2019 was the thirtieth consecutive year for the World Challenge series. In the offseason, the Grand Touring category was renamed the Blancpain GT World Challenge America. With the new title came some additional changes:

The SprintX Championship has three classes:

  • Drivers compete in Professional (Pro), Professional and Amateur (Pro/Am), Silver or Amateur (Am) categories.
  • The sixty-minute races in 2018 would be replaced by ninety-minute contests – two each weekend. There would be a mandatory pit-stop scheduled to take place between the 45 and 55-minutes. At this time, the driver change would be completed. The stop will also provide teams with an opportunity to refuel and change tires.
  • Race weekends would offer six-hours of total track time to competitors.

There are a total of seven rounds with the championship kicking off in March at Circuit of the Americas. This event is followed by races at Virginia International Raceway and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Then the teams travel to the west coast to compete at Sonoma Raceway. On the Labour Day weekend, competitors participate at Watkins Glen International. The penultimate rounds are at Road America with the season concluding at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in October.

The Blancpain GT World Challenge America category is the series quickest class with cars prepared to FIA GT3 rules. These are two-wheel drive vehicles that may use normally aspirated or turbocharged engines which produce approximately 500 horsepower. Examples of cars competing in this category include: Porsche 911 GT3 R, Lamborghini Huracan GT3, Mercedes AMG GT3, McLaren 650S GT3, Callaway Corvette C7 GT3-R, Bentley Continental GT3, Audi R8 LMS and Ferrari 488 GT3.

Rounds five and six of the 2019 Blancpain GT World Challenge America season were contested at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Fourteen teams competed in the two ninety-minute races around the ten-turn 2.459-mile road course.

The pole-sitter, Alvaro Parente driving the K-Pax Bentley Continental GT3 leads the field of thirteen-starters into Canadian Tire Motorsport Park’s first turn for round six of the 2019 Blancpain GT World Challenge America championship. Behind Parente is the other front row starter, Miguel Molina in the No. 61 Ferrari 488 GT3. Trailing the two front runners is Dennis Olsen driving a Porsche and the Bentley of Maxime Soulet.
Toni Vilander, driving the Remo Ferri Motorsport Ferrari 488 GT3 was quickest in the final practice session but in qualifying for round five, he fell to third fastest. That seemed to be of little consequence as Vilander and his co-driver; Miguel Molina went on to capture the victory in Saturday’s contest. The following day, the pair was gridded second for the start and finished in the runner-up position.
After the first four races with Ryan Eversley, Till Bechtosheimer was joined by Marc Miller. Driving the Gradient Racing Acura NSX GT3 the pair completed in the PRO/AM category. Bechtosheimer inherited the class lead in race one when Anthony Imperato pitted with a flat tire. Miller drove the final stint and held off Kyle Marcelli for the team’s first victory. On Sunday, they started sixth and finished fifth in their group.
Alvaro Parente and Andy Soucek shared the No. 9 K-Pax Racing Bentley Continental GT3. They had mixed results at Virginia International Raceway – a victory on Saturday and a pit fire the following day which dropped them out of the points lead. At Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, the pair rebounded with a third place in round five and a victory in race two. They will head to Sonoma one-point behind, Toni Vilander and Miguel Molina.
Since the opening weekend at Circuit of the Americas, Martin Barky and Kyle Marcelli led the PRO/AM title chase. To date, the pair had two class victories – Circuit of the Americas and Virginia International Raceway. In round five at their home track, Marcelli chased the Acura of Marc Miller but could not make the pass and took the runner-up position. On Sunday, they fared better taking the win and increasing their points lead.
RealTime Racing returned to the series after missing the first two rounds. Their 2019 debut saw them capture a PRO/AM victory in Sunday’s race at VIR. A Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, driver’s Brent Curtis and Dane Cameron finished fifth in round five. Problems with his back forced Curtis to vacate his seat for race two. He was replaced by Trent Hindman and the team was reclassified PRO – they finished fifth in their division.
The Amateur class point’s leaders from Squadra Corse Garage Italia, Martin Fuentes and Caesar Bacarella did not enter rounds five and six at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. There was just one Amateur category entry this weekend and it was a BMW M6 GT3 prepared by Turner Motorsport. Driving the BMW was Naoto Takeda and Takuya Shairasaka who made their series debut at Utah Motorsports Campus last year.
K-Pax Racing’s second Bentley Continental GT3 was piloted by Maxime Soulet and Rodrigo Baptista. They opened the season with a win at Circuit of the Americas and scored another victory at Virginia International Raceway. At Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, the duo netted a pair of third-place finishes. Unfortunately, the results were not good enough to maintain the points lead. They were now third in the title chase.
David Askew and Ryan Dalziel had a difficult start to the season. Askew crashed the DXDT Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the series first race. The car could not be repaired at the track and the duo failed to score any points. They returned for the rounds at Virginia International Raceway and grabbed a third place in the PRO/AM category. Their luck was improving and at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, they had a runner-up finish.
George Kurtz driving the other DXDT Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 was second quickest in the PRO/AM division for race one at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. He and his driving partner, Colin Braun benefitted from the categories leader’s flat tire to grab the last spot on the podium. On Sunday, Braun started tenth overall and fifth in class. At the checkered flag, they were eleventh overall but fourth in PRO/AM.
The second Wright Motorsports entry competed and the PRO/AM division and was shared by Anthony Imperato and Dennis Olsen. Imperato put the No. 91 Porsche 911 GT3 R on the class pole for round five. During the race, he led until he had to pit for a flat tire – they finished last. The following day, they started first in class and third overall. Bad struck again, this time the pair were taken out of contention by a mechanical issue.

