The Pirelli World Challenge’s GT/GTA, GT Cup presented by MOMO, GTS and TC/TCA/TCB classes, head north of the border May 15-17 to one of North America’s venerable road courses, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP). Over 90 drivers across the series’ seven classes will compete in the Remo Ferri Group Canadian Grand Prix presented by Replay XD, part of the Victoria Day SpeedFest weekend. GT, GTA and GT Cup drivers will compete in Rounds 8 and 9 of the championships, while GTS competitors will race Rounds 7 and 8. TC, TCA and TCB competitors will compete in Rounds 4, 5 and 6.
This visit marks the second consecutive season Pirelli World Challenge TC, TCA and TCB competitors will race at CTMP. The series’ GT and GTS classes make their first visit to CTMP since last racing at the track in 2012. With 2015 also being the inaugural season for GT Cup, this is the first time the class will compete at CTMP.
A number of former series CTMP winners including Mike Skeen, Mark Wilkins, Ernie Francis Jr., Nate Stacy, and Jason Wolfe are entered and look to get back on the top step this coming weekend.
Pirelli World Challenge GT: Beretta Holds Slim Lead Over Dalziel
Olivier Beretta (pictured, TOP), of Monte Carlo, in the No. 61 Ferrari of Ontario/Toronto/Alberta Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia, comes into this weekend continuing to lead in GT drivers’ points (679) after scoring a 7th and a 4th at Barber Motorsports Park.
He holds a slim 10-point lead over Ryan Dalziel, of Windermere, Fla., in the No. 31 EFFORT Racing/World PMO Porsche 911 GT3 R (669). Dalziel has three runner-up finishes, two thirds and a fourth place finish in seven races. Both Beretta and Dalziel have previous experience at CTMP in other sports car series, including wins for Beretta at the track. Dalziel’s teammate Michael Lewis, of Laguna Beach, Calif., was promoted from the GTA class to GT at Barber and sits 8th overall in the standings. He will drive the No. 41 EFFORT Racing/Curb-Agajanian Porsche 911 GT3 R.
After a dominating win in Round 7 at Barber, Kevin Estre, of Lochau, Austria, enters the weekend third in points in the No. 9 K-PAX Racing with Flying Lizard Motorsports McLaren 650S GT3, with 543. Estre will be making his first CTMP series start, and looks to score his third win of the season.
Ryan Eversley, of Atlanta, Ga. in the No. 43 RealTime/Acura Motorsports/HPD Acura TLX-GT enters the weekend 4th in points, and will make his first career start at CTMP.
Their respective teammates, Robert Thorne, of Littleton, Col. in the No. 6 K-PAX Racing with Flying Lizard Motorsports McLaren 650S GT3 and Peter Cunningham, of Milwaukee, Wis. in the No. 42 RealTime/Acura Motorsports/HPD Acura TLX-GT, look for continued positive season results at CTMP. Thorne finished second to Estre in Round 7 at Barber, while Cunningham had a season best 8th in Round 6 at Barber.
Johnny O’Connell, of Flowery Branch, Ga., will seek to put a bitter sweet Barber weekend behind him and secure the first win for Cadillac Racing’s new Cadillac ATS-V.R. Because of a motor change prior to Round 6, O’Connell started 27th but rocketed up to an impressive 4th on the day. Round 7 ended in heartbreak as his No. 3 Cadillac caught on fire. O’Connell was not injured in the incident but ended up finishing 30th on the day. He comes into the weekend 6th in points.
O’Connell’s teammate, Andy Pilgrim, of Boca Raton, Fla., in the No. 8 Cadillac Racing Cadillac ATS-V.R, sits 11th overall in GT.
Defending CTMP Champion (2012) Mike Skeen, of Charlotte, N.C., in the No. 2 DeVilbiss/Hawk Performance Audi R8 LMS ultra comes off a respectable Barber with 3rd and 5th place finishes. Skeen sits 7th in the championship. Skeen has had a tremendous amount of success at CTMP having won four GT series races at the track – the most of any competitor entered in the GT field.
JD Davison, of St. Petersburg, Fla., in the No. 33 AE/Replay XD Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 sits 9th overall in the GT Championship coming into CTMP after scoring his first career Pirelli World Challenge win in Round 6. Davison will start his second career race at CTMP.
