Variety in Motion: The Cars of Pirelli World Challenge

Indy 2014 Saturday 005

IndyCar is pretty cool. Not only do some of the best open-wheel drivers in the world race their Dallara DW12’s on ovals at over 230 MPH (that’s 370+ Km/h, if anyone from the rest of the world is reading this), they also bump it out over rough street circuits and even do some old fashioned road course racing, like here at Sonoma.

Indy 2014 Sunday 053

To me, there’s one big problem with IndyCar. No, it’s not the racing. The drivers are not afraid to go for it.

Indy 2014 Sunday 054

It’s the fact that all the cars are the same. Of course, that has its benefits: there are thirteen teams (Formula One has eleven) running anywhere from one to four cars for the season.

Indy 2014 Sunday 120

Although spec series like IndyCar produce great racing due to the relative equality of machinery, I still think it’s a lot more interesting when you have different cars battling it out on the track. Pirelli World Challenge is an excellent example of a series that manages to have a great disparity of makes and great racing action.

Indy 2014 Saturday 074

Don’t you want to see a Bentley Continental battling a Ford Mustang? By the way, that’s Jack Roush, Jr. at the helm of the Roush Mustang.

Indy 2014 Saturday 114

Indy 2014 Sunday 155

Speaking of odd choices, how about a Kia Optima? There was a pair of them in this race, running an amazing amount of rear camber.

Indy 2014 Saturday 109

Given the choice, it would be natural to pick an Italian supercar like the venerable Lamborghini Gallardo. The Audi BS in the interior is stripped out, and you’re left with a screaming V10 and awesome rear louvers. How about that racecar suspension and aero, too?

Indy 2014 Sunday 161

Of course, if you like Italian horses, why not go with the most famous prancing horse of them all? Anthony Lazzaro won Race 2 driving the #61 Ferrari 458 Italia you see here.

Indy 2014 Sunday 154

Speaking of winners, Mike Skeen in the #2 Audi R8–seen here battling with Johnny O’Connell in the #3 Cadillac CTS-V–was the winner of Race 1.

Indy 2014 Sunday 169

Another entry in the supercar wars is McLaren, of course.

Indy 2014 Saturday 054

However, as much as I love those, I’m more intrigued by the weird side of the spectrum, like the TLX. Wait, what is up with that thing..?

Indy 2014 Saturday 056

Damn. Apparently the driver (Peter Cunningham) stalled the car when the green flag (light?) dropped, and got rear-ended. Bummer.

Indy 2014 Saturday 081

Indy 2014 Saturday 082

How about the “Dat Dog” Mustang? Its pilot Brad Adams clearly decided that the brown stuff was part of the track too.

Indy 2014 Saturday 089

Other drivers took a slightly more cautious approach to the chicane, though. Thank goodness they widened that section (note the fresh tarmac at the second apex).

Indy 2014 Sunday 137

I really liked the C6 Corvette. How long until there’s a C7 in this class?

Indy 2014 Saturday 108

Indy 2014 Sunday 167

So cool seeing the big Viper out there.

Indy 2014 Saturday 101

Although the sharp end of the grid is great, there are plenty of entrants down the field. I don’t care that Brian Kleeman finished 36th and 32nd in the two races, respectively; his 370Z still looked great doing so.

Indy 2014 Saturday 092

Another cool treat is seeing Porsche’s black sheep, the Cayman, getting some motorsports love.

Indy 2014 Saturday 103

Unfortunately, it doesn’t directly compete with the 911. Like many, I’ve always wondered what the ultimate iteration of a Cayman could be–the 911 GT3 RS treatment on a Cayman, in other words. Conspiracy theorists has been suggesting for years that Porsche holds back on the MR platform so as not to overstep the 911. Well, now we can finally look at the 918–which carries a naturally-aspirated V8 mounted amidships–and probably admit that they’re right.

Indy 2014 Sunday 130

Seeing ZL1’s battling on track is pretty cool too–these are rare as hen’s teeth in the wild, at least in my area.

Indy 2014 Sunday 148

Indy 2014 Sunday 149

If you’re a Mustang fan, you’d certainly have plenty to lust over in this series.

Anyway, that’s it for all the different cars, but there are still a few more pics I want to share. Dean Martin in the #50 Mustang had a very, very rough weekend.

Indy 2014 Saturday 061

In the first race, tire failure caused some sparky issues with the front end.

Indy 2014 Sunday 178

In the second race, tire failure caused a collision with a wall, which made quite a scene. Luckily, although he didn’t walk away, he was examined and immediately released from the infield care center.

Indy 2014 Sunday 180

I thought back to the times when a simple waved yellow flag would have sufficed for such an incident. As it happened, the scene was just too much of a mess, and the race ended under yellow; quite a sad anti-climax to such an exciting day of racing.

Indy 2014 Saturday 102

Indy 2014 Sunday 176

That Bentley, though!

Indy 2014 Sunday 170

Indy 2014 Saturday 111

Indy 2014 Saturday 093

Indy 2014 Saturday 104

Alright. That’s the end of my coverage for this event. As always, if you want to see more, just click the pictures to go to Flickr and explore. Cheers.

Something to say?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: