The 2016 World Challenge season was the twenty-seventh consecutive year for the series. There were eleven race weekends – the series kicked-off in March at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) and ended at Laguna Seca in early October.

The vehicle classes were the same as the previous year:

  • Grand Touring (GT) – This is the series quickest class and is predominantly cars competing in the FIA GT3 category. Examples of vehicles racing in this class include: Porsche 911 GT3 R, Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3, McLaren 650S GT3, Cadillac ATS-V.R GT3 and Ferrari 488 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 – This is a spec class for 2015-2016 Porsche 991 GT Cup cars.
  • Grand Touring Sport (GTS) – The cars in this class are similar to the GT vehicles but have more preparation restrictions. In previous years, this class was mainly comprised of Ford, Chevrolet and Porsche products. In 2016, the GTS category witnessed the appearance of a number of new vehicles which proved to be very competitive - KTM X-Box GT4, Ginetta G55 GT4 and SIN R1 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 category include: Honda Accord, Kia Forte, Mazda MX-5 and Porsche Boxster.
  • 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 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 class include: Chevrolet Sonic, Honda Fit, Kia Rio, Mazda 2 and Mini Cooper.

    Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca hosted the final rounds of the Pirelli World Challenge Championship. The Grand Prix of Monterey presented by Nissan hosted two races for the GTS category. The first event of the weekend was a make-up race due to a cancellation earlier in the season at Mid-Ohio. As a result, the field was restricted to the fifteen drivers that were originally entered at Mid-Ohio. Sunday’s grid was much bigger and included twenty-four entries. Teams would compete in two races for fifty-minutes around the eleven-turn 2.238-mile road course.

  • The round eighteen GTS podium for Mid-Ohio make-up race. To the left is the runner-up Nate Stacy who drove the Roush Performance Road Racing Ford Boss 302. And, on the right competing driving the ANSA Motorsports KTM XBow GT4 is third place finisher and 2016 GTS Champion – Brett Sandberg. In the center, is first-time winner, Martin Barkey who also drove a KTM XBow GT4.
    The start of Saturday’s race and pole-sitter Scott Heckert driving the Racer’s Edge Motorsports SIN R1 GT4 jumps in to lead while entering turn two. Directly behind Heckert are the Mantella Autosport KTM XBows of Martin Barkey and Anthony Mantella. But the big surprise at the start of round eighteen was Tony Gaples in the No. 10 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro who moved from seventh on the grid to the third position before turn four.
    Martin Barkey earned his first Pirelli World Challenge victory in round eighteen at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Barkey started Saturday’s event from the outside of the front row. He chased race leader Scott Heckert and inherited first place when Heckert retired on lap-11. Barkey stretched his lead and won by a margin of 6.102-seconds. The following day did not go as well. The driver of the No. 80 KTM XBow was out of the race after twenty-five laps.
    Based on his performance and that of his rival’s in Saturday’s race Brett Sandberg won the GTS Driver’s title. Sandberg started the weekend’s first event from the fourth position on the grid and was third at the checkered flag. It is just as well that he clinched the championship in round eighteen as Sandberg spun early in Sunday’s race and dropped down the order. At the finish, he was in sixteenth place – a lap behind the leaders.
    Scott Heckert started from the pole position in both of the weekend’s events. The driver of the Racer’s Edge Motorsports SIN R1 GT4 jumped out to the lead in Saturday’s race but retired on lap-12 with a mechanical issue. On Sunday, Heckert fared much better. Again, he took the lead going into turn two and despite pressure from Andrew Aquilante Heckert captured his second victory of the season by a margin of 1.101-seconds.
    Andrew Aquilante returned to the Pirelli World Challenge Championship driving the Calvert Dynamics Ford Boss 302. Aquilante was not eligible to enter round eighteen but qualified third for Sunday’s finale. By the mid-point of the race, Aquilante was pressuring race leader Scott Heckert but he was unable to pass and finished second. During the event, Aquilante set the fastest race lap and won the Optima Batteries Best Start Award.
    Anthony Mantella scored his first Pirelli World Challenge win in round fourteen at the Utah Motorsports Campus. In Saturday’s make-up race Mantella started and finished fourth in the Mantella Autosport KTM XBow GT4. The following day he was gridded ninth at the start but retired on lap-17.
    It was a difficult season for four-time Pirelli World Challenge Champion Lawson Aschenbach. Aschenbach entered the final two rounds with a chance of earning another title. He started the weekend’s first race in the seventh position. On the final lap, Aschenbach was third but his transmission broke in the last corner and he finished fifth. The following day ‘things went from bad to worse’ when he retired with mechanical problems after just sixteen laps.
    Sixteen-year-old Parker Chase finished fourth in the final Pirelli World Challenge GTS Driver’s Championship on the basis of consistent finishes. At Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, the driver of the No. 19 Performance Motorsports Group Ginetta GT4 qualified second for the season finale and finished fourth.
    The Ford Boss 302 of Nate Stacy shows the scars as the result of an off-track excursion during qualifying when the car broke a ball joint. Repairs made to the car meant that Stacy had to start the season finale in the twenty-first position. He charged through the field and grabbed the final spot on the podium. In the Mid-Ohio make-up race, he finished second. Stacy’s performance in the last two events earned him a second in the Driver’s Championship.

