In 2011, the Pirelli World Challenge Championship kicked off its season at Saint Petersburg, Florida, in March as a support event for the IndyCar series. Saint Petersburg was followed by a race on the temporary street circuit at Long Beach, California. The remaining contests were conducted on traditional road courses beginning with Miller Motorsport Park in late April and then a trip to Canada for rounds at Mosport Park. The series did not reconvene until August at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Races nine and ten were held at Infineon Raceway in California. The penultimate event took place at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with the finale at Road Atlanta during the Petit Le Mans weekend.

The 2011 season opened with two big news items.

  • First, was the return of Cadillac to the series after a four-year absence.
  • Secondly, Toyo was replaced by Pirelli as the series tire supplier. Competitors would now compete on slicks rather than DOT performance street tires.

The series also introduced a new class in 2010 – Grand Touring Sport. The series also introduced a new class in 2010 – Grand Touring Sport. The additional category resulted in changes to the rules for Touring Cars. Vehicle rules remained basically unchanged for 2011. The three groups were:

  • Grand Touring (GT) – This group included the series quickest cars: Cadillac CTS-V, Porsche 911 GT3, Chevrolet Corvette, Dodge Viper, Nissan GT-R and Volvo S60. The preparation rules remained unchanged from the previous year for these vehicles.
  • Grand Touring Sport (GTS) – The cars in this category are similar to the GT vehicles but have additional preparation restrictions. This class is mainly comprised of the Acura TSX, Ford Mustang FR500S, Ford Mustang Boss 302S and Chevrolet Camaro.
  • Touring Car (TC) – Touring Cars were not allowed many of the modifications. The preparation of the vehicles was closely aligned with the Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series and the Sports Car Club of America’s Improved Touring classes. Makes competing in the category included the Volvo C30, Scion tC, Mazda RX-8, Honda Civic Si, Volkswagen Jetta and Golf.

As in 2010, all classes competed in the same fifty-minute contest – 1996 was the last time that categories raced together.

Rounds five and six of the 2011 Pirelli World Challenge championship were conducted at Mosport International Raceway during the Grand Prix of Mosport Victoria Day Speedfest. Thirty-nine drivers were entered in the two fifty-minute contests around the ten-turn 2.459-mile round course.

