This weekend, Pirelli World Challenge wraps up their season at Watkins Glen International with a series of eight races on the 3.4-mile long course. 81 teams have lodged entries in seven classes. One of those teams has already withdrawn.
TruSpeed AutoSport’s No. 19 Audi R8 LMS GT3 in the GTA class for Parker Chase is currently listed. However, Chase has had a death in his family and has chosen to stay back in Texas. As a result, the team has withdrawn.
The other big change for this weekend is that Michael Cooper will behind the wheel of CRP Racing’s DeVilBiss-sponsored Mercedes-AMG GT3, replacing Daniel Morad. Morad chose to leave the team following the SprintX finale at Utah Motorsports Campus to focus on new endeavors for the upcoming 2019 season.
The GT/GTA races will have 12 cars competing (eight in GT, four in GTA). The most interesting addition to the group is an Acura NSX GT3 jointly fielded by RealTime Racing and Honda of America Racing Team (HART). The car, which will make it’s only appearance of the season in Pirelli World Challenge, will be driven by Mario Farnbacher. Farnbacher co-drove with Katherine Legge to a GT Daytona class victory at Belle Isle Park in another NSX GT3 back in June.
The GTS/GTSA classes will see 24 cars racing against each other. Eight will be in the GTS class, while 16 will compete in GTSA.
With the SprintX season now over, a number of teams won’t be in attendance. Examples include the two ST Racing BMW M4 GT4s, Classic BMW’s M4s and Murillo Racing’s Mercedes-AMG GT4.
In GTS, Patrick Gallagher will drive PF Racing’s No. 10 Ford Mustang GT4. While Gallagher has driven for the team in many of the SprintX races this season, the No. 10 has been driven in the regular sprint races all year by Vinnie Allegretta. GTSA sees Mike Hedlund return to Flying Lizard Motorsports’ No. 45 Audi R8 LMS GT4 for the final weekend of the season after sitting out Utah.
The TCR/TCA races will have 23 cars competing, 12 in TCR and 11 in TCA. The only change in TCR is the addition of a new team, TWOth Autosport, that will debut this weekend. Buffalo’s Eddie Killeen will drive the No. 37 Audi RS 3 LMS Club Sport.
The 11 TCA entries is an increase from the eight that made the trip to Utah. Team Octane returns to the grid with their two MINI JCWs for Alain Lauziere and Nelson Chan. Travis Washay is also back with his Volkswagen GTI for Indian Summer Racing.
Finally, the TC class sees a big increase in entries from 13 to 21. Being back in the eastern part of the country brings out a lot of smaller operations since it’s not quite as long of a haul for teams as Utah. BERG Racing is back with two Mazda MX-5 TC Specs for the husband and wife team of John and Dinah Weisberg. The GenRacer team is back with two Hyundai Genesis Coupes, while Dennis Hanratty returns with a Lotus Exige for KRUGSPEED.