The 2014 World Challenge season was the twenty-fifth consecutive year for the series. There were eleven race weekends – the series kicked-off in March at St. Petersburg, Florida and ended at Miller Motorsports Park in September.

Two new classes were introduced in 2014 – GTA and TCA. There were now three categories for GT and Touring cars:

  • Grand Touring (GT) – This is the series quickest group. Examples of vehicles racing in this class include: Porsche 911 GT3 R, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3, McLaren 12C GT3, Cadillac CTS-V R, Lamborghini Gallardo FL2, Audi R8 and Ferrari 458 GT3.
  • Grand Touring Sportsman (GTA) – This class includes the same vehicles as GT. However, the drivers are not considered professionals. Competitors in this category are evaluated after each event and based on their performance may be elevated to the GT class.
  • Grand Touring Sport (GTS) – The cars in this category are similar to the GT vehicles but have more preparation restrictions. This class includes the Ford Mustang Boss 302, Chevrolet Camaro, Aston Martin GT4 and Porsche Cayman S.
  • Touring Car (TC) – This division is for smaller sedans and sports cars which are permitted some performance modifications. Examples of vehicles competing in this category include: Honda Accord, Kia Forte, Mazda MX-5 and Porsche Boxster.
  • Touring Car A (TCA) – Many of the cars competing in this category are the same as those found in Touring Car. What sets them apart are the minimum amount of modifications that can be made – most changes are to improve the safety of the vehicles.
  • Touring Car B (TCB) - The slowest of all the World Challenge categories is based on the Sports Car Club of America’s B-Spec class. Examples of vehicles competing in this group include: Chevrolet Sonic, Honda Fit, Mazda 2 and Mini Cooper.

During the 2014 season, the GT cars would compete in sixteen fifty-minute races. The Touring Cars had fourteen forty-minute events. Results from these races would determine Driver and Manufacturer Champions in the six classes.

The season ended at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah. Rounds fifteen and sixteen for the GT cars would be held on the fifteen-turn 3.048-mile ‘Outer Course’.

The start of the 2014 season finale. Robert Thorne in the K-PAX Racing McLaren 12C GT3 jumps into the lead and is followed by the Cadillac’s of Johnny O’Connell and Andy Pilgrim. Ryan Dalziel driving the Effort Racing Porsche GT3R, at the extreme left, will drop into second before the first lap is completed.
Guy Smith started from the pole in Saturday’s race but was not very quick getting off the line and dropped to sixth place. However, he fared better than some competitors – the standing start claimed four victims. Smith moved up the order and was second when race leader Robert Thorne made contact with a GTS car. This incident gave Smith the lead and win. In the weekend’s second event, he started first and finished fifth.
The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 of GTA driver Tim Pappas was the second fastest GTA qualifier in round fourteen. Pappas led the first eight laps until he was forced to pit with a mechanical issue this dropped him to last in class. In Sunday’s race, Pappas had better luck and scored his second GTA victory of the season.
Entering the Miller Motorsports rounds, Lawson Aschenbach trailed GTS class leader Mark Wilkins by just two-points. In the first race, Aschenbach’s chance of securing another World Challenge title was greatly enhanced when he finished fourth and Wilkins was a DNF. In the final race of the season, Aschenbach was second in class at the checkered flag. This earned him a second consecutive GTS championship.
It was a disaster for GTS points leader Mark Wilkins in the Kia Optima. Wilkins started on the GTS pole for Saturday’s race but broke a half-shaft on the starting line and was hit by his teammate Nic Jonsson. In the season’s finale, Jonsson led the first seven laps before encountering a half-shaft issue and Wilkins retired with overheating problems. Despite these setbacks, Kia captured the GTS Manufacturer’s Championship.
Marcelo Hahn driving a Lamborghini Gallardo FL2 prepared by Reiter Engineering was the fourth fastest GTA qualifier in Round fifteen and finished second in class. In Sunday’s event, Hahn repeated his performance with another second in the GTA category.
GTA driver, Michael Mills finished ninth overall and first in class during Saturday’s contest. As the category’s points leader, he moved one step closer to securing the title. In the final round of the 2014 season, Mills was third at the checkered flag which allowed him to claim the Sportsman’s Cup for GTA drivers.
In round fifteen, Johnny O’Connell qualified eighth but made a great start which allowed him to battle with Butch Leitzinger in a Bentley for second. O’Connell prevailed and was the runner-up at the checkered flag. Sunday’s results were less impressive but the outcome was more important. O’Connell started from the sixth and finished seventh which was enough to give him his third straight GT Driver’s Championship.
Driving an Aston Martin GT4, Nick Esayian started the event by having his best weekend of the season. Esayian started fourth in GTS but found himself second after the incident with the Kias. Contact on lap-19 for Jack Baldwin, the class leader allowed Esayian to move out front and win by 3.592-seconds. This was his second World Challenge victory, the first being at VIR in 2010. The following day Esayian finished sixth in GTS.
Robert Thorne started from the fourth grid position in round fifteen but after some starting line incidents, he found himself in the lead. Thorne would maintain first place until lap-14 when he made contact with a backmarker and spun. He fell to a sixth place finish. Thorne redeemed himself in the weekend’s second race when he led flag to flag to score the first win for the K-PAX Racing McLaren.
Qualifying second in GTS was Jack Baldwin but he grabbed the class lead after the race one restart. Baldwin maintained first until lap-19 when he made contact with Andy Lee driving a Lamborghini Gallardo. Baldwin recovered and finished second in class. In the final race of the season, he took the lead on lap-9 and went on to score his third GTS victory of the year.
Ryan Dalziel started the Effort Racing Porsche GT3R in the fifth grid position for Saturday’s race. Dalziel retired after just nine laps and finished thirteenth in the GT class. In round fifteen of the 2014 season, he started third but followed race leader Robert Thorne into the first turn. Dalziel pressured Thorne throughout the contest but could not pass – he finished just 0.130-seconds behind the winner.
The World Challenge GT class podium at the 2014 season finale. On the left is second place finisher Ryan Dalziel and the right Andy Pilgrim, who captured third. Between these two is the winner Robert Thorne. After a season of learning the intricacies of the Mclaren, Thorne and the team were able to score K-PAX Racing’s first win with the new car.