Bentley Team Dyson Racing heads into CTMP with both cars competing after the No. 20 Bentley/Breitling/Mobil1 Bentley Continental GT3 did not make the trip to Barber. The car sustained heavy damage after being hit from behind at Long Beach as was not repairable in time for the Barber weekend. Butch Leitzinger, of Rebersburg, Pa. will pilot the No. 20 car. Chris Dyson, of Pleasant Valley, N.Y. scored his first career Pirelli World Challenge podium at Long Beach with a great second place drive behind the wheel of the No. 16 Bentley/Breitling/Mobil1 Bentley Continental GT3 – he comes into the weekend 12th in the driver standings. Both Leitzinger and Dyson have raced at CTMP in their careers.
The 14-driver GT field is rounded out by Duncan Ende, of Los Angeles, in the No. 64 Merchant Services Ltd./Linospresso USA Ferrari 458 Italia GT3. Ende has previous experience at CTMP in another sportscar racing series.
Pirelli World Challenge GTA: Fuentes Leads Over Cisneros
With Michael Lewis moving in the GT class, Mexican driver Martin Fuentes, of Mexico City, in the No. 07 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 leads in class with 337 points heading into CTMP. Fuentes won the Round 6 race at Barber.
Henrique Cisneros, of Miami, in the No. 30 MOMO NGT Motorsport Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 enters CTMP in second place in class with one second and two third-place finishes in his last four races. He enters the weekend with 328 GTA points.
DragonSpeed has a trio of drivers entered for Rounds 8 and 9. Frankie Montecalvo, of Highlands, N.J. won Round 4 at St. Petersburg in the No. 66 Bayshore Racing Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3, while Eric Lux, of Buffalo, N.Y. finished third in Round 5 at Long Beach in the No. 08 Rembrandt Charms/Monticello Motor Club Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3. Henrik Hedman, of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., will drive the No. 10 DragonSpeed Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 and was second overall in GTA last year. Montecalvo sits third in class driver standings, while Lux is 4th, and Hedman is 7th.
Bryan Heitkotter, of Fresno, Calif., scored his first career Pirelli World Challenge win in Round 7 at Barber and will be in the No. 05 Nissan GT Academy Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3. He comes into the weekend 5th in drivers standings.
Christina Nielsen, of Aarhus, Denmark, will drive the No. 7 Orion/Royal Purple/LaSalle Solutions/PassTime USA Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3. She’ll make her track debut this weekend.
Turner Motorsport’s Bret Curtis, of Austin, TX, and Bill Ziegler, of Ponte Vedra, Fla. will be in the No. 32 Spectra Resources/United Steel Supply BMW E89 Z4 GT3, and the No. 95 Swisher Racing BMW E89 Z4 GT3 respectively. Curtis finished second in Round 7 at Barber.
Two Audis are entered in GTA. Drew Regitz, of Denver, will be in the No. 19 WWW.IRACECOACHING.COM Audi R8 LMS ultra, while Jeff Courtney, of Milwaukee, Wis. will be in the No. 99 Kenda/Recstuff.com Audi R8 LMS ultra.
Both Tim Pappas, of Boston, in the No. 54 Black Swan Racing Dodge Viper GT3-R and Dan Knox, of Pilot Point, Texas in the No. 80 ACS Manufacturing/Lone Star Racing Dodge Viper GT3-R, look for positive results at CTMP. Pappas comes off back-to-back podiums with a third in both of Rounds 6 and 7.
Rounding out the field of 15 GTA entrants is Mike Hedlund, of Woodside, Calif., in the No. 65 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia and Mike Muzzo, of Toronto, ON, in the No. 62 Pemberton Group R. Ferri Motorsport Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia.
Pirelli World Challenge GT Cup presented by MOMO: Can Thompson Continue his Dominance?
Colin Thompson, of Doylestown, Pa. continued his domination of the GT Cup class with back-to-back wins at Barber. Thompson will look for more in Rounds 8 and 9, again behind the wheel of No. 11 Porsche of Bucks County/Penn Valley Constructors/Sherwin Williams Automotive Finishes/Austin Hatcher Foundation Kelly-Moss Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
Thompson leads the GT Cup points race over TruSpeed Autosport’s Sloan Urry, of Salt Lake City, who sits second on the strength of three runner-up finishes, and two thirds at Barber in the No. 02 Engel & Volkers Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. Teammate Phil Fogg Jr., of Portland, won Round 3 at St. Petersburg in the No. 18 Zoro/TruSpeed Autosport Porsche 911 GT3 Cup and enters the weekend fifth in points.
Lorenzo Trefethen, of Napa, Calif., who heads into his first CTMP start in the No. 13 Trefethen Family Vineyards Porsche 911 GT3 Cup sits third in GT Cup standings.
