While this weekend’s pair of Pirelli World Challenge races at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course will play a pivotal role in all of the series’ championships (all six divisions are in action this weekend), this is also a big weekend for charity and comebacks.
There’s two designated charity cars, which both feature two-driver lineups.
We wrote last week about the GTS class Ford Mustang Boss, driven in race one by Pirelli World Challenge President/CEO Scott Bove and 15-year-old USF2000 rising star Austin Cindric in the second, which will race for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.
Meanwhile the second charity car was announced Monday. The season-long Touring Car B-Spec FIAT 500 entry, run by 4R Motorsports and with support from FIAT USA/Pirelli Tire/SRT Motorsports, will see Leo Parente make his driving comeback with Dan Goodman also in the car. Parente, a former Formula Atlantic racer, has since carved a second successful career as a commentator. The two will run to benefit Maxton’s Fight Foundation. More info is here from the series website.
The Shea Racing Team, which fields two TCA class cars (Jason Cherry, Shea Holbrook) and two in TCB (Paul Holton, PJ Groenke) will have Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy boys and their families attending, as well.
Parente’s is one of three driving comebacks of note.
Alex Lloyd, the 2007 Indy Lights champion and 2010 IndyCar Series rookie-of-the-year who posted a best career result of fourth in that year’s Indianapolis 500 (and a qualifying effort a year later that still leaves my jaw dropped), will be entered in CRP Racing’s No. 12 Emkay Fleet Management/Hawk Performance Chevrolet Corvette. It’s his first pro race in three years, and first road course race since Sonoma 2010, when he drove for Dale Coyne Racing in IndyCar.
Lloyd will be joined in GT by Ryan Dalziel, the Extreme Speed Motorsports ace who’s making at least a one-off cameo appearance in EFFORT Racing’s No. 31 Porsche GT3 R, which won Round 9 in Toronto with Porsche factory driver Nick Tandy. Dalziel’s lone series appearance came in the 2013 season opener at St. Petersburg; he won the first race but was excluded post-race after the car was found out of compliance in technical inspection.
More details on the series’ races this weekend can be found on the series website, world-challenge.com.