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.

Round ten of fourteen for the 2013 Pirelli World Challenge Grand Touring and Grand Touring Sport categories was held at Toronto’s Exhibition Place. Competitors would race around the eleven-turn 1.755-mile temporary street circuit as part of the Honda Indy 200 weekend.

The Grand Touring grid stages in the pit lane for round ten of the 2013 Pirelli World Challenge series. On the pole, for the sixth time, this season is Johnny O’Connell, driver of the No. 3 Cadillac Racing Cadillac CTS-V.R. Joining O’Connell on the outside of the front row is Alex Figge in the No. 9 K-PAX Racing Volvo S60. There were ten Grand Touring entries in Toronto, but Tim Bell and Tim Pappas failed to start the race.
The defending Pirelli World Challenge Grand Touring champion, Johnny O’Connell, entered Toronto second in the standings. O’Connell put the No. 3 Cadillac Racing Cadillac CTS-V.R on the pole. He lost the lead to Alex Figge at the start of the contest but passed him on lap-11. O’Connell would maintain the top spot for the next twenty-three-laps and score not only the win but would also grab the points lead.
Two-time series champion, Lawson Aschenbach, had scored three victories in the Grand Touring Sport division before the series made its stop in Toronto. However, the driver of the No. 10 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro was only third in the standings due to a couple of bad results. Aschenbach qualified on the class pole and would lead the race flag-to-flag. He was still third in the title chase but closed the gap.
The second Cadillac entry was driven by Andy Pilgrim. Pilgrim, who was the 2005 Pirelli World Challenge Grand Touring champion, drove the No. 8 Cadillac CTS-V.R. He was fourth fastest in the qualifying session. During the race, Pilgrim moved up the order when Alex Figge spun in turn six and James Sofronas developed an issue. He chased his teammate, Johnny O’Connell and finished second by a margin of 0.479-seconds.
Andy Lee was always a threat to grab the Grand Touring Sport class pole. Unfortunately, this performance did not always transfer to his race results. Prior to Toronto, Lee had four pole positions and one victory, but two finishes outside the top-twenty. Round ten would prove to be one of his better events. Lee started and finished second in the No. 20 Best IT / Bondurant sponsored Chevrolet Camaro.
The 2013 Pirelli World Challenge Grand Touring class podium for round ten at Toronto’s Exhibition Place. In the center from Cadillac Racing is the winner and new Grand Touring points leader, Johnny O’Connell. Standing on the left side of the rostrum is O’Connell’s teammate and the runner-up, Andy Pilgrim. Completing the podium is Mike Skeen, who finished in the third-place.
The Grand Touring Sport grid lines up in the pit lane for round ten of the Pirelli World Challenge series at Toronto’s Exhibition Place. Starting on the class pole for the third time this season is the No. 10 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro of Lawson Aschenbach. Gridded second is Andy Lee, the driver of the No. 20 Best IT / Bondurant sponsored Chevrolet Camaro. This was Lee’s eighth front row start of the season.
The Grand Touring Sport points leader after nine rounds was Jack Baldwin. With the exception of one race, all of Baldwin’s finishes were on the podium. In Toronto, he was gridded third in the No. 73 Porsche Cayman S after Peter Cunningham was unable to start. A miscue at the beginning of the contest forced Baldwin to drive through the field. A last-lap pass on Mark Wilkins resulted in a third-place finish.
Rounds eight and nine of the 2013 Pirelli World Challenge series were held a week earlier at Lime Rock Park. Mike Skeen, the driver of the No. 2 Hawk Performance Chevrolet Corvette, won the first race of the weekend at Lime Rock. Skeen was gridded fifth for the start of the contest in Toronto. He benefitted from the troubles experienced by Alex Figge and James Sofronas to capture the final position of the class podium.
Kia Motors America entered two Kia Optima in the 2013 Pirelli World Challenge series. The No. 38 Optima was piloted by local favourite, Mark Wilkins. Wilkins found himself second in the Grand Touring Sport title chase after nine rounds. In the qualifying session at Toronto, he was a disappointing sixth fastest. Wilkins moved into third place during the race, but lost the spot to Jack Baldwin on the final lap and finished fourth.
Alex Figge drove the No. 9 K-PAX Racing Volvo S60. Figge opened the season at the Grand Prix of Saint Petersburg with a pole and victory. Since that event, his best result was a sixth-place finish at Detroit’s Belle Isle. In Toronto, Figge was the second-fastest qualifier. He used the all-wheel-drive advantage of the Volvo and jumped into the lead. Unfortunately, Figge never recovered from a lap-11 spin and finished eighth.
The round ten Grand Touring Sport podium for the 2013 Pirelli World Challenge series at Toronto’s Exhibition Place. Standing in the center and scoring his fourth victory of the year is Blackdog Speed Shop’s Lawson Aschenbach. On the left side of the rostrum is the runner-up, Andy Lee. Making his ninth podium visit in ten starts is the points leader and third-place finisher, Jack Baldwin.

11GTJohnny O'ConnellCadillac CTS-V.R34
24GTAndy PilgrimCadillac CTS-V.R34
35GTMike SkeenChevrolet Corvette34
43GTJames SofronasAudi R8 LMS34
59GTRandy PobstVolvo S6034
66GTDuncan EndeAudi R8 LMS34
77GTFred RobertsDodge Viper Competition Coupe33
82GTAlex FiggeVolvo S6032
98GTTim BellNissan GTRDid Not Start
1024GTTim PappasMercedes-Benz AMG SLS GT3Did Not Start
110GTSLawson AschenbachChevrolet Camaro32
211GTSAndy LeeChevrolet Camaro32
313GTSJack BaldwinPorsche Cayman S32
415GTSMark WilkinsKia Optima31
519GTSRoger RodasFord Mustang Boss 302S31
620GTSBrad AdamsFord Mustang Boss 302S31
721GTSTony GaplesChevrolet Camaro31
818GTSNick EsayianAcura TSX31
922GTSArdee ToppeFord Mustang Boss 30231
1023GTSBuz McCallPorsche Cayman S30
1114GTSNic JonssonKia Optima18
1216GTSErik DavisFord Mustang Boss 302S10
1317GTSAlec UdellFord Mustang Boss 302R1
1412GTSPeter CunninghamAcura TSXDid Not Start
1525GTSRic BusheyNissan 370ZDid Not Start

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