WC Vision, which runs the Pirelli World Challenge, has revealed which classes will be running where, how often and in what race format on next year's schedule.
In 2017, the GT/GTA classes will feature five Sprint weekends (50-minute single driver events) and five SprintX doubleheader contests (60-minute, two-driver events). The GT Cup will have four Sprint weekends.
The GT/GTA/GT Cup champions will be determined in three separate point categories with Sprint and SprintX Champions.
Pirelli World Challenge’s Sprint races for GT/GTA/GT Cup events will include four double-header weekends with the Verizon IndyCar Series at St. Petersburg, Road America, Mid-Ohio and Sonoma, while Long Beach race will feature just one race.
All five SprintX weekends, where PWC is headlining, will feature double-headers. These will be at VIR, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Lime Rock Park, Utah Motorsports Campus and Circuit of The Americas.
Drivers, teams and manufacturers competing in all 19 GT/GTA and 18 GT Cup races will be named the overall Pirelli World Challenge champions.
Four of the five GT/GTA/GT Cup Sprint weekends will be same-day television coverage on the CBS Sports Network.
In GTS/GT4, all 18 races (9 weekends) will be Sprint format with 50-minute, single-driver contests. However, GTS/GT4 cars will also will be allowed to compete in SprintX. Meanwhile, the Touring Car classes – TC, TCA and TCB – will continue their traditional sprint races (40-minute, single-driver) at six PWC weekends (12 races).
Greg Gill, WC Vision President and CEO commented: “Building on the highly-competitive battles across all classes in 2016 and, with the expansion of the SprintX format to five racing weekends, we believe our drivers, teams and fans will enjoy our most exciting season ever in 2017.”
Marcus Haselgrove, VP of competition, said that PWC expanding the GT3 base has allowed for more competitors in 2017, a trend he foresees continuing in the upcoming years.
“GT3 customers now have increased opportunities to run for a single-driver or a two-driver championship or compete in all events for an overall title,” said Haselgrove. “This exciting expansion is in response to our customer feedback with the new GT production-based equipment entering our series.”
The Pirelli World Challenge season finale for the Touring Car categories is again set for Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on Oct. 13-15, sharing the bill with the SRO Motorsports Group’s Intercontinental GT Challenge eight-hour endurance event. The season finale for GT/GTA/GT Cup and GTS divisions will take place at Sonoma Raceway in September.
2017 Pirelli World Challenge schedule
March 10-12, Streets of St. Petersburg, Fla.
April 7-9, Streets of Long Beach, Calif.
April 28-30, Virginia International Raceway, Va.
May 19-21, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Ont., CAN
May 26-27, Lime Rock Park, Conn.
June 23-25, Road America, Wisc.
July 28-30, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Ohio
August 11-13, Utah Motorsports Campus, Utah
September 1-3, Circuit of the Americas, Texas
September 15-17, Sonoma Raceway, Calif.
October 13-15, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Salinas, Calif. (with SRO International GT Challenge)