The return of Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) to Portland International Raceway – June 13 – 15 – saw a fierce on-track battle come down to a heavily contested checkered flag.… and beyond. When the flag fell on the second of the two 60-minute features, Pfaff Motorsports made a statement that the Canadian team was not letting go of their championship aspirations for Scott Hargrove (Canada). He and Wolf Henzler (Germany) took the win on track, but were ultimately penalized, falling to third-place in the No. 96 Porsche 911 GT3 R. Porsche factory driver Michael Christensen (Denmark), co-driving with Spencer Pumpelly (Atlanta, Georgia), earned the pole position on the Portland, Oregon-area track for Saturday’s feature in the No. 24 Alegra Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R. The Tampa, Florida-based team finished in second-place on Saturday and fourth-place, just behind the Pfaff machine, on Sunday.
Various penalties in pit lane and on-track led to multiple changes in the finishing order for Sunday’s 60-minute race, with final penalties assessed well after the checkered flag fell. The results were Pfaff finishing in third-place and the Alegra car, behind in fourth-place.
The results of the penultimate rounds of the SprintX Championship leave a lasting impression on the point title chase for drivers, teams and manufacturers in the GT class. Hargrove entered Rounds 7 and 8 of 10 in a heated battle with championship contender Toni Vilander for the Overall PWC GT Drivers’ Championship. While the two-time IMSA Ultra Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama Champion still benefited at Portland more than Vilander, the penalty was an opportunity lost. After a string of recent successes, Christensen has also placed himself in the title mix entering the final races.
The Pirelli World Challenge travels to Utah Motorsports Campus on August 10 – 12. The Tooele, Utah track will play host to the two final races of the 2018 PWC SprintX Championship. While SprintX will crown a champion at the 3.048-mile, 24-turn course near Salt Lake City, the overall titlist will not be determined until the two final races of the Sprint Championship – 50-minute, single-driver events – at Watkins Glen International, August 31 – September 2.