTEAM / CARLAPS
11TCVesko KozarovRearden Racing / Nissan 370Z TC Spec15
23TCPaul TerryRearden Racing / Nissan 370z TC Spec15
34TCKarl WittmerClassic BMW / BMW M235iR Cup15
46TCJohan SchwartzRooster Hall Racing / BMW M235iR Cup15
55TCTony RiveraBrass Monkey Racing / Nissan 370Z TC Spec15
616TCMatt TravisClassic BMW / BMW M235iR Cup15
77TCSteve StreimerTechSport Racing / Nissan 370z TC Spec15
89TCRobert NimkoffAutoTechnic Racing / BMW M235iR Cup15
98TCJeff RiccaGenRacer / Genesis Coupe15
1010TCJayson ClunieClassic BMW / BMW M235iR Cup15
112TCJacob RuudWinding Road Team TFB / BMW M235iR Cup15
1213TCSean QuinlanStephen Cameron Racing / BMW M235iR Cup15
1315TCMax FedlerMatt Young Motorsports / BMW M235iR Cup15
1417TCJoshua ForanTeam HMA / Honda Civic Type R15
1512TCHenry SchmittStephen Cameron Racing / BMW M235iR Cup10
1614TCDaren JorgensenRHC Lawrence-Strom / BMW M235iR Cup10
1711TCMark BrummondAutoTechnic Racing / BMW M235iR Cup10

FINISHSTARTCLASSDRIVERTEAM / CARLAPS
31TCVesko KozarovRearden Racing / Nissan 370Z TC Spec15
972TCTony RiveraBrass Monkey Racing / Nissan 370Z TC Spec15
804TCJohan SchwartzRooster Hall Racing / BMW M235iR Cup15
266TCMatt TravisClassic BMW / BMW M235iR Cup15
915TCKarl WittmerClassic BMW / BMW M235iR Cup15
208TCRobert NimkoffAutoTechnic Racing / BMW M235iR Cup15
787TCJeff RiccaGenRacer / Genesis Coupe15
2310TCSteve StreimerTechSport Racing / Nissan 370z TC Spec15
2711TCJayson ClunieClassic BMW / BMW M235iR Cup15
1913TCSean QuinlanStephen Cameron Racing / BMW M235iR Cup15
0212TCMark BrummondAutoTechnic Racing / BMW M235iR Cup15
515TCMax FedlerMatt Young Motorsports / BMW M235iR Cup15
8714TCHenry SchmittStephen Cameron Racing / BMW M235iR Cup15
6617TCDaren JorgensenRHC Lawrence-Strom / BMW M235iR Cup15
9316TCJoshua ForanTeam HMA / Honda Civic Type R15
NC9TCJacob RuudWinding Road Team TFB / BMW M235iR Cup2
NC3TCPaul TerryRearden Racing / Nissan 370z TC Spec0

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