2015 was the twenty-sixth consecutive year for the Sports Car Club of America’s (SCCA) Pirelli World Challenge series. There were twelve race weekends – at some of these events, the series shared the venue with IndyCar and the United Sportscar Championship. On the other weekends the World Challenge championship served as the feature event.

For the first time, the season opened in early March at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA). The second event of the season, in support of the IndyCar series, was at Saint Petersburg - in previous years St. Pete marked the start of the championship. Following Saint Petersburg were races at Long Beach, Barber Motorsports Park, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Detroit, Road America, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Miller Motorsport Park, Sonoma Raceway and the season finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

In 2015, the series introduced two new classes – Grand Touring Sportsman (GTA) and GT Cup (GTC). Drivers and teams were now vying for titles in seven categories.

  • Grand Touring (GT) – This is the series quickest class and is predominantly cars that would compete in the FIA GT3 category. Examples of vehicles racing in this group include: Acura TLX-GT, Aston Martin Vantage V12, Porsche 911 GT3 R, Nissan GT-R GT3, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3, McLaren 650S GT3, Cadillac ATS-V.R GT3, Bentley Continental GT3, BMW Z4 GT3, Audi R8 LMS, Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 FL2 and Ferrari 458 Italia 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.
  • GT Cup (GTC) – This is a spec class for Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars.
  • Grand Touring Sport (GTS) – The cars in this group are similar to the GT vehicles but have additional preparation restrictions. This class is mainly comprised of Ford (Mustang Boss 302), Chevrolet (Camaro Z28) and Porsche (Cayman) products. In 2015, the GTS category witnessed an influx of new manufacturers: Maserati Gran Turismo, Lotus Evora GT4 and Aston Martin Vantage GT4.
  • Touring Car (TC) – This class is for smaller sedans and sports cars which are allowed some performance modifications. Examples of vehicles competing in this group include: Honda Accord, Mazda MX-5, Volkswagen Golf, Nissan Altima, Volkswagen Jetta and Nissan 370Z. Touring Car A (TCA) – Many of the cars competing in this class are the same as those found in Touring Car. What sets them apart is 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 TCB include: Chevrolet Sonic, Honda Fit, Kia Rio, Mazda 2 and Mini Cooper.

    At the 2015 Firestone Grand Prix of Saint Petersburg, Grand Touring Sport drivers would compete in two fifty-minute races (Rounds 3 & 4 of the 2015 season) around the fourteen-turn 1.80-mile temporary street course.

  • Twenty Grand Touring Sport competitors sit on the grid before the start of round three. On the pole is four-time Pirelli World Challenge winner, Dean Martin in the No. 50 Rehagen Racing prepared Ford Mustang Boss 302. On the outside of the front row is sports car racing veteran, Spencer Pumpelly competing in the iTrackzone.com Ford Mustang Boss 302.
    Qualifying on the pole for the weekend’s first event was Dean Martin driving a Ford Mustang Boss 302. Martin got a great start when the lights turned green and led the field into corner one. Late in the race, it appeared that he would be challenged by Kurt Rezzetano but Martin was able to hold on for the victory. He also turned the fastest gave lap which gave him the pole for round four. Passes by Spencer Pumpelly, Andrew Aquilante and Rezzetano left Martin fourth in the finale.
    Sharing the front row in race one was Spencer Pumpelly driving a Ford Mustang Boss 302. At the start, Pumpelly was overtaken by the third fastest qualifier, Kurt Rezzetano. Pumpelly maintained his position and was third at the checkered flag. Based on his fastest lap in the first race he started fourth in Saturday’s event. Martin and Rezzetano went wide in turn four on the first lap and Pumpelly slipped past. He held onto first and won by 3.0-seconds.
    Kurt Rezzetano, racing a Phoenix American Motorsports prepared Ford Mustang Boss 302 qualified sixth for race one but jumped into second before turn one. He charged late in the contest but finished 0.686-seconds behind the winner, Dean Martin. Starting second on Saturday, Rezzetano had a terrific battle with Andrew Aquilante and Spencer Pumpelly – he was in third place at the checkered flag.
    Andrew Aquilante recorded a time in qualifying that put him in the fourth position on the grid. Unlike his teammate, Kurt Rezzetano, Aquilante made a poor start and spent the remainder of the race trying to catch up. He had moved into fourth place when he retired on lap-19 with a mechanical issue. With repairs made, Aquilante started third the following day. After some close racing with Spencer Pumpelly and Rezzetano he finished second.
    Driving the No. 38 Put On The Brakes.Org Kia Optima was Canadian Mark Wilkins. Wilkins was gridded in the third position for round three. He lost a spot on the first lap and had a spirited battle with his teammate, Ben Clucas. As the contest progressed, he was passed by Jack Baldwin, Kris Wilson and Michael Cooper and finished eighth. Wilkins started seventh on Saturday but was overtaken by the Chevrolet Camaro of Cooper and finished eighth.
    Grand Touring Sport point’s leader, Kris Wilson failed to set a time in qualifying and started nineteenth in the twenty car field. Wilson gained fourteen positions during Friday’s race and won the VP Racing Fuel Hard Charger Award. Wilson’s time in Friday’s contest gave him the fifth starting spot for Saturday’s event. He finished seventh driving the Royal Purple sponsored Aston Martin Vantage GT4.
    Michael Cooper drove the No. 10 Camaro and won the season’s second race at Circuit of the Americas. At Saint Petersburg, the Z28s appeared to be no match for the competition. Cooper produced the best results for the Chevrolet teams – a seventh place finish in the weekend first race and a fifth the following day. He also won Optima Batteries Best Standing Start Award for gaining six positions during the standing start in round four.
    The round three Pirelli World Challenge Grand Touring Sport podium. In the center, is the victor, Dean Martin. This was World Challenge career win number five for Martin – all his victories were on temporary street courses. To his right, is sixth place starter and runner-up, Kurt Rezzetano. Completing a sweep of the podium for the Ford Mustang Boss 302 is Spencer Pumpelly.

