This past Sunday May 17th, we spent the day enjoying the final day of Victoria Day Speedfest Weekend at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (known as Mosport) in Bowmanville Ontario, where the Pirelli World Challenge races were being held.
The Pirelli World Challenge, or PWC, is a North American 12 weekend racing series, and Mosport is its 5th stop, and sole Canadian stop. It is a 3 day long event which sees regular production cars compete in races with each other. Essentially, these cars are not your typical race cars – they are cars that regular people can buy from the major commercial automotive brands (with a modification or two). The PWC encompasses 6 vehicle classes and 7 driver classes, which include:
- GT – Grand Touring
- GTA – Grand Touring cars driven by hobby drivers
- GT Cup – Grand Touring Cup
- GTS – Grand Touring Sport
- TC – Touring Car
- TCA – Touring Car A-Spec
- TCB – Touring Car B-Spec
We were particularly interested in the TCB class, which features the Chevrolet Sonic, the GTS class, which the Chevrolet Camaro races in, and the GT/GTA/GTC class, which sees the Cadillac ATS compete.
The day was warm and sunny, with the largest crowd we had ever seen at the Mosport track! There was so much going on, from driver autograph sessions, live music, a marketplace full of merchandise, team pit walk-arounds inside the team paddocks, the Chevrolet Race Day Challenge Event and more. There was even a mechanical bull! There was a little something there for everyone, and in our opinion, it was the perfect way to spend a warm Victoria day Sunday.
We arrived in time to catch Round 9 of the GT/GTA/GTC class races.
We were rooting for Johnny O’Connell and Andy Pilgrim, drivers from Cadillac Racing’s #3 and #8 Cadillac ATS VR GT3 race cars. After a nail biter of a race, O’Connell was the victor of Round 9, beating the Bentley Continental GT3 by a narrow margin of only half a second! O’Connell was also the winner of Round 8 on Saturday, the first win of the season for Cadillac and their all new ATS.VR. For the past 3 seasons, Cadillac Racing has been the winner of the Manufacturer and Driver Championships, so we were excited when O’Connell pulled off the win, securing their victory 4 years running!
Unfortunately, Pilgrim’s Cadillac had to retire from the race after 18 laps due to mechanical issues.
Though we missed Round 8 of the PWC’s GTS class races, we were happy to hear that one of the Camaro Z/Z8.Rs, driven by Michael Cooper of Blackdog Speed Shop (Chicago), finished 3rd. Cooper is currently ranked 5th overall after 8 races in the GTS class.
We also missed Round 6 of the TC/TCA/TCB class races, which saw the Chevrolet Sonic race against other small models including the Mini Cooper, the Honda Fit, and the Ford Fiesta, among others. Tech Sport Racing’s Johan Schwartz, driving the #25 Chevy Sonic, lead the pack – he currently leads the TCB class after 6 races! This was the first time racing at Mosport and in Canada for Schwartz.
What a great weekend of racing! All in all, it was an enjoyable and exciting day of sun and cars, and we were pretty exhausted by the time we got home that night! But for us, watching these cars race in person makes it all worthwhile. Now, we are looking forward to the next PWC event, taking place next weekend (May 29 – 31) in Detroit, Michigan. For the full Pirelli World Challenge schedule, click here!