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.

A new class was introduced in 2014 – 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.

Sonoma was the second last race weekend of the 2014 season for the GT classes and many of the Driver and Manufacturer titles were yet to be decided.

Race morning, the area suffered a 6.1-magnitude earthquake. But the 2.385-mile, 12-turn facility was not damaged and the events took place as scheduled.

Saturday afternoon and forty-three GT and GTS competitors sit on the grid waiting for the start of round thirteen. On the pole is Mike Skeen driving the Hawk Performance Audi R8 Ultra. Starting second and third on the grid are the Bentley Continentals of teammates Butch Leitzinger and Guy Smith. Fourth-fastest qualifier was the Remo Ferri Motorsports Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia driven by Anthony Lazzaro.
Round thirteen was a near perfect race for Mike Skeen. Skeen started from the pole position and led flag to flag to win by 4.110-seconds. The only stat he did could not lay claim to was the fastest race lap. The win was Skeen’s third of the 2014 season. During Sunday’s event, Skeen got locked in a battle for fourth with Johnny O’Connell. On lap-21, he got a flat tire and pitted which dropped him to a nineteenth place finish.
Lawson Aschenbach was the second fastest GTS qualifier in round thirteen. The driver of the Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro held this position during the race and finished 1.956-seconds behind the class winner Jack Baldwin. The following day Aschenbach jumped into the class lead after GTS pole-sitter Jack Baldwin was delayed by a stalled GT competitor. The Chevy driver was able to hold off a hard-charging Baldwin and won the GTS category by 1.471-seconds.
GT category point’s leader Johnny O’Connell qualified tenth for Saturday’s event. During the race, O’Connell moved up the order and was fifth at the checkered flag – which was the most positions gained in the GT class. In round fourteen, O’Connell battled with the previous day’s winner Mike Skeen. The two fought for position until lap-21 when Skeen pitted with a flat tire. O’Connell finished eighth and retained his lead in the driver’s championship.
The No. 31 Effort Racing Porsche GT3R was driven by Ryan Dalziel. Dalziel started from the sixth grid position in round thirteen. He made an excellent start and by the end of the first lap was in second place. Despite pressure from Butch Leitzinger, Dalziel held on to finish second. The following day Dalziel repeated his performance – starting in sixth and taking the runner-up spot at the checkered flag.
Butch Leitzinger drove one of two Bentley Continental GT3s entered by Bentley and maintained by Dyson Racing. In the weekend’s first event Leitzinger qualified second but was passed at the start. He ran in fourth place until lap-7 when he passed Anthony Lazzaro. Leitzinger held the position and earned the final spot on the podium. A poor start on Sunday forced Leitzinger to work his way through the field and by the end of the race he had moved up to fifth.
Ryan Dalziel’s teammate was Michael Mills who competed in the GTA division for sportsman drivers. Mills qualified fourteen overall and second in class for round thirteen. He dropped to eighth at the start but moved up the race order and with the demise of the class leader, Albert von Thurn und Taxis, took the category victory. On Sunday, Mills finished twelfth overall and fourth in class – he left Sonoma with the points lead still intact.
Saturday’s GTS podium. In the center is Jack Baldwin who piloted the RESET-MD Porsche Cayman S to the class victory. To Baldwin’s right is second place finisher Lawson Aschenbach who kept the pressure on Baldwin but was unable to pass. The final spot on the podium belonged to Joey Atterbury. This was Atterbury’s best performance of the 2014 Pirelli World Challenge season.
Anthony Lazarro qualified fourth in round thirteen driving the Remo Ferri Motorsports entered Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia. At the start, Lazarro moved to third but was passed on lap-7 by Butch Leitzinger. The next circuit it was evident that something was wrong with the car and he limped back to the pits with a flat tire. Sunday proved much better for Lazarro as he took the lead on the first lap and won by 2.519-seconds.
Round thirteen was a ‘clean sweep’ for Jack Baldwin. Baldwin the driver of the No. 73 Porsche Cayman S started from the GTS pole position, led every lap to take the class victory and set a new lap record in the process. In Sunday’s race, Baldwin was on the pole but he fell to fifth while avoiding a GT competitor that stalled on the starting line. During the weekend’s final event he set the fastest race lap on the way to a second place finish.
In the first event of the weekend, Andy Lee qualified thirty-first overall and seventh in the GTS group. During the race, he made some progress and finished sixth in class. Lee fared much better on Sunday. He was able to capitalize on Jack Baldwin’s misfortune and moved up nine positions on the first lap to earn the ‘Optima Batteries Best Standing Start’ award. At the checkered flag, he was third in class.
Joey Atterbury was competing in his first season of Pirelli World Challenge competition. Atterbury brought a wealth of experience obtained in the Grand Am’s Continental series. Driving the Capaldi Racing Ford Mustang Boss 302S, he finished third in Saturday’s GTS race. Gridded third in class for round fourteen he dropped a few positions during the race and finished fifth.
Qualifying fifth overall and in the GT category for Saturday’s race was K-PAX driver Robert Thorne. Thorne dropped down the order and finished tenth in his McLaren 12C GT3 – he had the consolation of being one of six drivers to break the previous lap record. In round fourteen, Thorne redeemed himself – he started from the third spot on the grid and remained in that position all the way to the checkered flag.
Canadian, Mark Wilkins was the GTS point’s leader entering the Sonoma event. In race one, Wilkins driving the Kia Optima started third in class and finished fourth. He produced the same results in round fourteen – fourth in GTS. On the basis of consistency, he maintained the points lead but Baldwin and Aschenbach narrowed the gap.
Driving the No. 88 Bentley Continental GT3 was Guy Smith. Smith qualified third behind his teammate Butch Leitzinger for the weekend’s first event. On the first lap, Smith spun and dropped to the back of the field. He put on a charge that took him to a ninth place finish and in the process set the fastest race lap. Smith’s lap time from the previous day gave him the pole for Sunday’s race but he had a poor start and finished sixteenth.
In qualifying for round thirteen, Albert von Thurn und Taxis was the quickest GTA competitor and started from the eleventh grid position. Unfortunately, von Thurn und Taxis pulled the Reiter Engineering Lamborghini Gallardo FL2 off course at corner three on lap-21 and retired. For Sunday’s event, the mechanical issues were corrected and he finished seventh overall and scored his first class victory.
Saturday’s GT podium. In the center is the driver of the Hawk Performance Audi R8 Ultra and race winner Mike Skeen. To Skeen’s right is second place finisher Ryan Dalziel earning his third podium in three 2016 Pirelli World Challenge starts. In his debut at Mid-Ohio, he scored two victories. And, rounding out the top three is Bentley competitor Butch Leitzinger.