Victor Gomez Jr., of San Juan, Puerto Rico in the No. 81 Porsche San Juan Porsche 911 GT3 Cup scored his best finish of the year at Long Beach with a third in class and sits sixth overall in class.
Rounding out the field of eight GT Cup entries is Preston Calvert, of Potomac, Md. in the No. 77 Phoenix Performance/Calvert Dynamics Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, Mitch Landry, of Lake Charles, LA. in the No. 97 Landry Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, and Eduardo Cisneros, of Miami, FL in the No. 29 MOMO NGT Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
Pirelli World Challenge GTS: Martin Looks to Build on His Early Season Success with a Win at CTMP
Dean Martin, of Westland, Mich., comes into Rounds 7 & 8 second in the GTS Drivers’ Championship with 533 points on the strength of three top 5 finishes and a win at St. Petersburg. All of Martin’s five career Pirelli World Challenge wins have come on street courses. Martin gets another chance to break through this weekend and score his first series road course win. He will pilot the No. 50 Rehagen Racing/Picture Cars East Ford Mustang Boss 302. Teaming with Martin will be Dan Martinson of Medina, MN in the No. 33 Gear Tie/Nite Ize Ford Boss 302.
TRG-AMR brings a single Aston Martin Vantage GT4 to the GTS battle with Canadian Max Riddle behind the wheel. Riddle, of Vancouver, BC, will pilot the 07 Orion/Royal Purple/LaSalle Solutions/PassTime USA car. Riddle takes over the very competitive 07 car from Kris Wilson, of Monument, Colo. Wilson, a sportscar veteran won Rounds 1, 5 and 6 to go along with three top 10 finishes.
Michael Cooper, of Syosset, N.Y., in the No. 10 Blackdog Speedshop Chevrolet Camaro Z28, comes into the CTMP weekend sitting in fourth place in the GTS Drivers’ Championship with 508 points. Cooper looks to improve upon his 5th and 10th at Barber. Cooper’s teammate for CTMP is Tony Gaples, of Libertyville, IL, who returns to pilot the No. 11 Blackdog Speedshop Chevrolet Camaro Z28. Gaples did not compete at Barber.
Including Martin and Martinson, there’s a half dozen Mustangs entered for CTMP in GTS. Kurt Rezzetano, of Phoenixville, Pa., in the No. 37 Phoenix American Motorsports/Calvert Dynamics Ford Mustang Boss 302, comes into the weekend fifth in drivers’ points with 507. Rezzetano had two sevenths at Barber.
Rezzetano’s teammate Andrew Aquilante, of Chester Springs, Pa., sits in third overall with 530 points, and will pilot the No. 32 Phoenix American Motorsports Calvert Dynamics Phoenix American Motorsports Boss 302. Aquilante had a third and a fourth at Barber. Phoenix American Motorsports will also campaign the No. 35 Phoenix American Motorsports Calvert Dynamics Ford Mustang Boss 302 with Preston Calvert, Potomac, Md. behind the wheel. Calvert will do double duty over the weekend competiting in both GT Cup and GTS.
Jack Roush Jr. of Livonia, Mich. will pilot the No. 60 ROUSH Performance Capaldi Racing Ford Boss 302. Roush Jr. enters CTMP 8th overall in the class drivers’ standings.
Hometown favorite Mark Wilkins, of Toronto, ON, comes into the weekend 7th in points with 431. He will pilot the No. 38 Kinetic Motorsports PutOnTheBrakes.Org Kia Optima. CTMP is Wilkins’ home track and he won one of the GTS races here back in 2012. Partnered with him will be teammate Ben Clucas, of Northampton London. Clucas pilots the No. 36 Kinetic Motorsports DonorsChoose.Org Kia Optima and comes into the weekend 6th in drivers’ standings with 470 points.
Series veteran Nick Esayian, of San Diego, CA, switches over to pilot the No. 34 Special Operations Warrior Foundation/Justap Stephen Cameron Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT4 after having been in a Ford Mustang Boss 302 to start the season.
After a tough start to the 2015 season, Jack Baldwin, of Marietta, Ga., looks to get back on track with a strong showing at CTMP. Baldwin pilots the No. 73 RESET-MD GTSport Racing Porsche Cayman . Buz McCall, of Boca Raton, Fla. will again team with Baldwin as the pilot of the No. 72 RESET-MD GTSport Racing Porsche Cayman.
