The 2018 Pirelli World Challenge season is the twenty-ninth consecutive year for the championship. There are six race weekends for the Touring Car categories. The title chase kicks-off in March at Circuit of the Americas. This event is followed by races at Virginia International Raceway, Lime Rock Park and the Portland International Raceway. The penultimate rounds are held at the Utah Motorsports Campus with the finale taking place at Watkins Glen International on the Labour Day weekend.

As in the previous year, there were three Touring groups; however, there were some significant changes. With dwindling entries in the Touring Car B class, series organizers decided it would not be included in the 2018 championship and was replaced by a new category, TCR.

  • 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 cars competing in this category include: Honda Civic Type R, Nissan 370Z, BMW235iR and Genesis Coupe.
  • Touring Car A (TCA) – Some 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 Race (TCR) – This is an international class which was first introduced in 2014 to address the expense of competing in the World Touring Car Championship. These production-based cars are powered by 2.0-liter turbocharged engines which produce approximately 300-horsepower. Examples of vehicles competing in this category include: Audi RS 3 LMS, Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR, Honda Civic Type-R TCR, Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR and Hyundai I30 N TCR.

For the first time since 2010, the Pirelli World Challenge series made a stop at Watkins Glen International in an event called the PWC Grand Prix of Watkins Glen presented by TM Performance. Touring Car teams would compete in two forty-minute races around the eleven-turn 3.4-mile road course to determine the 2018 class champion.

The start of Saturday’s race and twenty-one entries funnel into Watkins Glen International’s first turn. Beating the field to corner one is the pole-sitter, Karl Wittmer in the Classic BMW sponsored BMW M235iR Cup. Falling in behind Wittmer is another BMW M235iR Cup driven by the other front starter, Johan Schwartz. Behind the two BMWs in the Nissan 370Z TC Spec of the point’s leader, Vesko Kozarov.
Karl Wittmer entered Watkins Glen second in the standings and was ‘pulling out all the stops’ in an effort to close the gap on Vesko Kozarov. In qualifying for the penultimate round, he won the pole. During the race, Wittmer lost the lead to Johan Schwartz but regained first place on the last lap for his second win of the season. On Sunday, he started first but lost the position to Schwartz and took the runner-up spot.
Johan Schwartz, the 2015 Pirelli World Challenge TCB champion returned to the series fulltime driving the Rooster Hall Racing BMW M235iR. His season included two wins. At Watkins Glen, Schwartz dominated the practice sessions and was second quickest in qualifying. In race one, he took the lead from Karl Wittmer but lost it on the last lap. The following day, Schwartz redeemed himself by capturing the victory.
Classic BMW entered three BMW M235iR Cups at Watkins Glen International the No. 26 BMW was driven by Matt Travis. Travis was fourth in the title chase and with a solid performance could improve is position in the final standings. In the weekend’s first race, he was gridded fifth. Travis drove a great race and earned the final spot on the podium. The following day, he had the same outcome - a third place finish.
Heading into Watkins Glen, Vesko Kozarov had six victories in ten starts and an almost insurmountable points lead in the title chase. In the practice sessions, Kozarov was only ninth quickest but in qualifying, he improved and was fourth fastest. In round eleven, Kozarov maintained his starting position to the finish. On Sunday, he could do no better than sixth but it was enough to take the championship by a slim four-points.
TechSport Racing’s, Steve Streimer had a big weekend earlier in the season at Virginia International Raceway where he grabbed a win and runner-up finish. Since then his results had been mixed. In qualifying for round eleven, Streimer was twelfth quickest but was unable to improve on his starting position in the race. In the season finale, he completed only two-laps before retiring.
The Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car class podium for round eleven at Watkins Glen International. To the left is the runner-up, from Rooster Hall Racing, Johan Schwartz. And, on the right capturing his fourth podium finish of the season is the third-place finisher, Matt Travis. In the center, is the winner Karl Wittmer. The victory put Wittmer to within twelve-points of the series leader, Vesko Kozarov.

11TCKarl WittmerClassic BMW / BMW M235iR Cupxx
22TCJohan SchwartzRooster Hall Racing / BMW M235iR Cupxx
35TCMatt TravisClassic BMW / BMW M235iR Cup20
44TCVesko KozarovRearden Racing / Nissan 370Z TC Spec20
53TCRobert NimkoffAutoTechnic Racing / BMW M235iR Cup20
68TCJeff RiccaGenRacer / Genesis Coupe20
79TCJayson ClunieClassic BMW / BMW M235iR Cup20
87TCDennis Hanratty, JrKrugspeed / Lotus Exige20
912TCSteve StreimerTechSport Racing / Nissan 370Z TC Spec20
1018TCMark BrummondAutoTechnic Racing / BMW M235iR Cup20
1113TCHenry SchmittStephen Cameron Racing / BMW M235iR Cup20
1217TCJoshua ForanTeam HMA / Honda Civic Type R20
1318TCJohn AllenAutoTechnic Racing / BMW M235iR Cup20
1420TCJack BaruthRTF Racing / Honda Accord V619
1521TCDinah WeisbergBERG / Mazda MX-5 TC Spec19
1619TCBruce WexlerDRS / BMW M235iR Cup18
1715TCJason StanleyGenRacer / Genesis Coupe10
NC10TCPaul TerryRearden Racing / Nissan 370Z TC Spec6
NC6TCJohn WeisbergBERG / Mazda MX-5 TC Spec4
NC16TCJacob RuudWinding Road Racing / BMW M235iR Cup2
NC14TCGreg NitzkowskiDRS / BMW M235iR Cup0

12TCJohan SchwartzRooster Hall Racing / BMW M235iR Cup18
21TCKarl WittmerClassic BMW / BMW M235iR Cup18
34TCMatt TravisClassic BMW / BMW M235iR Cup18
45TCRobert NimkoffAutoTechnic Racing / BMW M235iR Cup18
57TCJayson ClunieClassic BMW / BMW M235iR Cup18
63TCVesko KozarovRearden Racing / Nissan 370Z TC Spec18
710TCMark BrummondAutoTechnic Racing / BMW M235iR Cup18
811TCJohn WeisbergBERG / Mazda MX5 TC Spec18
913TCHenry SchmittStephen Cameron Racing / BMW M235iR Cup18
1014TCJason StanleyGenRacer / Genesis Coupe18
1115TCJoshua ForanTeam HMA / Honda Civic Type R18
1221TCGreg NitzkowskiDRS / BMW M235iR Cup18
1317TCJohn AllenAutoTechnic Racing / BMW M235iR Cup18
1416TCBruce WexlerDRS / BMW M235iR Cup18
1519TCDinah WeisbergBERG / Mazda MX5 TC Spec17
166TCDennis Hanratty, JrKrugspeed / Lotus Exige16
179TCPaul TerryRearden Racing / Nissan 370Z TC Spec12
NC8TCJeff RiccaGenRacer / Genesis Coupe3
NC12TCSteve StreimerTechSport Racing / Nissan 370Z TC Spec2
NC20TCJacob RuudWinding Road Racing / BMW M235iR Cup1
DNS-TCJack BaruthRTF Racing / Honda Accord V6-

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