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After starting on the pole but falling behind mid-race, James Sofronas earned back the lead position to take victory at the Pirelli World Challenge event held at the Long Beach Grand Prix this past weekend. Driving the No. 14 GMG/Mobil 1 Audi R8 LMS, Sofronas was near the front of the pack when the No. 9 K-PAX Racing Volvo S60, driven by Alex Figge, suffered a brake rotor failure near the end of the race and went into a wall. The No. 3 Cadillac Racing Cadillac CTS-V.R, piloted by Johnny O'Connel

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Chief designer for Sunbeam, Louis Coatalen was once quoted as saying "Racing improves the breed." With Formula One racers that look like nothing on the open road, and NASCAR, whose cars only LOOK like what you can get in a dealership, its hard for the average Joe to see why motorsport is relevant to their daily lives.

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Kia had a bright start to the 2012 Pirelli World Challenge season, capturing its first podium in the series earlier this month with a solid third place finish at the Streets of Long Beach. It looked like Kia was going to build on that momentum this past weekend when its two Optima race cars found themselves in a 1-2 position with just a few laps left in the race. Would Kia capture their first World Challenge win in spectacular fashion? Well, the result was spectacular, but not in the way Kia wou

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Ford has finally given us a complete walk around video of the company's ready-to-order Ford Focus ST-R racer. The vehicle is available through the Ford Racing catalog and features all the tricks you'll need to compete in series like the Grand-Am ST class or the SCCA World Challenge TC. The racecar makes use of the same production EcoBoost 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and six-speed manual transmission found in the production model, though the engine has been calibrated to suck down race fuel fo

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It may have taken them a while to get around to it, but after reviving the Mini marque in 1994, BMW hasn't forgotten the original's rich racing heritage. It's what's taken them into the World Rally Championship, and is now leading to a B-Spec racer available right here in the United States.

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The Kia Optima is headed to the World Challenge next year. Kia has announced that it will once again partner up with Kinetic Motorsports, this time to build a pair of Optima SX models to go fender to fender with the rest of the World Challenge field. The two turbocharged sedans will compete in the Grand Touring Sport Class against vehicles like the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro, if you can believe that.

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Cadillac Racing hadn't won a race since the finale of the 2007 World Challenge season when Andy Pilgrim took the checkered flag at Laguna Seca driving the team's previous-generation Cadillac CTS-V sedan. This past weekend, the Wreath and Crest's factory team finally won again since returning to the sport this season after a three-year absence, but this time at Mid-Ohio with Andy's teammate, Johnny O'Connell, behind the wheel of the team's new CTS-V Coupe.

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The SCCA World Challenge series is some seriously exciting stuff that doesn't get nearly enough television exposure. With actual street cars duking it out on tight courses, it's door-to-door racing at its finest.

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Over the past few years, the Volvo S60 has achieved considerable success in touring car racing around the world. The factory-supported Polestar team took the title in the Swedish Touring Car Championship a few years back before switching to the C30, and K-Pax Racing took the Manufacturers' and Drivers' trophies in the World Challenge GT Championship with the car last year.

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2010 Toyo Tires World Challenge at Long Beach – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Actor Patrick Dempsey is no stranger to racetracks, nor to the pages of Autoblog. We've run into the Gray's Anatomy star at various races and automotive events over the past few years, most recently piloting a '90s Mazda RX-792 LeMans racer in the Historics at Laguna Seca. We've even seen him run at Long Beach, although that was in their annual Toyota Pro/Celebrity race that usually features as many crashes and spins as a roller-derby match.

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Customized 40th Anniversary 2010 Mazdaspeed3 - Click above for high-res image gallery

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