In 2012, the World Challenge Championship kicked off its twenty-third consecutive season at St. Petersburg, Florida in March as a support event for the IndyCar series. The season ended late-August at Sonoma Raceway. In between these two events, there were races at Long Beach, Mosport, Miller Motorsports Park, Detroit, Mid-Ohio and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

The series big news was the introduction of a fourth class called ‘Touring Car B-Spec’. This was not a renaming or realignment of existing class but a new category with new cars. The four 2012 classes were:

  • Grand Touring (GT) – This group included the series quickest cars: Porsche 911 GT3, Chevrolet Corvette, Dodge Viper, Cadillac CTS-V.R, Nissan GT-R and Volvo S60. The preparation rules remained unchanged from the previous year. These vehicles produced more than 450-horsepower.
  • Grand Touring Sport (GTS) – The cars in this class are not permitted the same level of preparation as the GT category. The class is a mix of cars that would be best described as sports cars or sports sedans. Vehicles eligible to compete in GTS include SCCA Club Racing Touring 2 cars and some FIA GT4 cars. Makes competing in this category include the Ford Mustang, Porsche Cayman, Chevrolet Camaro, Kia Optima and Acura TSX.
  • Touring Car (TC) – The preparation of the Touring Cars was closely aligned with Grand Am Cup and the Sports Car Club of America’s Improved Touring classes. The wide range of vehicles homologated for this category meant that power output ranged from 180 to 260-horsepower. Also, there was significant variation in drivetrain configurations – front-wheel, rear-wheel and all-wheel drive. Makes competing in the category included the Volvo C30, Mazda RX-8, Honda Civic Si, MAZDASPEED3, Volkswagen Jetta and Golf.
  • Touring Car B (TCB) – World Challenge’s newest class was implemented to allow competitors to compete at the professional level in cost efficient cars. To keep expenses down, modifications were limited to performance spring and shock packages offered by the manufacturers. Makes competing in TCB were the Kia Rio, Honda Fit, Mazda 2, Fiat 500 and Mini Cooper.

GT and GTS classes were combined to race in 50-minute timed events. The TCB cars ran two 25-minute races with a 15-minute break in between to allow crews to make minor adjustments. The following day there would be a longer 40-minute race.

Rounds seven, eight and nine of the Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car class were conducted at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Competing in the same races were the Touring Car B drivers, but this would be for rounds four, five and six in their championship.

On Saturday, there were two twenty-five-minute sprint races with a fifteen-minute break. During the intermission, teams were allowed to change one tire without being penalized. The starting order for the second contest of the weekend was set by the results from race one.

The start of the first race of the weekend (round seven) and the pole-sitter, Michael Cooper, driving the No. 03 Mazda Speed 3 leads the field of seventeen entrants into the first corner. Behind Cooper are the Compass360 prepared Honda Civic Si of Ryan Winchester (72) and Todd Lamb (71). Trailing the Compass360 teammates is the fifth-fastest qualifier, Jeff Altenburg, in the HPA / Brimtek Volkswagen GLI.
The 2007 Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car Champion, Jeff Altenburg, drove the No. 43 Volkswagen GLI. Altenburg started round seven in the fifth position but made steady progress through the field. With just a couple of laps remaining, he took the lead and victory. In race two, Altenburg was involved in an incident on lap-1, which damaged the Volkswagen beyond repair, which caused the team withdraw the car.
Canadian Touring Car competitor, Anthony Rapone, made his Pirelli World Challenge series debut at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Rapone, driving the No. 73 Durabond Racing Honda Fit would sweep the Touring Car B category. In the weekend’s first race, he was challenged by Craig Capaldi but came out on top. In Sunday’s contest, Joel Lipperini chased down Rapone, but could not get close enough to make a pass.
Touring Car rookie, Michael Cooper, led the point standings after six rounds. The 2011 Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup series champion had already racked up three Pirelli World Challenge victories. In Saturday’s first race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Cooper qualified on the pole and finished second. In the next contest, he inherited the win when Gary Kwok was disqualified. On Sunday, Cooper started first but finished fourth.
The No. 86 Ford Fiesta was piloted by Craig Capaldi. Capaldi entered the Canadian Tire Motorsport rounds second in the Touring Car B title chase. At Miller Motorsports Park, he had three third-place finishes. It appeared that Capaldi might score his first victory of the season in round four, but he lost the lead and finished second. In the next two contests, Capaldi scored second and fifth-place finishes.
The Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car podium for round seven at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. In the center is the 2007 class champion and race winner, Jeff Altenburg. This was Altenburg’s first Touring Car victory since 2007. On the left side of the rostrum is the category point’s leader and runner-up, Michael Cooper. Completing the podium in third place is Compass360 Racing’s, Todd Lamb.
The Touring Car B pole-sitter, Anthony Rapone, in the No. 73 Durabond Racing Honda Fit leads the class of six starters into Canadian Tire Motorsport Park’s first turn for round four of the Pirelli World Challenge Championship. Chasing Rapone is the No. 86 Ford Fiesta of Craig Capaldi and the point’s leader, Jonathan Start driving the No. 00 Kawartha FIAT sponsored Fiat 500.
Canadian Touring Car veteran, Gary Kwok, made his Pirelli World Challenge debut at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Kwok qualified sixth for round seven driving the No. 82 M&S Produce Honda Civic Si and finished fifth. In the day’s second contest, he drove to the front and was the first to cross the finish line. Unfortunately, Kwok’s Honda was too light and he was disqualified. On Sunday, he redeemed himself with a victory.
The Touring Car B point’s leader, Jonathan Start, kicked off his title aspirations with a pair of victories and a fourth-place finish a Miller Motorsports Park. Driving the No.00 Fiat 500, he qualified third in class for the weekend’s first contest and maintained it to the finish. Start delivered the same performance in rounds five and six. The results allowed him to retain first place in the championship chase.
Shea Holbrook’s weekend got off to a slow start. She qualified fourth for Saturday’s first event and finished seventh. In round eight, Holbrook moved from seventh on the grid to third and inherited a runner-up finish when Gary Kwok was disqualified. On Sunday, she started second in the No. 67 TrueCar Honda Civic Si, but spun on the opening lap and fell to tenth place. She charged through the field and finished third.
After racing in a Sports Car Club of America National event at Lime Rock Park on Saturday, Joel Lipperini and his crew drove overnight to compete in round six of the Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car B Championship at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Lipperini, driving the No. 18 RACELABZ Honda Fit started at the rear of the grid, but wasted no time moving through the field. At the checkered flag, he was second in class.
The Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car B podium for round six at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. In the center is the winner, Anthony Rapone. This was Rapone’s series debut and he did it in style by scoring a ‘hat trick.’ On the left side of the rostrum is the runner-up, Joel Lipperini. Lipperini’s overnight trek from Lime Rock gave him some valuable points. Completing the podium is the current point’s leader, Jonathan Start.

