Introduced in 2016, the SprintX Championship for Grand Touring competitors is based on the very successful Blancpain Sprint Series in Europe.

There are a total of five rounds with the championship kicking off in March at Circuit of the Americas. This event is followed by races at Virginia International Raceway and Lime Rock Park. The penultimate rounds are at Portland International Raceway and the season ends at Utah Motorsports Campus in August. The races are 60-minutes in length and require a mandatory pit-stop for a driver change between the 25 and 35-minute mark of the contest.

The SprintX Championship has three classes:

  • Grand Touring X (GT-X) – This is the series quickest class and includes cars that predominantly fall into the FIA GT3 category. 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.
  • Grand Touring Cup X (GTC-X) – The GT Cup class was originally for 2015-2016 Porsche 991 GT Cup cars. It now includes vehicles from other spec series – the Lamborghini Super Trofeo (Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo) and Ferrari Challenge (Ferrari 458 Challenge) championships.
  • Grand Touring Sport X (GTS-X) – The cars in this class are similar to the GT vehicles but have more preparation restrictions. Drivetrain layouts include all-wheel-drive and front and rear-wheel drive. These cars can be powered by forced induction or normally aspirated motors. In previous years, the GTS class was mainly comprised of Ford, Chevrolet and Porsche products. In 2016, this category witnessed an influx of FIA GT4 vehicles which proved to be very competitive – Chevrolet Camaro GT4, McLaren 570S GT4, Porsche Cayman GT4 CS-MR, Audi R8 LMS GT4, Ginetta G55 GT4, BMW M4 GT4, Audi R8 LMS GT4, Mercedes-AMG GT4, Panoz Avezzano GT4 and SIN R1 GT4.

SprintX cars are prepared to the same rules as those competing in the 50-minute Sprint races. Due to the popularity of the GTS/GT4 category, they would have their race group. Grand Touring X and Grand Touring Cup X would compete in the same contest.

As the championship features a two-driver format which includes professional and sportsman racers, there was a need to categorize competitors. Within the three classes, the driver combinations are grouped as Professional/Professional (Pro/Pro), Professional/Amateur (Pro/Am), Amateur/Amateur (Am/Am) and some competitors will compete solo – points are awarded accordingly.

The opening rounds of the Pirelli World Challenge SprintX season took place during the Grand Prix of Texas weekend. Thirty-eight SprintX Grand Touring Sport teams competed in the two sixty-minute races around Circuit of the Americas’ twenty-turn 3.4-mile road course.

