The 2017 Pirelli World Challenge season is the twenty-eighth consecutive year for the championship. There are eleven race weekends. The Touring Car category title chase kicks-off in April at Virginia International Raceway. This event is followed by races at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Lime Rock Park and the Utah Motorsport Complex. The penultimate rounds are held a Circuit of the Americas with the finale taking place at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in mid-October.

As in the previous year, there were three Touring categories:

  • Touring Car (TC) – This class is for smaller sedans and sports cars which are allowed some performance modifications. These front or rear-wheel-drive vehicles may be powered by turbocharged or normally aspirated engines. Examples of vehicles competing in this category include: Honda Accord, Mazda MX-5, Porsche Boxster, BMW235iR and Audi RS 3 LMS.
  • 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. Using turbocharged or normally aspirated powerplants, these cars produce between 160 and 185-horsepower.
  • 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 category include: Chevrolet Sonic, Honda Fit, Kia Rio, Mazda 2 and Mini Cooper. The horsepower range is 100 to 110.

    Rounds eleven and twelve of the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car season took place at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Seventeen Touring Car A and Touring Car B drivers were scheduled to compete in the two forty-minute races around the eleven-turn 2.238-mile road course.

    Championships were yet to be determined in both classes. In Touring Car A, it was between S.A.C. Racing teammates, Matthew Fassnacht and 2016 title holder, Elivan Goulart – Fassnacht led Goulart by a twelve-point margin. The Touring Car B chase was much closer with just three-markers separating, Jake Pipal, Canaan O’Connell and P.J. Groenke.

  • The first lap of the penultimate round for the TCA and TCB class. Leading the TCB group through Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca’s corner two is the Chevrolet Sonic of Canaan O’Connell. Immediately, behind O’Connell is his teammate, P.J. Groenke. The third title contender, Jake Pipal was forced to start at the back grid due to a technical violation but he was in second place by the second lap.
    It appeared that Eric Powell would dominate the weekend. Despite missing the final practice session, Powell was the quickest in qualifying. He won the first race by a margin of 8.516-seconds. Powell’s fastest lap in round eleven gave him his second pole of the weekend. He led the race flag-to-flag. Unfortunately, the Scion failed the post-race inspection and Powell was disqualified.
    Touring Car A driver, Matthew Fassnacht won both rounds at the season opener in Virginia. A total of seven podium finishes contributed to Fassnacht’s twelve-point lead entering the final weekend. At Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, he could only manage fifth and fourth place finishes but this was enough to allow him to take the class title by nineteen-points.
    The Round twelve Touring Car B podium at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. To the left is the runner-up from Pipal Racing, Jake Pipal. And, on the right is the driver of the No. 01 Drengler Racing Honda Fit, Jasper Drengler – this was his fourth podium of the season. In the center, taking his third victory of the season and the 2017 Touring Car B title is P.J. Groenke.
    Canaan O’Connell started his quest for the TCB title by qualifying on the class pole for the weekend’s first race. O’Connell finished third, after a close battle with the two other championship contenders – P.J. Groenke and Jake Pipal. In the final event, O’Connell was gridded first but the Tech Sport Chevrolet Sonic developed a mechanical issue and he retired on lap-13. He finished third in the Driver’s standings.
    2016 TCA champion, Elivan Goulart trailed his teammate, Matthew Fassnacht by twelve-points entering the final two rounds of the season. Goulart qualified third for the weekend’s first race but his Mazda MX-5 fell off the pace and he finished two positions behind Fassnacht. In round twelve, he started fourth but at the conclusion of the contest, he was behind his chief rival. Goulart had to settle for the runner-up spot in the championship.
    It seemed only fitting that the competitor who had entered the most TCB events should win the final class championship. 2017 was the fifth season in the TCB category for the driver of the No. 25 TechSport Racing Chevrolet Sonic, P.J. Groenke. Canadian, Groenke did it in style capturing wins in rounds eleven and twelve at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca - he won the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge TCB title by just two points.
    The start of the final round of the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge season for the Touring Car category. Leading the way into Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca’s turn two is the pole-sitter, Eric Powell driving the TechSport Racing Scion FR-S. Beside Powell is the Mazda Global MX-5 Cup Car of the second fastest qualifier, Kenny Murillo. On the outside of the corner is Tom O’Gorman who was gridded third in the Shea Racing Honda Civic Si.
    Unlike the other contenders for the TCB title, this was Jake Pipal’s home track. In qualifying, he posted the second quickest time but Pipal was forced to start at the rear of the grid when a technical irregularity was discovered. This penalty did not affect him too much as he led the most laps in race one and finished second. In the season finale, he qualified third in class and took the runner-up spot.
    Kenny Murillo made his series debut in round seven at the Utah Motorsports Campus. In the weekend's second race, Murillo scored his first World Challenge victory. He proceeded to win both TCA races a COTA. At Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Murillo started the weekend’s first contest on the outside of the front row and finished second. Later that day, Murillo was second at the checkered flag but a post-race technical infraction bumped him up to first place.
    The 2016 TCB champion, Tom O’Gorman moved up to the TCA category in 2017. Driving a Shea Racing prepared Honda Civic Si, O’Gorman had mixed results. He recorded poor finishes in the opening rounds at Virginia but scored a decisive win in race four at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. O’Gorman scored two more rostrum finishes - Lime Rock and Utah. At Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca he added to his podium tally with a second and third.
    The ‘short-lived’ Touring Car A class podium for round twelve - the season’s final race. In the center, is Eric Powell. Unfortunately for Powell, his TechSport Racing Scion FR-S failed the post-race technical inspection and he was disqualified. The victory would go to Kenny Murillo, standing on the left side of the podium. And, on the right is Tom O’Gorman who would inherit the runner-up position.

