Red Bull Global Rallycross begins 2014 season this weekend in Barbados

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The gentle waves, the cool ocean breeze, the warm sunshine – Barbados can be quite a serene place.

But not this weekend.

The Red Bull Global Rallycross contingent is visiting the Caribbean island for business, not pleasure. Well, maybe a little pleasure…But not until after their season-opener, which is part of the Top Gear Festival Barbados at Bushy Park Circuit.

The GRC event is part of a jam-packed two day party that will feature – among other things – hordes of supercars, Formula One demonstrations from Lewis Hamilton, and the usual Top Gear cast: Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, James May, and the man that lets his right foot do the talking – The Stig.

You can watch the race on Saturday, May 24, at 1 p.m. ET on NBC. NBC will air most of the GRC races this season (primarily live), with re-airs on NBCSN, the NBC Sports Network.

Plenty of talent will be on the GRC grid this year, and their accomplishments speak for themselves.

Perhaps the one driver that jumps out for most American race fans is Scott Speed, the former F1 and NASCAR racer that’s teamed with two-time GRC champ Tanner Foust at Andretti Autosport.

Another major name is Ken Block, who won the GRC season finale last year in Las Vegas and has become an icon to millions of young action sports aficionados thanks in part to his electrifying series of Gymkhana driving videos.

This season’s driver roster also features Emma Gilmour, the first female competitor in GRC history that’s driving for and teaming with former Pikes Peak Hill Climb world record holder Rhys Millen.

Also ready to rock and roll are drivers such as Nelson Piquet Jr., who like Speed, also has experience in the F1 and NASCAR worlds; Sverre Isachsen, a multi-time rallycross champion in Europe; former NASCAR K&N Series veteran Austin Dyne; and Bucky Lasek, a X Games skateboarding legend that’s entering his third GRC campaign after winning the series’ 2013 sportsmanship award.

2014 Red Bull Global Rallycross Schedule

May 18 – Top Gear Festival Barbados (May 24, 1 p.m. ET on NBC)

June 7 – X Games Austin (check local listings)

June 22 – Volkswagen Rallycross DC (LIVE, 2 p.m. ET on NBC)

July 20 – New York, NY (LIVE, 2 p.m. ET on NBC)

July 26 – Charlotte, NC (LIVE, 3 p.m. ET on NBC)

Aug. 3 – Detroit, MI (LIVE, 2 p.m. ET on NBC)

Aug. 23 – Daytona Beach, FL (LIVE, 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC)

Sept. 20 – Los Angeles, CA (LIVE, 5 p.m. ET on NBC)

Sept. 27 – Seattle, WA (Sept. 28, 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC)

Nov. 5 – Las Vegas, NV (Nov. 16, 2 p.m. ET on NBC)

Red Bull Global Rallycross Drivers/Teams

Supercars

00-Steve Arpin (CAN), Royal Purple Racing/OMSE2 Ford Fiesta ST

04-Sarah Burgess (AUS), BMI Racing Chevrolet Sonic

07-Nelson Piquet Jr. (BRA), SH Racing Rallycross Ford Fiesta ST

11-Sverre Isachsen (NOR), Subaru Rally Team USA WRX STI

14-Austin Dyne (USA), Barracuda Racing Ford Fiesta ST

18-Patrik Sandell (SWE), Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta ST

27-Emma Gilmour (NZL), Rhys Miller Racing Hyundai Veloster

31-Joni Wiman (FIN), Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta ST

34-Tanner Foust (USA), Andretti Autosport Volkswagen Polo

38-Brian Deegan (USA), Ford Fiesta ST

43-Ken Block (USA), Hoonigan Racing Division Ford Fiesta ST

59-Pat Moro (USA), Chevrolet Sonic Racing/PMR Motorsports

67-Rhys Millen (USA), Rhys Millen Racing Hyundai Veloster

77-Scott Speed (USA), Andretti Autosport Volkswagen Polo

81-Bucky Lasek (USA), Subaru Rally Team USA WRX STI

199-Travis Pastrana (USA), Subaru Rally Team USA WRX STI

GRC Lites

24-Mitchell Dejong (USA, Olsbergs MSE), 39-Kevin Ericsson (SWE, Olsbergs MSE), 60-Tyler Benson (USA, Rhys Miller Racing), 65-Geoff Sykes (USA, Team TBA), 77-Austin Cindric (USA, Go Puck/Nightrain), 79-Blake Fuller (USA, Go Puck/Nightrain), 88-Harry Cheung (USA, Cohesive Front Racing), 126-Alejandro Fernandez (COL, Olsbergs MSE).

The Callaway Corvette GT3 is coming to America, in PWC

Photo: Callaway Competition USA
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Pirelli World Challenge has been in need of some good news from a car count standpoint early into this offseason, and receives it Monday with confirmation Callaway Competition will bring its GT3-spec homologated Corvette C7 GT3-R Stateside next season.

The withdrawal of the factory Cadillac Racing program after PWC’s season finale in Sonoma in September has opened the door for the factory-blessed Corvette C7 GT3-R to run in North America, because Cadillac’s ATS-V.R has been the lone GT3-spec car under the General Motors awning for the last three seasons, while the Callaway Corvette has raced only internationally.

Reeves Callaway has been on site at the tail end of the PWC season to survey the opportunity and now a deal has been struck for a factory effort to run next year, before the Callaway Corvette program becomes a customer effort in 2019. This follows the same timeline as Acura did with its new NSX GT3 this year to run it as a factory program in 2017 before shifting to customer efforts in 2018.

“Joining the Pirelli World Challenge has been a long term objective for Callaway Competition,” Callaway said in a release. “Now the field is a roll-call of the most capable sports cars from every country. To do well here, you must beat the best in the world. What better way to showcase our iconic American car?

“For 2018, we will run a Callaway factory team to give us the best chance of continuing the championship record the Corvette has achieved in international competition. For 2019, we will not race against our customers, but provide high-quality support to them in the tradition of other manufacturer customer racing support programs.”

“For several years fans have asked when they would see the Callaway Corvette GT3 run in the Pirelli World Challenge,” added Greg Gill, President and CEO of Pirelli World Challenge. “The wait is over and we are very pleased to announce the arrival of the Callaway Corvette GT3 for the 2018 season.”

The Callaway Competition USA Corvette C7 GT3-R will be unveiled and both full season drivers announced at the Performance Racing Industry show in Indianapolis on December 7 at the Pirelli World Challenge booth. Following the unveiling event, the car will be on display for the remainder of the trade show. Details of the presentation will be announced in the coming weeks.

Callaway’s confirmation comes amidst the likely drawdown of potentially nine or 10 cars that raced in PWC’s GT and GTA ranks either all season or most of it in 2017, among at least five manufacturers. That’s not to say those losses can’t be recouped elsewhere on the grid, over the next several months before the St. Petersburg season opener in March.

PWC will hold its annual state of the series and competitor meeting to finalize the next year’s plans at the PRI show as well.