The start of round one for the 2018 Pirelli World Challenge SprintX Grand Touring Sport championship. Leading the field of thirty-seven starters into Circuit of the Americas’ first turn is the third place qualifier, Vesko Kozarov driving the Rearden Racing Audi R8 LMS GT4. Next to Kozarov is the pole-sitter, Harry Gottsacker in the No. 69 SIN R1 prepared by Racers Edge Motorsport.
PF Racing entered three Ford Mustang GT4s. The No. 55 Mustang was shared by Jade Buford and Scott Maxwell and competed in the Pro/Am category. The pair started race one on the outside of the front row - taking the lead on lap-12 and winning by a margin of 1.227-seconds. On Sunday, they were gridded sixth but contact with the No. 1 Blackdog Speed Shop Camaro and a penalty resulted in an eighth-place finish.
Driving solo and competing in the Pro/Am class was Harry Gottsacker. As a result of this choice, he was given a weight penalty. That seemed to be of little consequence as Gottsacker captured the pole position in the season opener driving the Racers Edge Motorsports SIN R1. He led race one but some miscommunication during the pit-stop resulted in a runner-up finish. The following day, Gottsacker was fourth.
Drew Staveley started the season with a pair of victories in the GTSA class at the Grand Prix of Saint Petersburg. At Circuit of the Americas, Staveley put the Ian Lacy Racing Ginetta G55 twelfth on the grid - fourth in the Amateur group. A solid run gave him the class victory and fifth overall. On Sunday, Staveley started eighteenth but was third in SprintX GTS Am. At the checkered flag, he took the runner-up spot.
ST Racing entered to two BMW M4 GT4s in the 2018 Pirelli World Challenge championship. The No. 36 BMW competed in the Amateur group and was driven by Aurora Straus and Al Carter. The pair qualified third in class and eleventh overall for Saturday’s event. At the conclusion of sixty-minutes of racing, they took the runner-up spot. In round two, they fared much better finishing sixth overall and won the Amateur category.
The Pirelli World Challenge SprintX GTS Pro/Am podium for the season’s opening round at Circuit of the Americas. In the center of the podium are the winners from PF Racing, Jade Buford and Scott Maxwell. This was Maxwell’s first Pirelli World Challenge event. On the left is the runner-up, Harry Gottsacker who drove the race solo. To the right and completing the rostrum are Michael Cooper and Tony Gaples.
Another team with a large contingent of BMWs was Classic BMW. They entered three BMWs in Touring Car and another three in the SprintX GTS category. The No. 17 BMW was shared by Stevan McAleer and Justin Raphael. In round one, they finished twenty-fourth but McAleer’s fastest lap during the race gave them the second starting position for Sunday’s contest. The pair stayed in contention and captured the runner-up spot.
Stephen Cameron Racing entered the No. 88 BMW M4 GT4 for Henry Schmitt and Greg Liefooghe. Despite winning four Touring Car races in 2017, Liefooghe was still classified as an amateur driver. He and Schmitt started thirteenth in SprintX GTS Am on Saturday and finished third in class. Round two did not go as well. Liefooghe started fourth overall but contact on lap-8 forced the team to retire.
Series veteran, James Sofronas scored third and fourth place finishes in the season opener at the Grand Prix of Saint Petersburg. At Circuit of the Americas, he was joined by Alex Welch in the GMG Racing Audi R8 LMS GT4. The pair competed in the Pro/Am category and qualified sixth overall and fifth in their class for round one. At the checker, they were four in Pro/Am and would start eighth on Sunday. The duo won race two.
One of the three Classic BMW SprintX GTS cars was raced by Chris Ohmacht and 2016 Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car champion, Toby Grahovec. They competed in the Amateur category and were gridded second in class and eighth overall for the first round. At the finish, the pair were fourth in their group. They were in contention the following day but a 72-second penalty instead of a ‘stop and go’ resulted in a seventh place.
Blackdog Speed Shop Racing entered two Chevrolet Camaro GT4s. Sharing the No. 11 Camaro was amateur driver, Tony Gaples and former factory Cadillac racer, Michael Cooper. The Pro/Am duo started race one in the tenth position and captured the last spot on the podium. The following day, they were gridded seventeenth and finished a distant thirteenth in class.
Sharing the No. 38 ST Racing BMW M4 GT4 were Canadians, Nick Wittmer and Samatha Tan. Competing in the Pro/Am category, they finished fifth in Saturday’s race but Wittmer’s quickest lap gave them the pole for round two. The following day, Wittmer chased Stevan McAleer but after all the teams had cycled through their pit-stops, Tan was in the lead. She lost positions to Alex Welch and Justin Raphael to finish third.

FINISHCLASSDRIVERENTRANT / CARLAPS
1SprintX - GT4 Pro/AmTravis / HartNOLASPORT / Porsche 718 Cayman CS MR24
2GT4 East - Pro/AmBrynjolfsson / HindmanPark Place Motorsports / Porsche 718 Cayman CS MR24
3GT4 East - Pro/AmRenger / ChaseRENNtech Motorsports / Mercedes-AMG GT424
4GT4 West - Am/AmBurton / KozarovRearden Racing / Audi R8 LMS GT424
5SprintX - GT4 Pro/AmBell / UdellGMG Racing / Audi R8 LMS GT424
6SprintX - GT4 Am/AmCalvert / KeeganTeam Panoz Racing / Panoz Avezzano GT424
7GT4 East - Pro/AmStacy / GolinelloKohr Motorsports / Ford Mustang GT424
8SprintX - GT4 Pro/AmDinan / FoleyFlying Lizard Motorsports / Porsche 718 Cayman CS MR24
9GT4 East - Pro/AmMcAleer / RaphaelClassic BMW / BMW M4 GT424
10SprintX - GT4 Pro/AmLiefooghe / QuinlanStephen Cameron Racing / BMW M4 GT424
11GT4 West - Pro/AmGottsacker / MillerST Racing / BMW M4 GT424
12SprintX - GT4 Am/AmAllen / WilsonAuto Technic Racing / BMW M4 GT424
13GT4 East - Pro/AmRadisic / WittmerPrecision Driving Tech / BMW M4 GT424
14SprintX - GT4 Am/AmCapestro-Dubets / VessNOLASPORT / Porsche 718 Cayman CS MR24
15GT4 West - Pro/AmTan / WolfeST Racing / BMW M4 GT424
16GT4 East - Am/AmCarter / GibbonsBodymotion Racing / Porsche 718 Cayman CS MR24
17GT4 West - Am/AmBellomo / WoodsTRG- The Racers Group / Porsche 718 Cayman CS MR24
18SprintX - GT4 Am/AmCollingwood / TecceBGB Motorsports Group / Porsche Cayman GT4 CS-MR24
19GT4 East - Am/AmMueller / ClayEpic Motorsports / BMW M4 GT424
20GT4 East - Am/AmSexton / MasonClassic BMW / BMW M4 GT424
21GT4 West - Am/AmGannett / StaveleyIan Lacy Racing / Ginetta G5524
22GT4 West - Pro/AmDennis / BaderUSRD / Ginetta G5524
23GT4 East - Am/AmFassnacht / SzymczakMurillo Racing / Mercedes-AMG GT424
24GT4 East - Am/AmPalmer / PalmerPhoton Motorsports / Audi R8 LMS GT424
25GT4 West - Pro/AmCattaneo / TrinklerRearden Racing / Audi R8 LMS GT423
26GT4 West - Am/AmDeBoer / RappaportTRG- The Racers Group / Porsche 718 Cayman CS MR23
27GT4 East - Pro/AmBriscoe / DavisKelly-Moss Road & Race / Porsche Cayman GT4 CS-MR22
28GT4 East - Pro/AmPoland / PilgrimDoghouse Performance / Audi R8 LMS GT418
29GT4 East - Pro/AmOhmacht / GrahovecClassic BMW / BMW M4 GT416
30GT4 East - Pro/AmGeraci / GoulartKRUGSPEED / Ginetta G551
DQSprintX - GT4 Pro/AmAndretti / ThomsonAndretti Autosport / McLaren 570S GT40