1TCJeff AltenburgVolkswagen GLI14-
2TCMichael CooperMazda Speed 314-
3TCTodd LambHonda Civic Si14-
4TCRyan WinchesterHonda Civic Si14-
5TCGary KwokHonda Civic Si14-
6TCTristan HerbertVolkswagen GLI14-
7TCShea HolbrookHonda Civic Si14-
8TCTom KwokHonda Civic Si14-
9TCSteve BlethenMazda RX-814-
10TCMarlin LangeveldtMazda RX-814-
11TCFred EmichVolkswagen GLI1Accident
12TCPeter SchwartzottHonda Civic Si0Did Not Start
13TCPatrick SeguinVolkswagen GTI0Did Not Start
14TCAnthony RaponeHonda Civic Si0Did Not Start
1TCBAndre RaponeHonda Fit13-
2TCBCraig CapaldiFord Fiesta13-
3TCBJonathan StartFiat 50013-
4TCBPJ GroenkeMini Cooper13-
5TCBPeter SchwartzottMazda 213-
6TCBJim KenzieKia Rio13-

1TCMichael CooperMazda Speed 315-
2TCShea HolbrookHonda Civic Si15-
3TCTom KwokHonda Civic Si15-
4TCMarlin LangeveldtMazda RX-815-
5TCSteve BlethenMazda RX-815-
6TCTodd LambHonda Civic Si13-
7TCRyan WinchesterHonda Civic Si6Mechanical
8TCTristan HerbertVolkswagen GLI4Mechanical
9TCPatrick SeguinVolkswagen GTI1Overheating
10TCJeff AltenburgVolkswagen GLI0Accident
DSQTCGary KwokHonda Civic Si15Disqualified
-TCAnthony RaponeHonda Civic Si0Did Not Start
-TCPeter SchwartzottHonda Civic Si0Did Not Start
-TCFred EmichVolkswagen GLI0Did Not Start
1TCBAndre RaponeHonda Fit14-
2TCBCraig CapaldiFord Fiesta14-
3TCBJonathan StartFiat 50014-
5TCBPeter SchwartzottMazda 214-
4TCBPJ GroenkeMini Cooper14-
6TCBJim KenzieKia Rio13-

1TCGary KwokHonda Civic Si26-
2TCRyan WinchesterHonda Civic Si26-
3TCShea HolbrookHonda Civic Si26-
4TCMichael CooperMazda Speed 326-
5TCFred EmichVolkswagen GLI26-
6TCSteve BlethenMazda RX-825-
7TCMarlin LangeveldtMazda RX-825-
8TCPatrick SeguinVolkswagen GTI23Mechanical
9TCTom KwokHonda Civic Si16Mechanical
10TCTodd LambHonda Civic Si13Mechanical
11TCTristan HerbertVolkswagen GLI0Did Not Start
12TCJeff AltenburgVolkswagen GLI0Did Not Start
1TCBAndre RaponeHonda Fit23-
2TCBJoel LipperiniHonda Fit23-
3TCBJonathan StartFiat 50023-
4TCBPeter SchwartzottMazda 223-
5TCBCraig CapaldiFord Fiesta22-
6TCBJim KenzieKia Rio22-

Copyright Notice:
All content (photographs and text) appearing on this website are the exclusive property of © and are protected under International copyright laws. The subject matter on this website may not be reproduced, copied, stored or manipulated.

© Copyright 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020

Return to home page.