What Is the Pirelli World Challenge?

“If you've ever wondered where the production-based race cars that have some basis in reality went, here's your answer: World Challenge.”

- Stef Schrader, Black Flag

Pirelli World Challenge Circuit of The AmericasThe Pirelli World Challenge makes its way to Circuit of The Americas™ in March of this year, and to say that we’re stoked might be a bit of an understatement.  The World Challenge has been in existence in some form or fashion since the 1980s, and today it’s a North American production-based race series that enables teams, manufacturers, and aftermarket suppliers to put the efficacy of their vehicles on display for the world to see.

Each race in the Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) is essentially a sprint.  They’re timed at 50 minutes, ensuring that fans are on the edge of their seats throughout the race – not lulled to sleep by the peaceful drone of powerful engines for a four-hour nap.  Pit stops and driver changes are rare in this series, ensuring that no time is wasted on the road to the finish line.  The PWC also has a number of other unique features that set it apart from other racing series!

Standing Starts

The PWC is currently the only multi-class sports racing series with standing starts!  A standing start is pretty much what comes to mind when one pictures drag racing on the streets – two cars side by side at a red light, completely still aside from the revving of their motors as the drivers eyeball one another, sizing each other up.  Once the light turns green, tires squeal and the smell of burnt rubber fills the air as the two take off down the stretch.  If you’re familiar with Mario Kart, just call that to mind.


The PWC has been growing for a number of years and boasts one of the most diverse fields in America.  These days, seven total classes are featured:

  • Pirelli World Challenge Circuit of The AmericaGTS (Grand Touring Sport)
  • GT (Grand Touring)
  • GTA (Grand Touring – A)
  • GT Cup (Grand Touring Cup)
  • TC (Touring Car)
  • TCA (Touring Car A)
  • TCB (Touring Car B-Spec)

The GTS is in a class all its own, while the rest are divided among two groups: GT, GTA, and GT Cup classes are in one group, while TC, TCA, and TCB classes run in another group.


You’re likely to recognize every manufacturer featured in the PWC.  Prestigious names like Audi, Porsche, McLaren, Bentley, Ferrari, and Lamborghini can be seen as well as popular car makes such as Ford, Chevrolet, Honda, Mazda, and Volkswagen.  Every vehicle is different, but the goals of each are the same: waste the other cars off the line, go fast, maintain control, and cross the finish line first.

Be There for the 2016 Pirelli World Challenge Season Opener!

This year’s season begins once again at Circuit of The Americas, a purpose-built track in Austin, Texas that also plays host to other noteworthy racing events like the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix™, MotoGP Grand Prix of the Americas™, and Lone Star Le Mans.  This circuit features 19 turns and a 133-foot climb into a blind left turn, borrowing features from classic tracks around the world!

For unrivaled access to the 27th season of the PWC, look no further than Official Ticket Packages from Circuit of The Americas Experiences!  Paddock Club packages ensure privileged views of the start and finish line, pit lane, and Turns 1 and 20!  Your Official Ticket Package comes complete with access to Circuit of The Americas Experiences’ exclusive on-site hospitality venue in the Paddock Building, where you’ll enjoy gourmet food, a premium open bar, and closed-circuit television coverage of the races.

Get Your Pirelli World Challenge  Package Today!

Check out highlights from the 2015 season opener at COTA!  It may have been pretty wet out there last year, but it only added to the excitement and presented a new challenge to the drivers.

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