The start of Saturday’s race and thirty-seven drivers funnel into Mosport International Raceway’s turn one for round five of the 2011 Pirelli World Challenge championship. Leading the way is the pole-sitter, Mike Skeen, in the No. 2 Chevrolet Corvette Z06. Beside Skeen is the third-place starter, Johnny O’Connell driving the No. 3 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe. A poor start left the second-fastest qualifier, Patrick Lindsey, in fourth place.
Rounds five and six saw a new winner in the Grand Touring category. Mike Skeen, whose best result to date was a third-place finish in race two at Saint Petersburg, dominated the weekend at Mosport International Raceway. Driving the No. 2 CRP / Crager Wheels sponsored Chevrolet Corvette Z06, Skeen led flag-to-flag on Saturday and Sunday. The weekend sweep moved him to third in the Driver’s championship.
In his eighth Pirelli World Challenge start, 18-year-old Ben Crosland captured his first series victory. In round five at Mosport International Speedway, Crosland qualified second in Grand Touring Sport but dropped to fourth early in the contest. Paul Brown’s engine failure and passes on Alec Udell and Eric Foss gave him the win. On Sunday, Crosland started on the class pole and finished in the runner-up position.
In addition to Mike Skeen, the Touring Car points leader, Lawson Aschenbach captured back to back victories - it was far from easy. Aschenbach qualified second in the weekend’s first contest driving the No. 71 Compass360 Racing Honda Civic Si. An error during the race dropped him to fifth, but on lap-19, he was in the lead for good. On Sunday, Aschenbach started second and secured the top spot on the seventh circuit.
The 2010 Canadian Touring Car Champion, Anthony Rapone, made his Pirelli World Challenge series debut in rounds five and six at Mosport International Raceway. Rapone piloted the No. 81 Durabond Honda Civic Si and started race one third in class. After battling with Aaron Povoledo and Lawson Aschenbach, he finished second. It was much of the same on Sunday, another runner-up result.
The Grand Touring Sport championship leader, Paul Brown, had two podium finishes, one of which a victory at Long Beach, entering round five at Mosport International Raceway. Brown, driving the No. 50 K&N Filter sponsored Ford Mustang Boss 302S qualified on the class pole for Saturday’s contest but lost an engine on lap-6. The next day, he started second but took the lead on the first lap and led from start to finish.
Former Corvette Racing factory driver, Johnny O’Connell, joined the 2011 Pirelli World Challenge series in the No. 3 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe. In his four starts this season, he was yet to find the podium. O’Connell qualified third for Saturday’s race at Mosport and inherited a second-place finish when Patrick Lindsey retired. The following day, he was gridded third and maintained his position to the checkered flag.
The start of Sunday’s event and once again the No. 2 CRP / Crager Wheels Chevrolet Corvette Z06 of Mike Skeen leads the field into turn one. Next to Skeen is the other front row starter, Patrick Long in the No. 45 TruSpeed prepared Porsche 911 GT3. Behind Skeen and Long is the Porsche of the points leader, James Sofronas and Saturday’s Grand Touring runner-up, Johnny O’Connell, in a Cadillac CTS-V Coupe.
Former Mazda racer, Eric Foss, entered the 2011 season driving the No. 73 Ford Mustang FR500S. Foss scored a victory in round two at St. Petersburg. He trailed the Grand Touring Sports points leader, Paul Brown, entering Mosport. Brown’s eleventh place finish in the weekend’s first race allowed Foss to take first in the title chase. On Sunday, he finished third and the championship lead swung back in Brown’s favour.
Second in Grand Touring points entering rounds five and six at Mosport International Raceway was Patrick Long, who won the first two races of the season. In the weekend’s first event, Long qualified fifth, but contact at the start damaged the TruSpeed Porsche and he finished sixth. On Sunday, he started on the outside of the front and was in second place when the race ended under caution.
Chris DeSalvo drove the No. 37 Rehagen Racing prepared Ford Mustang GT. The rookie left the first race weekend of the season with a third place in the Grand Touring Sport category. Unfortunately, in round four of the championship, his race ended on the starting line when he ran into the back of Randy Pobst’s Volvo, which had stalled. At Mosport International Speedway, DeSalvo redeemed himself with third and fourth-place finishes.
After starting the 2011 season in his Acura TSX, Brett Sandberg parked the car and joined Compass360 Racing driving the No. 70 Honda Civic Si. His first event with the new team was round four at Miller Motorsports Park, where he finished eleventh in the Touring Car class. At Mosport International Raceway, Sandberg’s results were much better. In the weekend’s first contest, he was fifth and the next day, he finished third.
Aaron Povoledo was fresh off his first Touring Car victory of the season at Miller Motorsports Park. In round five, he captured the pole driving the No. 88 K-PAX Racing Volvo C30. Povoledo was leading the race, but lost the top spot on lap-19 and would finish third. He was the fastest qualifier for Sunday’s contest but was given a stop-and-go penalty for jumping the start. Povoledo moved up the race order and finished fifth.
The winner’s podium for round five of the 2011 Pirelli World Challenge Championship at Mosport. In the center and capturing the overall and Grand Touring victory is Mike Skeen. This was Skeen’s second series win. His first was last year at Mid-Ohio. On the left is the victor in the Grand Touring Sport category, Ben Crosland. The final spot on the rostrum is occupied by Touring Car competitor, Lawson Aschenbach.

