Pirelli World Challenge released their provisional 2017 calendar today.
Eleven GT Production Racing Weekends include Prestigious Motorsports Circuits
LEXINGTON, Ohio – WC Vision, producers of the exciting Pirelli World Challenge, today announced its provisional plans for the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge Championships with new series outlines and schedule for North America’s biggest GT Production-based road racing campaign.
In 2016, the PWC trail featured over 20 auto manufacturers and 37 separate models through its eight racing divisions – GT, GTA, GT Cup, GTS, Touring Car, TCA, TCB and SprintX – in its 27th year as one of the world’s most competitive and entertaining sedan racing series.
In addition, the Pirelli World Challenge worked closely with worldwide GT racing leader, the SRO Blancpain Series, in a variety of elements including Balance of Performance (BoP) parameters and other technical regulations.
For 2017, the PWC tour will provisionally host eleven weekends through North America including a return visit to Virginia International Raceway (VIR) with the popular 3.27-mile, 17-turn permanent road circuit set to host all eight PWC classes on April 28-30. PWC’s last VIR appearance was in 2010. In addition, the series season-opener the past two years, Circuit of the Americas (COTA), will host all eight categories in a Labor Day spectacular set for Sept. 1-3.
As usual, the Pirelli World Challenge will visit many of North America’s most prestigious and legendary race facilities starting with the season opener scheduled for the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., on March 10-12, the annual Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
“We are extremely excited about our provisional 2017 Pirelli World Challenge schedule especially after the competition level in 2016,” said Greg Gill, president and CEO of WC Vision. “We will give our racing fans the opportunity to witness the excitement and wheel-to-wheel action that makes the Pirelli World Challenge so special. We want to thank many of North America’s most iconic road racing venues in bringing the best GT Production-based motorsports racing to their racing facilities in 2017. We hope to have the schedule finalized very soon.”
In addition to the provisional look at the 2017 schedule, Pirelli World Challenge also announced a new format for the GT and GTS events include five single-driver sprint events at the five weekends with the Verizon IndyCar Series including St. Petersburg, Long Beach (April 7-9), Road America (June 23-25), Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (July 28-30) and one other weekend to be announced. All except Long Beach (GT single race) will be doubleheader weekend.
In the five PWC headliner races, all eight PWC classes will compete at VIR (April 28-30), Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (May 19-21), Lime Rock Park (May 26-27), COTA (Sept. 1-3) and another summer weekend event to be announced in the near future.
In the PWC headliner weekends, the GT and GTS classes will be competing in the SprintX two-driver format with a 60-minute limit for each of the doubleheader features. Each entry will have two drivers competing in either a GT or GTS car during those contests.
“The GT3 and GTS/GT4 customers now have increased opportunities to run for a single or two-driver championship or compete in all events for an overall title,” said Marcus Haselgrove, Pirelli World Challenge Competition Director. “Plus, the addition of the Am (non-pro) class in GTS/GT4 is in response to our customer feedback.”
The Pirelli World Challenge finale again will take place at the prestigious Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with a unique weekend set for racers and fans on Oct. 13-15. Working in conjunction with the popular European-based SRO Blancpain GT Series, the SRO Motorsports Group Intercontinental GT Challenge will include a six-hour GT endurance contest with US-based GT teams.
The Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca event will be part of the global GT3 series which includes the Liqui-Moly Bathhurst 12 Hours, Total 24 Hours of Spa and the Sepang 12 Hours. The Intercontinental GT Challenge is aimed at manufacturers, who are encouraged to use local teams to represent them in the leading GT3 races, as it is more cost- and time-effective to fly engineers and drivers around the world rather than cars and equipment.
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2017 Provisional Pirelli World Challenge Schedule
|March 10-12||Streets of St. Petersburg||GT/GTA/GT Cup, GTS|
|April 7-9||Streets of Long Beach||GT|
|April 28-30||Virginia International Raceway||GT/GTA/GT Cup, GTS, TC, TCA, TCB, SprintX|
|May 19-21||Canadian Tire Motorsport Park||GT/GTA/GT Cup, GTS, TC, TCA, TCB, SprintX|
|May 26-27||Lime Rock Park||GT/GTA/GT Cup, GTS, TC, TCA, TCB, SprintX|
|June 23-25||Road America||GT/GTA/GT Cup, GTS|
|July 28-30||Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course||GT/GTA/GT Cup, GTS|
|August||TBA||GT/GTA/GT Cup, GTS, TC, TCA, TCB, SprintX|
|Sept. 1-3||Circuit of the Americas (COTA)||GT/GTA/GT Cup, GTS, TC, TCA, TCB, SprintX|
|September||TBA||GT/GTA/GT Cup, GTS|
|Oct. 13-15||SRO Intercontinental GT Challenge||GT|
[photo | mike gillilan]