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PWC, SCCA announce multi-year extension

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The Pirelli World Challenge and SCCA continue together with SCCA continuing as the sports car sprint racing series’ sanctioning body.

It’s news because World Challenge’s sanctioning entity has occasionally been rumored to change over the years. This may strengthen the relationship between the two entities going forward.

The full release from the series is below:

WC Vision LLC, producers of the Pirelli World Challenge, today announced a multi-year extension agreement with the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Pro Racing division to continue as the sanctioning body for North America’s most popular sports car production-based series.

Now in its 27th year, Pirelli World Challenge enjoyed one of its most successful and competitive seasons in 2015 with seven different auto manufacturers finishing in the top seven driver point positions (Cadillac, Ferrari, Porsche, Nissan, McLaren, Acura and Audi) in the GT division led by Johnny O’Connell’s fourth consecutive championship for Cadillac Racing.

In addition, PWC features six other categories throughout its 11-weekend season with GTA, GT Cup, GTS, TC, TCA and TC-B Spec classes.

SCCA Pro Racing Ltd., wholly owned subsidiary of Sports Car Club of America, Inc. – a 60,000-member organization dedicated to motorsports events. SCCA Pro Racing provides full-service organization, operation and sanction for numerous professional racing series, documented within this web site. Known for its operational expertise, SCCA Pro Racing has been the choice of privately-owned racing series, as well as those promoted by automobile manufacturers, to conduct all facets of their championships.

“I am pleased to announce a multi-year extension with our many year relationship with SCCA Pro Racing,” said Greg Gill, president and CEO of WC Vision. “We have watched the changes in the club and continued growth and we couldn’t be happier with this alliance. We look forward to a many year association.

“This is obviously good news for SCCA to be extending our agreement with the Pirelli World Challenge,” said Derrick Walker, president of SCCA Pro Racing. “I think the series is the right format. It is an exciting format with a lot of great competitors in the series. SCCA is so glad to be a part of it. We’re looking forward to the future with PWC.”

Pirelli World Challenge, which features an exciting 50-minute sprint race format, provides teams, manufacturers and aftermarket suppliers a competitive production-based race series in which to prove their products in 11 weekends starting in March and concluding in October.

Toyota No. 8 car wins the 24 Hours of Le Mans for third consecutive year

24 Hours of Le Mans
JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP via Getty Images
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LE MANS, France — Toyota Gazoo’s No. 8 car comfortably won the 24 Hours of Le Mans by five laps Sunday to secure a third straight victory in the prestigious endurance race.

It was also a third consecutive win for Swiss driver Sebastien Buemi and Japan’s Kazuki Nakajima driving. Brendon Hartley was the other driver, having replaced two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso.

Buemi and Hartley sat on the side of the car as Nakajima drove toward the podium. Hartley won for a second time after tasting success with the Porsche LMP Team in 2017 before an unhappy season in Formula One.

The Swiss team’s Rebellion No. 1 featured American driver Gustavo Menezes and Brazilian Bruno Senna – the nephew of late F1 great Ayrton Senna.

It finished one lap ahead of Toyota Gazoo’s No. 7, with Rebellion’s No. 3 finishing in fourth place.

For much of the race it looked like Toyota’s No. 7 would win after leading comfortably from pole position. But late into the night the car encountered an engine problem and the 30-minute stop in the stands proved costly.

The race was first held in 1923. A total of 252,500 spectators attended in 2019, but there were none this year when the race started three months late because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We miss the fans,” New Zealander Hartley said. “I look forward to seeing all the fans again.”

In other divisions:

United Autosports won the LMP2 division with the entry of Filipe Albuquerque, Paul Di Resta and Phil Hanson.

–In LMGTE Pro, the victory was claimed by Aston Martin Vantage AMR of Maxime Martin, Alex Lynn and Harry Tincknell (who drives for Mazda in the DPi division of IMSA).

–TF Sport won the LMGTE Am class.

The Toyota No. 7 took pole after former F1 driver Kamui Kobayashi narrowly edged out the Rebellion No. 1 team in qualifying.

In damp and humid conditions Mike Conway got away cleanly from the start, while Senna held off Buemi.

After nearly seven hours, Toyota’s No. 8 fell back after a 10-minute stop in the stands to fix a brake-cooling problem on Kazuki Nakajima’s car. Rebellion’s No. 1, driven by Frenchman Norman Nato, took advantage to move into second place behind Toyota’s No. 7.

Then came the decisive moment at 2:40 a.m. as the No. 7 – also featuring Argentine Jose Maria Lopez – encountered a turbo problem. When the car came back out it was back in fourth.

“We had a few problems early in the race,” Nakajima said. “Later they had a bigger issue than us.”

Rebellion’s No. 1 encountered a problem on the hood at around 9 a.m. and the change took six minutes, allowing the Rebellion No. 3 (Nathanael Berthon-Louis Deletraz-Romain Dumas) to close the gap.

It was becoming a tight battle between the two Rebellion cars behind Toyota’s No. 8.

At 12 p.m. Rebellion No. 3 with Dumas behind the wheel was only one second ahead of No. 1 driven by Menezes. Then both cars came in for a driver change with Deletraz swapping for Dumas on a lengthy stop, and Nato for Menezes as Rebellion No. 1 suddenly moved ahead of its team rival.

Dumas, a winner in 2016 with Porsche, appeared unhappy at the strategy decision to bring his car in first and the length of the stop. There were tense explanations in the team garage.

Colombian Tatiana Calderon, an F1 test driver with Alfa Romeo, was in the Richard Mille Racing Team in the LMP2 category. She was joined by German Sophia Florsch – an F3 driver – and Dutchwoman Beitske Visser. They placed ninth out of 24 in their category.