Also campaigning the iconic Chevrolet Camaro Z28 in the series is Best IT Racing. Talented driver Andy Lee, of Colorado Springs, Colo., is in the No. 20 Chevrolet Camaro Z28.
Mark Klenin, of Lone Tree, Colo., returns to GTS with his own team. Klenin will pilot the No. 62 Schomp Auto/Invisible Glass/Premier Copier Klenin Performance Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT4.
Rounding out the 17-car GTS field is three-time series champion Lou Gigliotti, of Dallas, TX driving the No. 28 LG Motorsports Aston Martin Vantage GT4.
Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car: Can Ellsworth Continue His Early Season Momentum?
Cody Ellsworth, of Jupiter, FL, had a tremendous Circuit of the Americas weekend back in March to open the 2015 season. The pilot of the No. 04 Autometrics Motorsports Mac Papers/Hastings Fiberglass Porsche Cayman won Rounds 1 and 2 and finished third in Round 3. He leads the TC Drivers’ Championship with 360 points.
Adam Poland, of Mount Vernon, Texas, in the No. 33 Edge Addicts/Texas Track Works Eastex Motorsports Mazda MX-5 sits second overall in class with 277 points after a third in Round 1 and a second in Round 2.
Fifteen-year-old Nathan Stacy from Owesso, OK has moved up to TC from TCB where he finished second overall in class in 2014. Stacy will be piloting a proven platform in the series – the Volvo C30. The No. 14 3R Racing/Stacy Racing Volvo C30 is a series winner from a couple of seasons ago, and will be supported by 3R Racing – a team with a number of series championships.
Another driver looking to make some noise this coming weekend is Ernie Francis Jr. of Davie, FL. Francis Jr. pilots the No. 98 Breathless Performance/Time4Learning Breathless Racing Mazda MX5. Francis Jr. has had success at CTMP having won a TCA race last year at the track.
Jeff Altenburg, the former series TC Drivers’ Champion from 2007, returns to run full-time in the series. Altenburg, of Ellicott City, MD, will run the No. 15 HPA Motorsports VW Jetta GL1. HPA will also campaign the No. 16 HPA Motorsports VW Jetta GL1 for Alex Welch.
Up-and-coming driver Jason Cherry, from Gambrills, MD, will be driving the No. 13 Skullcandy Team Nissan Nissan Altima. Cherry enters the weekend fifth in class drivers’ points.
The Webster, NY husband and wife team behind Berg Racing will be campaigning a pair of cars, with John Weisberg driving the No. 40 REDCOM Laboratories/Color Track/Red Line Berg Racing Porsche Cayman, and Dinah Weisberg in the No. 50 REDCOM Laboratories/Color Track/Red Line BERG Racing Mazda MX5.
Completing the 16-car TC field entered for CTMP are Steve Burns, of San Antonio, Texas, in the No. 43 VP Racing Fuels Ian Lacy Racing Ford Mustang V6; Austin Snader, of Sealy, TX, in the No. 64 Encapsulite International, Inc. Snader Racing Mazda MX-5; Randy Hale of Haddam, CT, in the No. 17 TransAero/Hale Propeller Hale Motorsports Mazda MX-5, Corey Fergus, of Columbus, OH, in the No. 00 USLED/Axis Roofing/AERO/RSS/Motul Motorsports Promotions Porsche Cayman, Cory Friedman, of Charleston, SC, in the No. 03 Mac Papers/Hastings Fiberglass Autometrics Motorsports Porsche Cayman, Andrew Rains, of Auburn, AL , in the No. 44 National Bank of Commerce Rains Racing VW Golf and Mikey Taylor, of Birmingham, Ala., in the No. 26 NBC Bank/AfriGIS Rains Racing VW Golf.
Pirelli World Challenge TCA: Wolfe and Holbrook Lead Talented Group in Class
Defending Class champion Jason Wolfe of Mount Vernon, OH, returns in the No. 36 Wolfe Trucking Kinetic Motorsports Kia Forte Koup. Wolfe enters the weekend second in class points after winning Round 3 at Circuit of the Americas. Teaming with Wolfe is Canadian Samantha Tan, of Gormley, ON in the No. 38 Kinetic Motorsports Kia Forte Koup. Tam will be competing at her hometown track.
Looking to challenge Wolfe is Shea Holbrook, of Orlando, FL, in the No. 67 Lucas Oil/BUBBA Burger/Hendrick Honda Shea Racing Honda Civic Si. Holbrook comes into the weekend third in class drivers’ championship points.
