In 2013, the Pirelli World Challenge Championship kicked off its twenty-fourth consecutive season at St. Petersburg, Florida, in March as a support event for the IndyCar series. The season ended the first weekend in October at the Grand Prix of Houston. In between these two events, there were races at Long Beach, Circuit of the Americas, Detroit, Lime Rock, Toronto, Mid-Ohio and Sonoma Raceway.

The series launched the Touring Car B-Spec category in 2012 and it was proving popular as entries were showing strong growth. There were four classes this season:

  • Grand Touring (GT) – This group includes the series quickest cars: Porsche 911 GT3, Chevrolet Corvette, Dodge Viper, Cadillac CTS-V.R, Nissan GTR, Audi R8 LMS and Volvo S60. The preparation rules remain unchanged from the previous year. These vehicles produce 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 category is a mix of cars that could 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 S, Chevrolet Camaro, Kia Optima and Acura TSX.
  • Touring Car (TC) – The preparation of the Touring Cars is closely aligned with the Grand-Am Cup and the Sports Car Club of America’s Improved Touring classes. The wide range of vehicles homologated for this category means that power output ranges from 180 to 260-horsepower. Also, there is significant variation in drivetrain configurations – front-wheel, rear-wheel and all-wheel drive. Makes competing in the category include the 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 are limited to performance spring and shock packages offered by the manufacturers. Makes competing in TCB are the Kia Rio, Honda Fit, Mazda 2, Fiat 500 and Mini Cooper.

Rounds six and seven of the 2013 Pirelli World Challenge series for Grand Touring and Grand Touring Sport competitors were conducted at Detroit’s Belle Isle. Drivers would race in two fifty-minute contests around the fourteen-turn 2.350-mile temporary street circuit.

The Touring Cars did not compete at this venue.

The front row of the Grand Touring grid for round seven of the 2013 Pirelli World Challenge Championship at Detroit’s Belle Isle. On the pole is the Global Motorsports Group prepared Audi R8 LMS of James Sofronas. Next to Sofronas is Saturday’s second-place finisher, Randy Pobst, driving the No. 6 K-PAX Racing Volvo S60. Behind the leaders are the Cadillac teammates, Johnny O’Connell and Andy Pilgrim.
Last season Johnny O’Connell swept both races at Belle Isle. The driver of the No. 3 Cadillac Racing Cadillac CTS-V.R qualified on the pole and led round six flag-to-flag for his second victory of the year. In the second race of the weekend, O’Connell was gridded third. He moved into second place early in the contest and caught the leader, Randy Pobst. O’Connell was unable to challenge for the win as the event ended under caution.
Race one for the Grand Touring Sport competitors belonged to Mark Wilkins. Wilkins qualified on the class pole driving the No. 38 Kia Motors America Kia Optima and led the twenty-five-lap contest flag-to-flag for his first victory of the season. He was gridded sixth for round seven. Wilkins moved up the race order and cleared the incident on the lap-21 restart to capture a runner-up finish.
The driver of the No. 6 K-PAX Racing Volvo S60, Randy Pobst, qualified on the outside of the front row for the weekend’s first contest in Detroit. With rain forecasted, the team set-up the Volvo for wet conditions. The damp weather failed to materialize and Pobst could not take advantage of the car’s all-wheel-drive and finished second. The next day, he started second and led flag-to-flag for his first win of the year.
Dean Martin made his series debut in this year’s Pirelli World Challenge Cadillac V-Series Challenge at Belle Isle. Martin qualified fifth fastest in Grand Touring Sport for round six and finished in fourth place. On Sunday, he was gridded eighth but moved up the race order. On the restart for the event’s final caution, an incident allowed the driver of the No. 50 Ford Mustang Boss 302S to capture first in class and the victory.
The round seven 2013 Pirelli World Challenge podium for the Grand Touring category at Detroit’s Belle Isle. In the center from K-PAX Racing and scoring his first victory of the season is Randy Pobst. On the right side of the rostrum is the defending class champion Johnny O’Connell. Completing the podium is the third-place finisher and current points leader, James Sofronas.
The Pirelli World Challenge Grand Touring championship leader entering round six was Jack Baldwin. The 1992 Trans-Am title holder drove the No. 73 Porsche Cayman S and qualified in second in class for Saturday’s contest. He chased the eventual winner, Mark Wilkins and finished in the runner-up spot. In the weekend’s finale, Baldwin started second and for the first time the season, he finished off the rostrum in fifth-place.
It was a weekend of mixed results for the 2005 Pirelli World Challenge Grand Touring champion, Andy Pilgrim. Pilgrim was fourth fastest in the qualifying session for round six. Piloting the No. 8 Cadillac Racing Cadillac CTS-V.R, he passed James Sofronas on the races first restart and held the position. On Sunday, Pilgrim was gridded fourth, but contact in corner three ended his day and he finished in eighth place.
Two-time series champion, Lawson Aschenbach, joined Blackdog Speed Shop to campaign a Chevrolet Camaro in the Grand Touring Sport category. Entering round six in Detroit, Aschenbach had victories at Long Beach and COTA but was second in the standings. In the weekend’s first race, he moved from ninth on the grid to a third-place finish. During round seven, Aschenbach moved into the lead but faded to eighth-place result.
Global Motorsports Group driver, James Sofronas, entered the weekend at Belle Isle with four victories and the Grand Touring points lead. Competing in the No. 14 Audi R8 LMS, he started the weekend’s first race gridded third but could not hold off a challenge from Andy Pilgrim. This was the first time in 2013, Sofronas did not finish on the podium. He started on the pole for round seven and claimed the final spot on the rostrum.
Before round seven, Alec Udell’s best result was a fifth-place in the second race at Circuit of the Americas. Udell was the sixth fastest Grand Touring Sport driver in qualifying for race six and finished in that position. In the final contest at Belle Isle, the driver of the No. 17 Ford Mustang Boss 302R fared much better. Udell started ninth in class, but he moved to a third-place finish during the confusion on the final restart.
The round seven 2013 Pirelli World Challenge podium for the Grand Touring Sport category at Detroit’s Belle Isle. In the center is the winner, Dean Martin. This was the local competitor’s second start in the series. On the right side of the rostrum is Saturday’s victor and the runner-up in the weekend’s final contest, Mark Wilkins. Occupying the final spot on the podium and recording his best result of the year is Alec Udell.