    12Martin BarkeyMantella Autosport Inc. / KTM XBow GT33-
    26Nate StacyRoush Performance Road Racing / Ford Boss 30233-
    34Brett SandbergANSA Motorsports / KTM XBow GT433-
    43Anthony MantellaMantella Autosport Inc. / KTM XBow GT433-
    57Lawson AschenbachBlackdog Speed Shop / Chevrolet Camaro33-
    68Harry GottsackerPerformance Motorsports Group / Ginetta GT433-
    710Tony GaplesBlackdog Speed Shop / Chevrolet Camaro33-
    813Mark KleninKlenin Performance Racing / MASERATI GranTurismo33-
    99Jason AlexandridisTRG-AMR / Aston Martin Vantage GT433-
    1012Bill ZieglerANSA Motorsports / KTM XBow GT433-
    1114Chris BeaufaitRacers Edge Motorsports / SIN R1 GT432-
    1211Parker ChasePerformance Motorsports Group / Ginetta GT423-
    1315Jeff CourtneyJCR Motorsports / MASERATI GranTurismo MC T18-
    145Scott DollahiteSDR Motorsports / Lotus Evora14-
    151Scott HeckertRacers Edge Motorsports / SIN R1 GT410-

    11Scott HeckertRacers Edge Motorsports / SIN R1 GT431-
    23Andrew AquilanteCalvert Dynamics / Ford Boss 30231-
    321Nate StacyRoush Performance Road Racing / Ford Boss 30231-
    42Parker ChasePerformance Motorsports Group / Ginetta GT431-
    520Harry GottsackerPerformance Motorsports Group / Ginetta GT431-
    619Scott DollahiteSDR Motorsports / Lotus Evora31-
    710Jeff CourtneyJCR Motorsports / MASERATI GranTurismo MC T31-
    86Aristotle BaloghStephen Cameron Racing Racing LLC / Aston Martin31-
    914Kevin MarshallVSA Motorsports / Lotus GT431-
    1015Tony GaplesBlackdog Speed Shop / Chevrolet Camaro31-
    1116Mark KleninKlenin Performance Racing / MASERATI GranTurismo31-
    1223Chris BeaufaitRacers Edge Motorsports / SIN R1 GT431-
    1311James SofronasGMG Racing / Porsche Clubsport GT431-
    1417Bill ZieglerANSA Motorsports / KTM XBow GT431-
    1518Greg MilzcikTRG-AMR / Aston Martin Vantage GT431-
    164Brett SandbergANSA Motorsports / KTM XBow GT430-
    179Martin BarkeyMantella Autosport Inc. / KTM XBow GT25-
    187Anthony MantellaMantella Autosport Inc. / KTM XBow GT417-
    195Lawson AschenbachBlackdog Speed Shop / Chevrolet Camaro16-
    208Max RiddleTRG-AMR / Aston Martin Vantage GT47-
    2124Ron BallardRT Motorsports / MASERATI GranTurismo MC T0DNS
    2222Jason AlexandridisTRG-AMR / Aston Martin Vantage GT40DNS
    2313Jason WolfeANSA Motorsports / KTM XBow GT40DNS
    2412George KurtzTRG-AMR / Aston Martin Vantage GT40DNS

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