11GTMike SkeenChevrolet Corvette30-
22GTJohnny O'ConnellCadillac CTS-V Coupe30-
33GTJason DaskalosDodge Viper30-
44GTJames SofronasPorsche 911 GT330-
55GTAndy PilgrimCadillac CTS-V Coupe30-
66GTPatrick LongPorsche 911 GT330-
77GTTony GaplesChevrolet Corvette30-
88GTTomy DrissiPorsche 911 GT330-
99GTRob MorganPorsche 911 GT330-
1010GTAlex FiggeVolvo S60 AWD30-
1111GTFred RobertsDodge Viper30-
121GTSBen CroslandFord Mustang FR500S29-
132GTSEric FossFord Mustang FR500S29-
143GTSChris DeSalvoFord Mustang GT29-
154GTSBrad AdamsFord Mustang FR500S29-
165GTSPeter CunninghamAcura TSX29-
176GTSGeorge WinklerFord Mustang FR500S29-
187GTSNick EsayianAcura TSX29-
198GTSArdee ToppeChevrolet Camaro29-
209GTSErnie JakubowskiPorsche Cayman S29-
211TCLawson AschenbachHonda Civic Si28-
222TCAnthony RaponeHonda Civic Si28-
233TCAaron PovoledoVolvo C30 FWD28-
244TCGary KwokHonda Civic Si28-
255TCBrett SandbergHonda Civic Si28-
266TCRobb HollandVolvo C30 FWD28-
277TCRonald ZitzaVolkswagen Jetta28-
288TCEric MeyerMazda RX-827-
299TCRay MasonHonda Civic Si27-
3010TCKurt LangeveldtMazda RX-827-
3111TCTristan HerbertVolkswagen GTI25-
3212GTPatrick LindseyChevrolet Corvette19Engine
3312TCCarolyn KujalaVolkswagen Jetta17Mechanical
3410GTSAlec UdellChevrolet Camaro8Accident
3511GTSPaul BrownFord Mustang Boss 302S6Engine
3613TCPatrick SeguinHonda Civic Si4Electrical
3714TCDevin CatesVolkswagen GTI0Mechanical
3812GTSJason von KlugeFord Mustang Boss 302S0Did Not Start
3913GTSonny WhelenChevrolet Corvette C60Did Not Start

11GTMike SkeenChevrolet Corvette29-
22GTPatrick LongPorsche 911 GT329-
33GTJohnny O'ConnellCadillac CTS-V Coupe29-
44GTJason DaskalosDodge Viper29-
55GTAndy PilgrimCadillac CTS-V Coupe29-
66GTTony GaplesChevrolet Corvette29-
77GTJames SofronasPorsche 911 GT329-
88GTPatrick LindseyChevrolet Corvette29-
99GTRob MorganPorsche 911 GT323-
1010GTFred RobertsDodge Viper23-
1111GTTomy DrissiPorsche 911 GT329-
121GTSPaul BrownFord Mustang Boss 302S28-
132GTSBen CroslandFord Mustang FR500S28-
143GTSEric FossFord Mustang FR500S28-
154GTSChris DeSalvoFord Mustang GT28-
165GTSPeter CunninghamAcura TSX28-
176GTSGeorge WinklerFord Mustang FR500S28-
187GTSNick EsayianAcura TSX28-
198GTSArdee ToppeChevrolet Camaro28-
201TCLawson AschenbachHonda Civic Si27-
212TCAnthony RaponeHonda Civic Si26-
223TCBrett SandbergHonda Civic Si26-
234TCEric MeyerMazda RX-826-
245TCAaron PovoledoVolvo C30 FWD26-
256TCPatrick SeguinHonda Civic Si26-
267TCRobb HollandVolvo C30 FWD26-
278TCDevin CatesVolkswagen GTI26-
289TCRay MasonHonda Civic Si26-
2910TCKurt LangeveldtMazda RX-826-
3011TCCarolyn KujalaVolkswagen Jetta25-
3112GTAlex FiggeVolvo S60 AWD22Mechanical
329GTSErnie JakubowskiPorsche Cayman S22-
3310GTSBrad AdamsFord Mustang FR500S19Accident
3412TCTristan HerbertVolkswagen GTI18Accident
3513TCRonald ZitzaVolkswagen Jetta18Accident
3614TCGary KwokHonda Civic Si7Accident

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