11GTJohnny O'ConnellCadillac CTS-V.R25
22GTRandy PobstVolvo S6025
34GTAndy PilgrimCadillac CTS-V.R25
43GTJames SofronasAudi R8 LMS25
58GTTim PappasMercedes-Benz AMG SLS GT325
69GTTomy DrissiPorsche 911 GT325
77GTDuncan EndeAudi R825
86GTMike SkeenNissan GTR21
95GTAlex FiggeVolvo S6011
11GTSMark WilkinsKia Optima25
22GTSJack BaldwinPorsche Cayman S25
39GTSLawson AschenbachChevrolet Camaro25
45GTSDean MartinFord Mustang Boss 302S25
58GTSAndy LeeChevrolet Camaro25
66GTSAlec UdellFord Mustang Boss 302R25
77GTSDane MoxlowFord Mustang Boss 302S25
810GTSHarry CurtinChevrolet Camaro25
911GTSNick EsayianAcura TSX25
1012GTSRic BusheyNissan 370Z25
1118GTSErik DavisFord Mustang Boss 302S25
1216GTSBrad AdamsFord Mustang Boss 302S25
1324GTSRoger MillerFord Mustang Boss 302S25
1423GTSTony GaplesChevrolet Camaro25
1513GTSRoger RodasFord Mustang Boss 302S25
1615GTSTodd NapieralskiChevrolet Camaro24
1721GTSBuz McCallPorsche Cayman S24
1820GTSJim TaggartLotus Exige23
1919GTSArdee ToppeFord Mustang Boss18
2017GTSBrian KleemanNissan 370Z18
2114GTSCraig CapaldiFord Mustang Boss 30217
223GTSPeter CunninghamAcura TSX11
2325GTSRichard GolinelloFord Mustang 302S3
244GTSNic JonssonKia Optima0
2522GTSBill ZieglerPontiac Solstice0

12GTRandy PobstVolvo S6022
23GTJohnny O'ConnellCadillac CTS-V.R22
31GTJames SofronasAudi R8 LMS22
45GTDuncan EndeAudi R822
59GTTim PappasMercedes-Benz AMG SLS GT322
66GTAlex FiggeVolvo S6022
77GTTomy DrissiPorsche 911 GT321
84GTAndy PilgrimCadillac CTS-V.R20
98GTMike SkeenNissan GTR6
18GTSDean MartinFord Mustang Boss 302S22
26GTSMark WilkinsKia Optima22
39GTSAlec UdellFord Mustang Boss 302R22
44GTSPeter CunninghamAcura TSX22
52GTSJack BaldwinPorsche Cayman S22
614GTSJim TaggartLotus Exige22
713GTSBrad AdamsFord Mustang Boss 302S22
83GTSLawson AschenbachChevrolet Camaro22
921GTSRoger RodasFord Mustang Boss 302S22
1019GTSTodd NapieralskiChevrolet Camaro22
1118GTSArdee ToppeFord Mustang Boss22
1216GTSRoger MillerFord Mustang Boss 302S22
1324GTSBill ZieglerPontiac Solstice22
1423GTSBuz McCallPorsche Cayman S22
155GTSDane MoxlowFord Mustang Boss 302S14
167GTSNick EsayianAcura TSX14
1710GTSCraig CapaldiFord Mustang Boss 30214
1812GTSRichard GolinelloFord Mustang 302S14
1920GTSHarry CurtinChevrolet Camaro14
2015GTSRic BusheyNissan 370Z11
2111GTSTony GaplesChevrolet Camaro8
2222GTSErik DavisFord Mustang Boss 302S8
231GTSAndy LeeChevrolet Camaro4
2417GTSBrian KleemanNissan 370Z1
2525GTSNic JonssonKia Optima0

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