Series stalwarts Compass360Racing bring two Honda Civic Sis to the battle at CTMP with Paul Holton, of Tallahassee, FL, in the No. 71 Children’s Tumor Foundation/Honda Performance Development/Racing4Research.org Compass360 Racing Honda Civic Si, and Emilee Tominovich, of Clarksville, MD, in the No. 72 Compass360 Racing Honda Civic Si.
Also competing in TCA at CTMP are Kevin Anderson, of Huntington, Station, NY, in the No. 22 Techsportracing.com Tech Sport Racing Mazda RX8; Neal de Paz, of Daytona Beach, FL, in the No. 5 NDP Motorsports Honda Civic; Kris Wright, of Pittsburgh, PA, in the No. 34 Kinetic Motorsports Kia Forte Koup; Patrick Seguin, of Ottawa, ON, in the No. 49 helpkevinproject.com/buynutrimind.com Branden Peterson Racing Honda Civic Si; Timothy A Mincey Sr., of Port St Lucie, Fla., in the No. 4 Mincey Racing Godspeed Project Suspension Honda Civic Si; and Elivan Goulart, of Shelton, CT, in the No. 23 Tech Sport Racing Mazda RX-8.
Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car B-Spec: Schwartz Leads 12-Car Field into CTMP
Johan Schwartz, of Huntersville, NC, won all three TCB races at COTA and leads in class drivers’ championship points with 445. He will pilot the No. 25 Tech Sport Racing / Zero Cancer Chevy Sonic.
Racing.ca campaigns three cars in TCB with Glenn Nixon, of Mission, BC, piloting the No. 58 Racing.ca/LaptopScreen.com/Nixon Prosport Racing.ca MINI Cooper along with teammates Andrei Kisel in the No. 57 Racing.ca/LaptopScreen.com Racing.ca MINI Cooper and newcomer Wei Lu, of Richmond, BC, in the No. 59 Racing.ca/Nixon Prosports/LaptopScreen.com/Miniusa.com Racing.ca MINI Cooper. Nixon comes into the weekend second in drivers’ championship points with 328.
The 12-car field includes Jason Fichter, of Jupiter, FL, in the No. 7 Surf Fire & Security Breathless Racing MINI Cooper; P.J. Groenke, of Toronto, ON, in the No. 8 Verax.ca/Tundra/Mulligan Gold/Clairhaven Ltd/Martinrea International Inc/Pelto Agri Investments/Warp Speed Computers Inc. P.J. Groenke Racing MINI Cooper; Van Svenson, of Hyde Park, NY, in the No. 2 Hack Racing Chevrolet Sonic; Marc Sherrin, of Lucas, TX, in the No. 27 GSpeed/Steadfast Funding Ford Fiesta; Tom Noble, of Medina, MN, in the No. 48 BIR Performance Driving School/West Real Estate Shea Racing MINI Cooper; Travis W. Washay, of Milford, CT, in the No. 30 Indian Summer Racing MINI Cooper; Mac Korince, of Ridgeway, ON in the No. 51 Indian Summer Racing MINI Cooper, and Randy Smith, of Coldwater, ON, in the No. 66 IDLife/Race2IDLife.com Shea Racing Honda Fit.
Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, 10-turn 2.458 mile permanent road course
Thursday, May 14: 4:55 p.m.-5:20 p.m. TC/TCA/TCB Qualifying
Friday, May 15: 11:35 a.m. – 12:05 p.m. GTS Qualifying. GT/GTA/GT Cup Qualifying, 3:05 p.m. – 3:50 p.m.
50 minutes (GT/GTA/GT Cup, GTS), 40 minutes (TC/TCA/TCB)
Friday, May 15:
• TC/TCA/TCB Race 1: 12:45 p.m.
Saturday, May 16:
• TC/TCA/TCB Race 2: 8:50 a.m.
• GTS Race 1: 10:30 a.m.
• GT/GTA/GT Cup Race 1: 1:10 p.m.
Sunday, May 17:
• TC/TCA/TCB Race 3: 7:55 a.m.
• GTS Race 2: 9:40 a.m.
• GT/GTA/GT Cup Race 2: 2:25 p.m.
Television (on CBS Sports Network):
Sunday, May 24, 5 p.m.: GT/GTA, GT Cup presented by MOMO. Wednesday, May 27, 7 p.m.: TC, TCA, TCB. Wednesday, May 27, 9 p.m.: GTS.
All times listed above Eastern. Times subject to change.