1GTGuy SmithBentley Continental GT324-
2GTJohnny O'ConnellCadillac CTS-V R24-
3GTButch LeitzingerBentley Continental GT324-
4GTAndy PilgrimCadillac CTS-V R24-
5GTAnthony LazzaroFerrari 458 GT3 Italia24-
6GTRobert ThorneMcLaren 12C GT324-
7GTAndrew PalmerAudi R8 Ultra24-
8GTAllex FiggeMcLaren 12C GT324-
9GTAMichael MillsPorsche GT3R24-
10GTAndy LeeLamborghini Gallardo FL224-
11GTAMarcello HahnLamborghini Gallardo FL224-
12GTAAlex WelchAudi R8 Ultra24-
13GTAHenrik HedmanFerrari 458 GT324-
14GTAlex LloydChevrolet Corvette24-
15GTAJeff CourtneyAudi R8 Ultra24-
16GTABrent HoldenAudi R8 Ultra24-
17GTADan KnoxDodge Viper SRT GT3-R24-
18GTLouis-Philippe MontourDodge Viper Coupe24-
19GTAWalt BowlinAudi R8 Ultra23-
20GTJames SofronasAudi R8 Ultra15Retirement
21GTRyan DalzielPorsche GT3R9Retirement
22GTATim PappasMercedes AMG SLS GT38Retirement
23GTMike SkeenAudi R8 Ultra5Retirement
24GTSNick EsayianAston Martin GT429-
25GTSJack BaldwinPorsche Cayman S23-
26GTSDrew RegitzAston Martin GT423-
27GTSLawson AschenbachChevrolet Camaro23-
28GTSJack Roush, Jr.Ford Mustang Boss 302R23-
29GTSAlex UdellFord Mustang Boss 302S23-
30GTSMark KleninAston Martin GT423-
31GTSMichael CooperChevrolet Camaro ZL-123-
32GTSMitch LandryFord Mustang Boss 302S23-
33GTSTony GaplesChevrolet Camaro23-
34GTSBrad AdamsFord Mustang Boss 302S22-
35GTSJorge De La TorreAston Martin GT422-
36GTSGeoff ReevesChevrolet Camaro22-
37GTSBuzz McCallPorsche Cayman S22-
38GTSVesko KozarovNissan 370Z16-
39GTSNic JonssonKia Optima5-
40GTSMark WilkinsKia Optima0Crash
41GTSDean MartinFord Mustang Boss 302S0Crash

1GTRobert ThorneMcLaren 12C GT324-
2GTRyan DalzielPorsche GT3R24-
3GTAndy PilgrimCadillac CTS-V R24-
4GTButch LeitzingerBentley Continental GT327-
5GTGuy SmithBentley Continental GT327-
6GTAnthony LazzaroFerrari 458 GT3 Italia27-
7GTJohnny O'ConnellCadillac CTS-V R27-
8GTMike SkeenAudi R8 Ultra27-
9GTAndy LeeLamborghini Gallardo FL227-
10GTAndrew PalmerAudi R8 Ultra27-
11GTJames SofronasAudi R8 Ultra27-
12GTATim PappasMercedes AMG SLS GT327-
13GTAMarcelo HahnLamborghini Gallardo FL227-
14GTAMichael MillsPorsche GT3R27-
15GTAAlex WelchAudi R8 Ultra27-
16GTADan KnowDodge Viper SRT GT3-R27-
17GTAJeff CourtneyAudi R8 Ultra27-
18GTAHenrik HedmanFerrari 458 GT327-
19GTLouis-Philippe MontourDodge Viper Coupe27-
20GTABrent HoldenAudi R8 Ultra26-
21GTAWalt BowlinAudi R8 Ultra26-
22GTAlex LloydChevrolet Corvette24-
23GTAlex FiggeMcLaren 12C GT39Retirement
24GTSJack BaldwinPorsche Cayman S26-
25GTSLawson AschenbachChevrolet Camaro25-
26GTSDrew RegitzAston Martin GT425-
27GTSMichael CooperChevrolet Camaro ZL-125-
28GTSDean MartinFord Mustang Boss 302S25-
29GTSNick EsayianAston Martin GT425-
30GTSJack Roush, Jr.Ford Mustang BossR25-
31GTSMark KleninAston Martin GT425-
32GTSMitch LandryFord Mustang Boss 302S25-
33GTSTony GaplesChevrolet Camaro25-
34GTSBuzz McCallPorsche Cayman S25-
35GTSGeoff ReevesChevrolet Camaro25-
36GTSJorge De La TorreAston Martin GT424-
37GTSVesko KozarovNissan 370Z22-
38GTSBrad AdamsFord Mustang Boss 302S22-
39GTSNic JonssonKia Optima15Retirement
40GTSMark WilkinsKia Optima8Retirement
41GTSAlec UdellFord Mustang Boss 302S7Retirement

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