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.

    Sonoma Raceway hosted rounds sixteen and seventeen for the GTS cars in mid-September. During the event, drivers would compete in two 50-minute races around the 12-turn 2.385-mile road course.

    After this weekend, there would be just two point scoring races in the season finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Competitors had to balance risk with reward in order to maximize their points and earn the Driver and Manufacturer titles.

  • The World Challenge GTS podium for round seventeen at Sonoma Raceway. On the left is second place finisher Anthony Mantella and to the right is Saturday’s winner, Nate Stacy. Between these two is the winner Brett Sandberg whose flag-to-flag victory would increase his points lead in the Drivers’ Championship.
    GTS points leader and driver of the ANSA Motorsports KTM XBow GT4, Brett Sandberg started from the third grid position in round sixteen. Sandberg fell down the race order after a spin and was sixth at the checkered flag. The following day he fared much better. Recording the fastest lap in Saturday’s race meant Sandberg was on the pole for round seventeen. He led every lap and won by 2.654-seconds.
    Round sixteen was the last race of the day. Nate Stacy in the No. 14 Ford Mustang Boss 302 leads the field of seventeen GTS cars into Sonoma Raceway’s corner two. Behind Stacy is the KTM XBow of pole-sitter Hugh Plumb. Following Plumb, is his teammate and GTS points’ leader Brett Sandberg. Demonstrating the KTM’s competitiveness are the other two entries of Mantella Autosport in fourth and fifth.
    Anthony Mantella was coming fresh off a win in the previous event held at UMC. Mantella started round sixteen from the fifth grid position. He was among a number of drivers challenging Stacy for the win but finished twelfth. The driver of the No. 8 KTM XBow was gridded third for Sunday’s race. Mantella chased second place Stacy for much of the event but an outside pass at the turn nine ‘Bus Stop’ netted him the runner-up spot.
    In Saturday’s race, 16-year old, Nate Stacy driving the Roush Performance Ford Mustang Boss 302 became the youngest driver to win a GTS race. Stacy’s first World Challenge victory was at the age of 14 in the Touring Car B class at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Starting second and despite numerous challenges for the lead, it was a flag-to-flag win. The following day Stacy started second and finished third.
    Hugh Plumb competed in the World Challenge Championship from 1997 to 2001 – winning many races. Plumb left the series to participate in ALMS and Grand-Am events. It appeared that he had lost none of his speed and despite driving the KTM XBow GT4 for the first time he qualified on the pole for Saturday’s race and took the final spot on the podium. It did not go as well the following day – he retired after an incident with Kevin Marshall.
    Driving the No. 19 Performance Motorsports Ginetta GT4 was 15-year old Parker Chase. Chase had a solid weekend. He started round sixteen in the sixth grid position and finished second – Chase was closing on eventual winner Stacy but ran out of time. On Sunday, he was behind Stacy at the checkered flag – this time, it was in fourth.
    The No. 62 Maserati Gran Turismo was driven by Mark Klenin. In round sixteen, Klenin started behind fellow Maserati competitor, Jeff Courtney. During the race Klenin was able to get past Courtney and finished eight. The following day he was gridded fourth and jumped to second place at the start. Unfortunately, Klenin spun at turn two and caused the first caution period. After the incident, the car was off the pace and he finished eleventh.
    Another driver having a good weekend was the winner of one of the Utah Motorsports Campus races Scott Heckert. Driving a SIN R1 GT4 prepared by Racers Edge Motorsports he qualified seventh in the weekend’s first event and captured a fourth place finish. In round seventeen, Heckert started from the ninth position on the grid and was fifth at the checkered flag.
    Four-time World Challenge champion, Lawson Aschenbach had a scheduling conflict and competed at COTA in the IMSA series Saturday morning. Aschenbach was able to make Saturday’s afternoon race but without a qualifying time, he started last. At the checkered flag, he was in the eighth position. The following day Aschenbach started and finished sixth. As a result, he fell further behind Sandberg in the title chase.

    12Nate StacyRoush Performance Road Racing / Ford Boss 30229-
    26Parker ChasePerformance Motorsports Group / Ginetta GT429-
    31Dore Chaponick Jr.ANSA Motorsports / KTM XBow GT429-
    47Scott HeckertRacers Edge Motorsports / SIN R1 GT429-
    515Kevin MarshallVSA Motorsports / Lotus GT429-
    63Brett SandbergANSA Motorsports / KTM XBow GT429-
    717Lawson AschenbachBlackdog Speed Shop / Chevrolet Camaro29-
    89Mark KleninKlenin Performance Racing / MASERATI GranTurismo29-
    98Jeff CourtneyJCR Motorsports / MASERATI GranTurismo MC T29-
    1011Tony GaplesBlackdog Speed Shop / Chevrolet Camaro29-
    1113Derek DeBoerTRG-AMR / Aston Martin Vantage GT429-
    125Anthony MantellaMantella Autosport Inc. / KTM XBow GT429-
    1314Bill ZieglerANSA Motorsports / KTM XBow GT429-
    1412Harry GottsackerPerformance Motorsports Group / Ginetta GT429-
    1510George KurtzTRG-AMR / Aston Martin Vantage GT428-
    1616Greg MilzcikTRG-AMR / Aston Martin Vantage GT428-
    -4Martin BarkeyMantella Autosport Inc. / KTM XBow GT0Retirement

    11Brett SandbergANSA Motorsports / KTM XBow GT426-
    23Anthony MantellaMantella Autosport Inc. / KTM XBow GT426-
    32Nate StacyRoush Performance Road Racing / Ford Boss 30226-
    45Parker ChasePerformance Motorsports Group / Ginetta GT426-
    59Scott HeckertRacers Edge Motorsports / SIN R1 GT426-
    66Lawson AschenbachBlackdog Speed Shop / Chevrolet Camaro26-
    717Martin BarkeyMantella Autosport Inc. / KTM XBow GT26-
    811Harry GottsackerPerformance Motorsports Group / Ginetta GT426-
    916Derek DeBoerTRG-AMR / Aston Martin Vantage GT426-
    1010Tony GaplesBlackdog Speed Shop / Chevrolet Camaro26-
    114Mark KleninKlenin Performance Racing / MASERATI GranTurismo26-
    1214George KurtzTRG-AMR / Aston Martin Vantage GT426-
    1313Bill ZieglerANSA Motorsports / KTM XBow GT426-
    1415Greg MilzcikTRG-AMR / Aston Martin Vantage GT426-
    158Dore Chaponick Jr.ANSA Motorsports / KTM XBow GT415Accident
    167Kevin MarshallVSA Motorsports / Lotus GT415Accident
    1712Jeff CourtneyJCR Motorsports / MASERATI GranTurismo MC T15Accident

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