    11TCAEric PowellTech Sport Racing / Scion FR-S24
    22TCAKenny MurilloMurillo Racing / Mazda MX-5 Cup24
    310TCATom O'GormanShea Racing / Honda Civic Si24
    45TCAJeff SextonWinding Road Team / Mazda MX-524
    54TCAMatthew FassnachtS.A.C. Racing / Mazda MX-524
    66TCAShea HolbrookShea Racing / Honda Civic Si24
    73TCAElivan GoulartS.A.C. Racing / Mazda MX-5 Cup24
    88TCACameron ParsonsDSPORT Magazine / Mazda MX-524
    99TCADaniel MoenS.A.C. Racing / Mazda MX-523
    13TCBP.J. GroenkeTech Sport Racing / Chevrolet Sonic22
    22TCBJake PipalJake Pipal Racing / Honda Fit22
    31TCBCanaan O'ConnellTech Sport Racing / Chevrolet Sonic22
    44TCBDamon SurzyshynHale Motorsports / Mazda 222
    55TCBJasper DrenglerDrengler Racing / Honda Fit22
    66TCBJames Wilson Black Armor Helmets / Mazda 222
    77TCBStephanie Andersen Black Armor Helmets / Mazda 221
    NC7TCAKevin AndersonTech Sport Racing / Scion FR-S3

    12TCAKenny MurilloMurillo Racing / Mazda MX-5 Cup24
    23TCATom O'GormanShea Racing / Honda Civic Si24
    36TCAJeff SextonWinding Road Team / Mazda MX-524
    47TCAMatthew FassnachtS.A.C. Racing / Mazda MX-524
    55TCAShea HolbrookShea Racing / Honda Civic Si24
    64TCAElivan GoulartS.A.C. Racing / Mazda MX-5 Cup24
    78TCACameron ParsonsDSPORT Magazine / Mazda MX-524
    810TCADaniel MoenS.A.C. Racing / Mazda MX-523
    12TCBP.J. GroenkeTech Sport Racing / Chevrolet Sonic22
    23TCBJake PipalJake Pipal Racing / Honda Fit22
    36TCBJasper DrenglerDrengler Racing / Honda Fit22
    45TCBJames Wilson Black Armor Helmets / Mazda 222
    54TCBDamon SurzyshynHale Motorsports / Mazda 222
    67TCBStephanie Andersen Black Armor Helmets / Mazda 221
    71TCBCanaan O'ConnellTech Sport Racing / Chevrolet Sonic13
    DQ1TCAEric PowellTech Sport Racing / Scion FR-S-

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