1GTMike SkeenAudi R8 Ultra26-
2GTRyan DalzielPorsche GT3R26-
3GTButch LeitzingerBentley Continental GT326-
4GTAndrew PalmerAudi R8 Ultra26-
5GTJohnny O'ConnellCadillac CTS-V R26-
6GTMike HedlundFerrari 458 GT3 Italia26-
7GTJames SofronasAudi R8 Ultra26-
8GTAndy PilgrimCadillac CTS-V R26-
9GTGuy SmithBentley Continental GT326-
10GTRobert ThorneMcLaren 12C GT326-
11GTAMichael MillsPorsche GT3R26-
12GTAJeff CourtneyAudi R8 Ultra26-
13GTAMarcelo HahnLamborghini Gallardo FL226-
14GTABrent HoldenAudi R8 Ultra26-
15GTADan KnoxDodge Viper SRT GT3-R26-
16GTAChristina NielsenAston Martin GT326-
17GTABill ZieglerAudi R8 Ultra26-
18GTAHenrik HedmanFerrari 458 GT325-
19GTAlex FiggeMcLaren 12C GT325-
20GTAAlbert von Thurn und TaxisLamborghini Gallardo FL221Mechanical
21GTAnthony LazzaroFerrari 458 GT3 Italia19Mechanical
22GTPeter CunninghamAcura TLX-GT0Mechanical
23GTSJack BaldwinPorsche Cayman S25-
24GTSLawson AschenbachChevrolet Camaro25-
25GTSJoey AtterburyFord Mustang Boss 302S25-
26GTSMark WilkinsKia Optima25-
27GTSAlec UdellFord Mustang Boss 302S25-
28GTSAndy LeeChevrolet Camaro25-
29GTSTony GaplesChevrolet Camaro25-
30GTSJack Roush Jr.Ford Mustang Boss 302R25-
31GTSMitch LandryFord Mustang Boss 302S25-
32GTSNick EsayianAston Martin GT425-
33GTSErik DavisFord Mustang Boss 302S25-
34GTSDrew RegitzAston Martin GT424-
35GTSDerek DeBoerAston Martin GT424-
36GTSBrian KleemanNissan 370Z24-
37GTSGeoff ReevesChevrolet Camaro24-
38GTSBuzz McCallPorsche Cayman S24-
39GTSJorge De La TorreAston Martin GT422-
40GTSBrad AdamsFord Mustang Boss 302S15Mechanical
41GTSNic JonssonKia Optima10Mechanical
42GTSDean MartinFord Mustang Boss 302S0Accident
43GTSSantiago CreelAston Martin GT40Accident