FINISHCLASSDRIVERENTRANT / CARLAPS
1SprintX - GT Pro/ProMolina / VilanderR. Ferri Motorsport / Ferrari 488 GT369
2SprintX - GT Pro/ProParente / SourekK-PAX Racing / Bentley Continental GT369
3SprintX - GT Pro/ProBaptista / SouletK-PAX Racing / Bentley Continental GT369
4SprintX - GT Pro/ProMorad / De QuesadaAlegra Motorsports / Porsche 911 GT3 R69
5SprintX - GT Pro/ProHenzler / HolzerAlegra Motorsports / Porsche 911 GT3 R69
6SprintX - GT Pro/ProHargrove / LongWright Motorsports / Porsche 911 GT3 R69
7SprintX - GT Pro/AmMiller / BechtolsheimerGradient Racing / Acura NSX69
8SprintX - GT Pro/AmBarkey / MarcelliRacers Edge Motorsports / Acura NSX69
9SprintX - GT Pro/AmBraun / KurtzDXDT Racing / Mercedes-AMG GT368
10SprintX - GT Pro/AmAskew / DalzielDXDT Racing / Mercedes-AMG GT368
11SprintX - GT Pro/AmCameron / CurtisRealTime Racing / Acura NSX68
12SprintX - GT Pro/AmImperato / CampbellWright Motorsports / Porsche 911 GT3 R67
NCSprintX - GT Am/AmTakeda / ShairasakaTurner Motorsport / BMW F13 M6 GT315

FINISHCLASSDRIVERENTRANT / CARLAPS
1SprintX - GT Pro/ProParente / SourekK-PAX Racing / Bentley Continental GT369
2SprintX - GT Pro/ProMolina / VilanderR. Ferri Motorsport / Ferrari 488 GT369
3SprintX - GT Pro/ProBaptista / SouletK-PAX Racing / Bentley Continental GT369
4SprintX - GT Pro/ProHargrove / LongWright Motorsports / Porsche 911 GT3 R69
5SprintX - GT Pro/ProCameron / HindmanRealTime Racing / Acura NSX69
6SprintX - GT Pro/ProHenzler / HolzerAlegra Motorsports / Porsche 911 GT3 R69
7SprintX - GT Pro/ProMorad / De QuesadaAlegra Motorsports / Porsche 911 GT3 R68
8SprintX - GT Pro/AmBarkey / MarcelliRacers Edge Motorsports / Acura NSX68
9SprintX - GT Pro/AmAskew / DalzielDXDT Racing / Mercedes-AMG GT368
10SprintX - GT Pro/AmImperato / CampbellWright Motorsports / Porsche 911 GT3 R68
11SprintX - GT Pro/AmBraun / KurtzDXDT Racing / Mercedes-AMG GT368
12SprintX - GT Pro/AmMiller / BechtolsheimerGradient Racing / Acura NSX68
13SprintX - GT Am/AmTakeda / ShairasakaTurner Motorsport / BMW F13 M6 GT367

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