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 eleven and twelve of the 2013 Pirelli World Challenge series for the Touring Car and Touring Car B competitors were held at Sonoma Raceway. Two twenty-five-minute races were conducted on the twelve-turn road course.

The first lap of round eleven for the Touring Car category at Sonoma Raceway. Leading the field of ten competitors into corner two is the pole-sitter, Ryan Winchester, in the No. 72 Compass360 Racing Honda Civic Si. Behind Winchester are his teammates. The second fastest qualifier, Brett Sandberg, in the No. 70 Civic and the No. 71 Honda of the third-place starter, Remo Ruscitti.
The Touring Car points leader, Ryan Winchester, entered round eleven at Sonoma Raceway with two victories at Circuit of the Americas and a win a Lime Rock Park. Winchester’s record also included finishing on the podium in all but one event. He would fend off challenges from his teammate, Brett Sandberg, to claim two pole positions and a pair of first-place finishes in races eleven and twelve.
Ernie Francis, Jr was the Touring Car B championship leader. Despite failing to start round five at Lime Rock Park, Francis, Jr had five victories. Like Winchester, he left Sonoma Raceway with two more first-place finishes. However, the first win of the weekend was accomplished with an aggressive last-lap pass. Francis, Jr’s victory in round twelve was much more comfortable as he went unchallenged and led flag-to-flag.
The second Compass360 Racing entry was the No. 70 Honda Civic Si driven by Brett Sandberg. On the merit of a win at Circuit of the Americas and two victories at Lime Rock Park, Sandberg was second in the Touring Car title chase. He started rounds eleven and twelve at Sonoma Raceway beside his teammate and the points leader, Ryan Winchester. In both contests, Sandberg followed Winchester to the checkered flag.
Entering rounds eleven and twelve at Sonoma Raceway, Robbie Davis was second in the Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car B standings. Davis, driving the No. 37 MINI USA sponsored Mini Cooper, qualified on the pole for the weekend’s first race. He led until the last-lap until Ernie Francis, Jr forced his way by and dropped him to second place. In the final contest, Davis could only manage a fourth-place finish.
Round eleven or twelve at Sonoma Raceway, it doesn’t matter, the Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car podium looked identical for both contests. In the center is the winner of both races and points leader, Ryan Winchester. On the right side of the rostrum is the second member of the Compass360 Racing team and the runner-up, Brett Sandberg. Occupying the final position on the podium is Compass360’s Remo Ruscitti.
The first lap of round twelve for the 2013 World Challenge Touring Car B category. Leading the field through corner two is the No. 98 Breathless Performance Mazda 2 of the pole-sitter, Ernie Francis, Jr. Directly behind Francis, Jr is the fourth place starter, Joel Lipperini, driving the No. 81 RaceLabz Honda Fit. On the outside of the turn is the No. 24 Mini Cooper of Tyler Palmer, who was gridded in third-place.
Sharing the No. 24 Mini Cooper was Tyler Palmer and the car owner, Scott Kuhne. Kuhne competed in the first three rounds and Palmer joined the series at Lime Rock Park, where he landed on the podium. In round eleven at Sonoma, Palmer qualified and finished third. His drive in race two earned him a runner-up result. For his effort, Palmer was awarded the Optima Best Standing Start and Cadillac Move of the Race.
The final member of the Compass360 team competing at Sonoma Raceway was Canadian Remo Ruscitti. Ruscitti was third fastest in the qualifying session for race one. He moved into second during the contest but would finish third after he was passed on lap-8 by his teammate, Brett Sandberg. In the finale, Ruscitti started third, but dropped to fourth but passed Fred Emich on the last lap for another podium result.
Touring Car B championship contender, Joel Lipperini, was a regular visitor to the podium since his first win in round six at Lime Rock Park. Driving the No. 81 SpeedLabz Honda Fit, Lipperini qualified fifth for the weekend’s first event at Sonoma Raceway and inherited fourth when PJ Groenke was disqualified. In round twelve, he started fourth and held on to finish third, despite a challenge from Robbie Davis.
The round eleven Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car B podium at Sonoma Raceway. In the center and claiming the victory after a wild last-lap pass is the class points leader, Ernie Francis, Jr. On the right side of the rostrum is the other title contender and runner-up, Robbie Davis. Occupying the last position on the podium is the third-place finisher, Tyler Palmer.

11TCRyan WinchesterHonda Civic Si12
22TCBrett SandbergHonda Civic Si12
33TCRemo RuscittiHonda Civic Si12
46TCFred EmichVolkswagen Jetta GLI12
57TCSarah CattaneoHonda Civic Si12
64TCJon MillerHonda Civic Si12
78TCClark ToppeKia Forte Koup12
810TCTom LepperHonda Civic Si11
95TCMichael CooperMazda 39
109TCBrad AdamsMazda MX-59
1111TCKen DobsonFiat Abarth0
113TCBErnie Francis Jr.Mazda 212
212TCBRobbie DavisMini Cooper12
314TCBTyler PalmerMini Cooper12
416TCBJoel LipperiniHonda Fit12
521TCBErnie FrancisMazda 212
620TCBDavid AlejandroMazda 212
719TCBJohan SchwartzHonda Fit11
817TCBKyle KeenanKia Rio11
924TCBSage MarieHonda Fit11
1022TCBHarry CheungHonda Fit11
1123TCBChris CapaldiFord Fiesta11
1226TCBAndrei KiselMini Cooper11
1328TCBJack MurrayFiat 50011
1429TCBFernando SeferlisHonda Fit11
1530TCBJim ClevelandFiat 50011
1625TCBMichael AshbyHonda Fit11
1727TCBBrian FowlerFord Fiesta0
DSQ18TCBShea HolbrookHonda Fit12
DSQ15TCBPJ GroenkeHonda Fit12

11TCRyan WinchesterHonda Civic Si14
22TCBrett SandbergHonda Civic Si14
33TCRemo RuscittiHonda Civic Si14
44TCFred EmichVolkswagen Jetta GLI14
55TCSarah CattaneoHonda Civic Si14
66TCJon MillerHonda Civic Si14
77TCClark ToppeKia Forte Koup14
88TCTom LepperHonda Civic Si12
99TCMichael CooperMazda 30
1010TCBrad AdamsMazda MX-50
1111TCKen DobsonFiat Abarth0
112TCBErnie Francis Jr.Mazda 213
214TCBTyler PalmerMini Cooper13
315TCBJoel LipperiniHonda Fit13
413TCBRobbie DavisMini Cooper13
518TCBErnie FrancisMazda 213
619TCBDavid AlejandroMazda 213
723TCBHarry CheungHonda Fit13
822TCBSage MarieHonda Fit13
924TCBChris CapaldiFord Fiesta13
1020TCBChase PelletierHonda Fit13
1125TCBAndrei KiselMini Cooper13
1221TCBKyle KeenanKia Rio13
1327TCBFernando SeferlisHonda Fit12
1426TCBJack MurrayFiat 50012
1529TCBJohn McCarthyHonda Fit12
1628TCBJim ClevelandFiat 50011
DSQ16TCBShea HolbrookHonda Fit13
DSQ17TCBPJ GroenkeHonda Fit13
DNS30TCBBrian FowlerFord Fiesta0

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