This weekend brings the opening round in the SCCA World Challenge race through the streets of St. Petersburg, FL. Now called the Pirelli World Challenge Championships, the 2011 series starts with a double header event, leading into an eight-stop series which concludes at Road Atlanta in late fall.

The Cadillac Racing team returns for 2011 with a pair of CTS-V coupes driven by veterans Johnny O’Connell and Andy Pilgrim. Cadillac is reentering the World Challenge GT series this year, having previously competed in the World Challenge from 2004 to 2007. The team won the Speed GT Manufacturer’s Championship in both 2005 and 2007 with CTS-V Sedan race cars.

Cadillac Racing has been shaking down the two new cars, twice testing at Sebring earlier this year. The St. Petersburg event will see both CTS-V Coupes hit the track in full exterior colors, decals and numbers. Driver Andy Pilgrim will pilot the #8 car for Cadillac Racing, and teammate Johnny O’Connell will be behind the wheel of the #3 coupe.

Practice and qualifying for this weekend’s events is scheduled for Friday, with races following on Saturday and Sunday. Each race is fifty minutes long. The events are being run in conjunction with several other series, including the IZOD Indy Car and Firestone Indy Lights series.

Each race will be broadcast on a tape-delayed basis on Versus, with the St. Pete races airing Saturday, April 9 at 4:30 pm EDT. For more information, visit the World Challenge web site.