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Racing: Pirelli World Challenge joins Muscle Car Shootout at BIR

The Pirelli World Challenge will be part of the Muscle Car Shootout event this weekend at Brainerd International Raceway. (Photo by Mark Weber)

The Muscle Car Shootout has been one of Brainerd International Raceway's most popular races each season, and now there's another reason for fans to attend the Labor Day weekend spectacular: The Pirelli World Challenge.

This year's Muscle Car Shootout features the debut of the Pirelli World Challenge on BIR's 2.5-mile Competition Road Course. The Shootout also includes the grand finale of the three-race Muscle Car Series on the drag strip, and the Trans-Am Series and SCCA Jack Pine Sprints on the road course when the Pirelli cars aren't racing.

The Pirelli World Challenge is a major addition for BIR because it's one of the fastest-growing racing circuits in the country and North America's top production car-based championships.

BIR's race features the Touring Car A and B classes in a sprint format, which is a 50-minute race from start to finish. The Pirelli cars will have a practice session, qualifying and a race both Saturday and Sunday.

After the Pirelli race on Sunday, Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Pro Racing will take over the road course for a 40-lap, 100-mile Trans-Am Series race, which will cap off BIR's road racing program for the weekend. Practice and qualifying sessions are Saturday, with a practice session Sunday followed by races that feature Trans-Am classes TA, TA2 and TA3.

When the Pirelli and Trans-Am cars aren't on the road course, the track will be busy with the SCCA Jack Pine Sprints, which highlights regional road racers competing in a number of classes, including Vintage Racers. SCCA racers have practice and qualifying sessions Saturday and 10- and 12-lap races Sunday.

Meanwhile, drivers on BIR's drag strip will be red-lining in the three-race Muscle Car Series chase season championships during the series' grand finale weekend. The series' seven Heads-Up Classes will be center stage because of the big horsepower and speed that they generate. Fans will see runs over 200 mph in the 6- to 7-second range.

"We're really excited to have the Pirelli World Challenge this year," BIR owner Jed Copham said in a news release. "It's really growing fast in popularity and is a good fit for our Muscle Car Shootout event, which now has an amazing amount of diversity on the drag strip and on the road course. Fans can get a taste of many different types of racing, all of which feature drivers performing at a very high level. It's going to be a great weekend of racing and a great way to end the summer."

Fans will also be treated to a classic car show Saturday and live music Saturday night by Uncle Chunk.

Daily admission is $25. Kids 12 and under are free. On-site camping is free with a multi-day ticket. Tickets are available at the front gate or by calling BIR's ticket office at 218-824-RACE (7223) or 866-444-4455.