AUDI R8 LMS
In Pirelli World Challenge, seeing an opportunity means going for it, says James Sofronas.
hen you’re racing in Pirelli World
Challenge, you have to run flat-out the
entire race. But you have to be smart
about it – smart when you pick and
choose to pass someone – because the
racing is so close and aggressive, you’re
always one ill-timed move away from
being pancaked into the wall.
Every move must be calculated; in
Grand-Am, there’s a lot more time to set
up a pass and try it a few different ways
until you pull it off. World Challenge is
sprint racing – you don’t have the luxury
of time, so if you see an opportunity,
your natural instinct is to go for it
because it might not be there again. But
“Winning nowadays almost
requires perfection. One brake
lockup and you’re getting passed”
don’t think the guy you’re trying to pass
isn’t aware of it and won’t try to do
everything he can to make you think
twice about going down the inside…
That’s another thing about World
Challenge that’s evolved since I first
came into the series. The racing has
always been tough, always been a place
where you trade paint and leave body
panels on the track, but the execution
level, at least in the GT class, is now
Of course, everybody makes mistakes
every now and then, and that’s where
you normally capitalize on them and
make a pass, but the quality of driving is
so high now that those mistakes – the
opportunities you’re presented with and
have to instantly grab – are pretty rare.
Winning nowadays almost requires
perfection. One brake lockup and you’re
getting passed – and maybe not just by
one car, but several.
You’re attacking like hell and leaning
on each other here, but winning isn’t
about being a bull in a china shop like it
once was. It’s harder to win now than ever
before, which says a lot for the quality of
the series and where it’s headed.
Pilgrim in a GMG Audi
sandwich, headed by
Put a Pirelli World Challenge-spec Audi R8 LMS alongside one in
pure GT3 trim and the biggest visual difference is the PWC car’s
rear wing from Max Crawford’s N.C.-based composites company.
At the front, the car uses a Grand-Am splitter with a 2in. extension.