FINISHCLASSDRIVERENTRANT / CARLAPS
1GT4 East - Pro/AmBrynjolfsson / HindmanPark Place Motorsports / Porsche 718 Cayman CS MR23
2SprintX - GT4 Pro/AmTravis / HartNOLASPORT / Porsche 718 Cayman CS MR23
3GT4 East - Am/AmFassnacht / SzymczakMurillo Racing / Mercedes-AMG GT423
4GT4 West - Pro/AmGottsacker / MillerST Racing / BMW M4 GT423
5SprintX - GT4 Pro/AmDinan / FoleyFlying Lizard Motorsports / Porsche 718 Cayman CS MR23
6GT4 East - Pro/AmRenger / ChaseRENNtech Motorsports / Mercedes-AMG GT423
7GT4 East - Pro/AmStacy / GolinelloKohr Motorsports / Ford Mustang GT423
8GT4 West - Am/AmBellomo / WoodsTRG- The Racers Group / Porsche 718 Cayman CS MR23
9GT4 East - Am/AmMueller / ClayEpic Motorsports / BMW M4 GT423
10GT4 West - Am/AmGannett / StaveleyIan Lacy Racing / Ginetta G5523
11SprintX - GT4 Pro/AmAndretti / ThomsonAndretti Autosport / McLaren 570S GT423
12GT4 East - Pro/AmMcAleer / RaphaelClassic BMW / BMW M4 GT423
13GT4 East - Pro/AmRadisic / WittmerPrecision Driving Tech / BMW M4 GT423
14GT4 East - Pro/AmPoland / PilgrimDoghouse Performance / Audi R8 LMS GT423
15GT4 East - Pro/AmGeraci / GoulartKRUGSPEED / Ginetta G5523
16GT4 East - Am/AmSexton / MasonClassic BMW / BMW M4 GT423
17SprintX - GT4 Pro/AmLiefooghe / QuinlanStephen Cameron Racing / BMW M4 GT423
18GT4 East - Am/AmCarter / GibbonsBodymotion Racing / Porsche 718 Cayman CS MR23
19SprintX - GT4 Am/AmCapestro-Dubets / VessNOLASPORT / Porsche 718 Cayman CS MR23
20GT4 East - Am/AmPalmer / PalmerPhoton Motorsports / Audi R8 LMS GT423
21SprintX - GT4 Am/AmCollingwood / TecceBGB Motorsports Group / Porsche Cayman GT4 CS-MR23
22GT4 West - Pro/AmDennis / BaderUSRD / Ginetta G5523
23GT4 West - Am/AmDeBoer / RappaportTRG- The Racers Group / Porsche 718 Cayman CS MR23
24GT4 West - Pro/AmCattaneo / TrinklerRearden Racing / Audi R8 LMS GT423
25SprintX - GT4 Am/AmCalvert / KeeganTeam Panoz Racing / Panoz Avezzano GT422
26SprintX - GT4 Am/AmAllen / WilsonAuto Technic Racing / BMW M4 GT422
27GT4 East - Pro/AmBriscoe / DavisKelly-Moss Road & Race / Porsche Cayman GT4 CS-MR22
28GT4 West - Pro/AmTan / WolfeST Racing / BMW M4 GT422
29SprintX - GT4 Pro/AmBell / UdellGMG Racing / Audi R8 LMS GT418
NCGT4 West - Am/AmBurton / KozarovRearden Racing / Audi R8 LMS GT41
NCGT4 East - Pro/AmOhmacht / GrahovecClassic BMW / BMW M4 GT40

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