Pirelli World Challenge primer: Detroit

Leave a comment

The Pirelli World Challenge heads to the Raceway on Belle Isle in Detroit this weekend, as the GT and GTS classes prepare for the Cadillac V-Series Challenge doubleheader event. Race live streaming begins on Saturday at 9:45 a.m. ET on www.world-challengetv.com, with the race broadcast on the NBC Sports Network Sunday, June 16, at 5 p.m. ET.

Detroit is a hotbed for manufacturers, particularly GM, whose headquarters is on the other side of the street across the river. Cadillac swept the weekend last year with Johnny O’Connell.

This weekend, the question is whether the hometown brands can hold serve against the marquee manufacturers not based in Detroit.

So far Audi has taken three of five wins in GT with James Sofronas, the thus far dominant points leader in the No. 14 GMG R8, with Cadillac (O’Connell) and Volvo (Alex Figge) adding a win apiece. Besides the two Cadillacs, Mike Skeen’s CRP Racing Corvette could capture a win in the shadows of GM HQ. Otherwise, the selection of contenders from Audi, Volvo, Nissan, Porsche and Mercedes will fight it out for honors in the 12-car class.

GTS has a wide-open field between its 28 cars. Still, like in GT, one driver dominated the doubleheader a year ago: Andy Lee of Best IT Racing, in his Camaro. Lee got on the scoreboard for 2013 two weeks ago at the Circuit of the Americas, and has leapt to fourth place in points.

The other contenders include points leader Jack Baldwin in the GTSport Racing with Goldcrest Porsche Cayman, the Blackdog Camaro driven by Lawson Aschenbach, the RealTime Acura TSXs of Peter Cunningham and Nick Esayian, the pair of Kinetic Racing Kia Optimas and the fleet of Ford Mustang Boss 302Ss, which seek a solid run for the first time this year. Other manufacturers in the GTS field include Nissan, Lotus and Scion FR-S.

The full entry list is linked here.

IndyCar 2017 driver review: All posts, one place

Getty Images
Leave a comment

In case you missed any of MotorSportsTalk’s extensive 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series driver-by-driver reviews on NBCSports.com, we’ve combined them all into one post.

See the full rankings below. Of the 38 drivers that raced at least once this year, 23 of them ran anywhere from six races to the full 17-race schedule, and got a full review. Drivers who competed in four or fewer races were packaged into the “remaining part-timers” post.

1. Josef Newgarden
2. Simon Pagenaud
3. Scott Dixon
4. Helio Castroneves
5. Will Power
6. Graham Rahal
7. Alexander Rossi
8. Takuma Sato
9. Ryan Hunter-Reay
10. Tony Kanaan
11. Max Chilton
12. Marco Andretti
13. James Hinchcliffe
14. Ed Jones
15. JR Hildebrand
16. Carlos Munoz
17. Charlie Kimball
18. Conor Daly
19. Mikhail Aleshin
20. Spencer Pigot / 22. Ed Carpenter
21. Sebastien Bourdais / 25. Esteban Gutierrez
23-24, 26-38. All the rest