1GTAnthony LazzaroFerrari 458 GT3 Italia25-
2GTRyan DalzielPorsche GT3R25-
3GTRobert ThorneMcLaren 12C GT325-
4GTMike HedlundFerrari 458 GT3 Italia25-
5GTButch LeitzingerBentley Continental GT325-
6GTJames SofronasAudi R8 Ultra25-
7GTAAlbert von Thurn und TaxisLamborghini Gallardo FL225-
8GTJohnny O'ConnellCadillac CTS-V R25-
9GTAMarcelo HahnLamborghini Gallardo FL225-
10GTAndy PilgrimCadillac CTS-V R25-
11GTAChristina NielsenAston Martin GT325-
12GTAMichael MillsPorsche GT3R25-
13GTAHenrik HedmanFerrari 458 GT325-
14GTAJeff CourtneyAudi R8 Ultra25-
15GTADan KnoxDodge Viper SRT GT3-R25-
16GTAGuy SmithBentley Continental GT325-
17GTAlex LloydChevrolet Corvette25-
18GTAlex FiggeMcLaren 12C GT324-
19GTMike SkeenAudi R8 Ultra24-
20GTABrent HoldenAudi R8 Ultra11-
21GTABill ZieglerAudi R8 Ultra7-
22GTAndrew PalmerAudi R8 Ultra0Mechanical
23GTSLawson AschenbachChevrolet Camaro25-
24GTSJack BaldwinPorsche Cayman S25-
25GTSAndy LeeChevrolet Camaro25-
26GTSMark WilkinsKia Optima25-
27GTSJoey AtterburyFord Mustang Boss 302S25-
28GTSAlec UdellFord Mustang Boss 302S25-
29GTSTony GaplesChevrolet Camaro25-
30GTSNick EsayianAston Martin GT425-
31GTSErik DavisFord Mustang Boss 302S25-
32GTSBrian KleemanNissan 370Z25-
33GTSDerek DeBoerAston Martin GT424-
34GTSBrad AdamsFord Mustang Boss 302S24-
35GTSBuz McCallPorsche Cayman S24-
36GTSJorge De La TorreAston Martin GT424-
37GTSSantiago CreelAston Martin GT423-
38GTSDean MartinFord Mustang Boss 302S22Accident
39GTSNic JonssonKia Optima16Mechanical
40GTSMitch LandryFord Mustang Boss 302S15-
41GTSDrew RegitzAston Martin GT414-
42GTSJack Roush Jr.Ford Mustang Boss 302R6Mechanical
43GTSGeoff ReevesChevrolet Camaro4Mechanical
44GTSRic BusheyNissan 370Z3-

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