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 seven and eight of the 2013 Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car and Touring Car B categories was held at Toronto’s Exhibition Place. Competitors would race in two twenty-minute contests around the eleven-turn 1.755-mile temporary street circuit.

The Touring Car grid stages in the pit lane for the first race of the weekend – round seven of the 2013 Pirelli World Challenge series. On the pole, for the second time this season, is Michael Cooper in the No. 1 Atlanta Motorsports Group Mazda Mazdaspeed 3. Sharing the front row with Cooper is a local competitor and Canadian Touring Car Championship driver, Tom Kwok. Kwok drove the No. 89 Honda Civic Si.
Michael Cooper, the reigning class champion, drove the No. 1 Atlanta Motorsports Group prepared Mazda Mazdaspeed 3. The weekend at Toronto’s Exhibition Place couldn’t have better for Cooper. He started rounds eight and nine on the pole and led flag-to-flag. The victories were the seventh and eighth of his Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car career. Last season, Cooper won six of fourteen Touring Car races.
Three-time amateur SCCA national champion, Joel Lipperini, brought his racing talents to the 2013 Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car B class. Lipperini won the previous event at Lime Rock, driving the No. 81 RaceLabz Honda Fit. He inherited the pole for round seven, when Ernie Francis, Jr was disqualified and led the race flag-to-flag. In the finale, Lipperini lost first place on lap-10 and finished second to Francis, Jr.
Piloting the No. 72 Compass360 Racing Honda Civic Si was the current points leader, Ryan Winchester. Winchester qualified third for race one and earned the Optima Best Standing Start and Cadillac Move of the Race awards. But, he could not pass Michael Cooper and captured the runner-up spot. In round eight, Winchester started second and finished third. More importantly, he increased his points lead over Brett Sandberg.
The round seven podium for the 2013 Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car category at Toronto’s Exhibition Place. In the center is the 2012 class champion and winner, Michael Cooper. Standing on the left side of the rostrum from Compass360 Racing is the current points leader and runner-up finisher, Ryan Winchester. Completing the podium and finishing in third place is the local driver, Tom Kwok.
The Touring Car B grid lines up in the pit lane for round seven of the 2013 Pirelli World Challenge series at Toronto’s Exhibition Place. On the pole is Joel Lipperini in the No. 81 RaceLabz / Raceshopper Honda Fit. Lipperini inherited the top spot when the Mazda 2 of Ernie Francis, Jr. failed the post-qualifying technical inspection. On the outside of the front row is the No. 37 MINI USA Mini Cooper, driven by Robbie Davis.
Ernie Francis, Jr. swept the opening rounds of the series at Circuit of the Americas and led the Touring Car B standings entering Toronto. Francis, Jr. was the fastest qualifier for round seven, however the No. 98 Mazda 2 failed the technical inspection and he would start at the rear. Francis charged through the field and finished second. In race two, a lap-10 pass gave him the victory and he was able to retain the points lead.
Local driver Tom Kwok used his experience in the Canadian Touring Car Championship and knowledge of the Toronto circuit to qualify second for round seven of the Pirelli World Challenge series. In the first race of the weekend, Kwok battled with Ryan Winchester and finished third. He fared better in round eight and moved the No. 89 M&S Honda Civic Si into second place early in the contest and was able to hold the position.
Second in the Touring Car B standings entering rounds seven and eight at Toronto was the driver of the No. 37 MINI USA Mini Cooper, Robbie Davis. Davis won races four and five at Lime Rock Park. He qualified third for the weekend’s contest but was elevated to second after a disqualification. Davis slipped down the order and finished fifth in round seven. In race two, he redeemed himself with a runner-up result.
The second driver on the Breathless Performance team was Ernie Francis, Sr. Senior drove the No. 2 Hydraulic Jeans sponsored Mazda 2. His best finish to date was a third place in the opening round at Circuit of the Americas. Francis, Sr qualified fifth for the weekend’s first race in Toronto and equaled his best race result of the season. In round eight, he was gridded third and finished fourth in the Touring Car B category.
The round seven podium for the Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car B category at Toronto’s Exhibition Place. In the center is the winner, Joel Lipperini. On the left side of the rostrum is the runner up, Ernie Francis, Jr. Francis, Jr started the weekend’s first contest at the back of the grid. His drive through the field earned him the Invisible Glass Clean Pass award. The final position on the podium belongs to Ernie Francis, Sr.

11TCMichael CooperMazda 312
23TCRyan WinchesterHonda Civic Si12
32TCTom KwokHonda Civic Si12
48TCGary KwokHonda Civic Si12
56TCJon MillerHonda Civic Si12
610TCAlain LauziereMini Cooper S12
77TCDamon SharpeHonda Civic Si12
89TCJonathan YoungHonda Civic Si12
94TCRemo RuscittiHonda Civic Si12
105TCBrett SandbergHonda Civic Si3
1111TCNick EsayianHonda Civic Si0
112TCBJoel LipperiniHonda Fit12
222TCBErnie Francis Jr.Mazda 212
316TCBErnie FrancisMazda 212
414TCBDavid AlejandroMazda 212
513TCBRobbie DavisMini Cooper12
617TCBShea HolbrookHonda Fit12
715TCBPJ GroenkeHonda Fit12
818TCBChris CapaldiFord Fiesta12
919TCBJim ClevelandFiat 50012
1020TCBFernando SeferlisHonda Fit12
1121TCBJack MurrayFiat 50012
1223TCBBrian FowlerFord Fiesta12

11TCMichael CooperMazda 313
23TCTom KwokHonda Civic Si13
32TCRyan WinchesterHonda Civic Si13
45TCJon MillerHonda Civic Si13
59TCRemo RuscittiHonda Civic Si13
67TCDamon SharpeHonda Civic Si13
76TCAlain LauziereMini Cooper S6
810TCNick EsayianHonda Civic Si0
94TCGary KwokHonda Civic Si0
108TCJonathan YoungHonda Civic Si0
1123TCBrett SandbergHonda Civic Si0
112TCBErnie Francis Jr.Mazda 213
215TCBRobbie DavisMini Cooper13
311TCBJoel LipperiniHonda Fit13
413TCBErnie FrancisMazda 213
517TCBPJ GroenkeHonda Fit13
614TCBDavid AlejandroMazda 213
718TCBChris CapaldiFord Fiesta13
816TCBShea HolbrookHonda Fit13
921TCBJack MurrayFiat 50012
1020TCBFernando SeferlisHonda Fit12
1119TCBJim ClevelandFiat 5009
1222TCBBrian FowlerFord Fiesta5

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