PWC returns to Portland after a 13-year absence with International field
For Oregon sports car racers Steve Streimer and Derek DeBoer, the 58th annual Rose Cup Races featuring the Pirelli World Challenge can’t come fast enough.
After a 13-year absence from Portland International Raceway, North America’s top GT Production-based road racing series comes back to the Rose City with a superb field of local, national and international racing professionals set to battle on July 13-15 at the 1.97-mile, 12-turn road circuit in Delta park, north of downtown Portland.
Steve Streimer WIN at Pirelli World Challenge @ VIR, Virginia International Raceway, Alton, VA , April 2018. (Photo by Brian Cleary/BCPix.com)
The excitement has been building for the Pirelli World Challenge sports car series to return since the announcement last year around the 58th edition of the popular Rose Cup Races and Streimer and DeBoer have been waiting for the racing action to begin in their home state anxiously.
Cars like Ferrari, Porsche, Bentley, Mercedes, Audi, McLaren, Maserati, Camaro, Mustang plus wild machinery like Panoz, Ginetta, KTM and Sin Car make up one of the most exotic collection of racing sports cars in the world for the July 13-15 racing event. Plus, the entertaining Touring Car divisions will be at PIR too with TCR, TC and TCA categories.
“There has been an excitement in the sports car world in Oregon and, especially the Portland area, since the Pirelli World Challenge announced it was returning to PIR,” said Streimer, a PWC Touring Car race winner already in 2018. “I think the racing fans around the state will see a great variety of cars and some outstanding racing too. I can’t wait to hit the track next week.”
Streimer, whose Streimer Sheet Metal Works is just three miles south of PIR, has been a regular at PIR since 2008 and has been winner in the annual Rose Cup weekend in the past. He drove a Porsche 997 to the 2014 victory and hopes to continue another winner’s circle appearance in the PWC doubleheader weekend (races on Saturday and Sunday).
“We’ll have our No. 23 TechSport Racing Nissan 370Z ready to go in the Touring Car class,” he said. “We have a host of local sponsors — Johnson Air Products, Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream, Impact Printing and Allen Webb Nissan plus my company – participating in the PWC Rose Cup Races as well as big group of family and fans. We won last year in the Trans-Am races there and I’d love to get to top of the podium again this year.”
If anyone has local knowledge of the PIR road circuit, it is Streimer and he hopes it helps him.
“There are some fantastic drivers in the Pirelli World Challenge from all over the world,” Streimer said. “I might have a little advantage early, but they will catch to me quickly with their experience on North America and international race tracks. The racing will be intense.”
For DeBoer, a Pirelli World Challenge race winner in the past two years, the PIR weekend is big for himself, his team (TRG), sponsors and family. The Ashland, Ore., resident also brings his Fastlife TV reality show (available currently on Amazon) to PIR to show the ‘behind-the-scenes” activities of the popular road racing competition.
“We are extremely excited to race at PIR in the Pirelli World Challenge series, in which we travel around North America on a regular basis,” said DeBoer, who’ll team with Sean Gibbons in the No. 66 TRG Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR sports car at PIR in the GTS SprintX category. “I have been driving an Aston Martin GTS car the past few years and now moving into the Porsche Cayman is a big change. Actually, the two cars are ‘Polar Opposites’ with the big, heavy, powerful Aston Martin and switching to the lighter, quicker Porsche. But we expect to be competitive at PIR.”
Derek and Brooke DeBoer
Brooke DeBoer, Derek’s wife, has developed an interesting video production – Fastlife.tv – available on Amazon Prime that chronicles the ‘behind-the-scenes’ life of a racing family striving to live their racing dreams.
“Derek moves really, really fast everywhere he goes,” said Brooke. “Fastlife is an all-access pass into the world of competitive motorsports, featuring a behind-the-scenes look at Derek’s life through my lens and all of the successes, challenges and roadblocks we face as we chase our dreams. It’s an interesting view of our sport.”
DeBoer, in-car highlights St. Petersburg 2016 – Go Beavs!
DeBoer, an Oregon State graduate who was a competitive wakeboarder before his racing career, has been successful in a variety of racing forms. He grew up with his father, Al, racing Top Alcohol dragsters at the PIR drag strip. Now Derek has concentrated on the road racing aspect.
“I traveled up and down the West Coast with my dad and his drag racing machines,” said Derek. “I caught the racing fever and still continue it today. So, coming back to PIR to race at the Rose Cup weekend with PWC is a thrill. I can’t wait to get to the track next week for the big weekend.”
Another local father-son team from Portland will also be in the action as Rich and Trevor Baek compete in the GT SprintX doubleheader with the No. 87 Vital Speed Motorsports Ferrari 488 GT3.
Some 85 plus Pirelli World Challenge entries are set for eight different classes including GT SprintX, GTS SprintX and the Touring Car divisions when racing action begins Friday (July 13) at 8:50 a.m. PDT with all classes in practice rounds. Saturday (July 14) will feature four PWC main events beginning at 1:10 p.m. PDT with Sunday (July 15) also presenting four PWC races starting at 10:40 a.m. PDT.