    11GTSDean MartinPicture Cars East Ford Mustang Boss 30236
    26GTSKurt RezzetanoCalvert Dynamics/Phoenix Perf/Ford Mustang Boss 30236
    32GTSSpencer PumpellyiTrackzone.com Ford Mustang Boss 30236
    49GTSJack BaldwinRESET-MD Porsche Cayman36
    519GTSKris WilsonOrion/Royal Purple Aston Martin Vantage GT436
    65GTSBen ClucasDonorsChoose.org Kia Optima36
    77GTSMichael CooperBlackdog Speed Shop/Chevrolet Z2836
    83GTSMark WilkinsPutOnTheBrakes.Org KIA Optima36
    98GTSJack Roush JrROUSH Performance Ford Mustang Boss 30236
    1011GTSLou GigliottiLG Motorsports Aston Martin Vantage GT436
    1110GTSDan MartinsonGear Tie/Nite Ize Ford Mustang Boss 30236
    1213GTSNick EsayianTravelCln/Derma 3/SpecOpsWarr Ford Mustang Boss 30236
    1312GTSDerek DeBoerBlackRiderRacing/LexTempus/BRM Aston Martin Vantage GT436
    1414GTSTony GaplesBlackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro Z2836
    1518GTSMark KleninSchompAuto/InvisGlass/PremCpr Aston Martin Vantage GT436
    1616GTSBuz McCallRESET-MD Porsche Cayman35
    1720GTSAndy LeeChevrolet Camaro Z2835
    1815GTSGeoff ReevesShadow Works Chevrolet Camaro Z2835
    1917GTSPreston CalvertCalvert Dynamics/PhoenixPerf Ford Mustang Boss 30235
    204GTSAndrew AquilanteCalvert Dynamics/PhoenixPerf Ford Mustang Boss 30224

    12GTSSpencer PumpellyiTrackzone.com Ford Mustang Boss 30233
    24GTSAndrew AquilanteCalvert Dynamics/Phoenix Perf Ford Mustang Boss 30233
    36GTSKurt RezzetanoCalvert Dynamics/PhoenixPerf/Ford Mustang Boss 30233
    41GTSDean MartinPicture Cars East Ford Mustang Boss 30233
    57GTSMichael CooperBlackdog Speed Shop/Chevrolet Camaro Z2833
    65GTSBen ClucasDonorsChoose.org Kia Optima33
    719GTSKris WilsonOrion/RoyalPurple Aston Martin Vantage GT433
    83GTSMark WilkinsPutOnTheBrakes.Org KIA Optima33
    99GTSJack BaldwinRESET-MD Porsche Cayman33
    108GTSJack Roush JrROUSH Performance Ford Mustang Boss 30233
    1112GTSDerek DeBoerBlackRiderRacing/LexTempus/BRM Aston Martin Vantage GT433
    1220GTSAndy LeeChevrolet Camaro Z2833
    1316GTSBuz McCallRESET-MD Porsche Cayman32
    1417GTSPreston CalvertCalvert Dynamics/Phoenix Perf Ford Mustang Boss 30232
    1518GTSMark KleninSchompAuto/InvisGlass/PremCpr Aston Martin Vantage GT432
    1615GTSGeoff ReevesShadow Works Chevrolet Camaro Z2832
    1711GTSLou GigliottiLG Motorsports Aston Martin Vantage GT421
    1813GTSNick EsayianTravelCln/Derma 3/SpecOpsWarr Ford Mustang Boss 30214
    1914GTSTony GaplesBlackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro Z286
    2010GTSDan MartinsonGear Tie/Nite Ize Ford Mustang Boss 3021

    Copyright Notice:
    All content (photographs and text) appearing on this website are the exclusive property of © www.zoompics.com and are protected under International copyright laws. The subject matter on this website may not be reproduced, copied, stored or manipulated.

    © Copyright 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017

    Return to home page.