In 2008, SCCA Pro Racing entered into an agreement with WC Vision to license the managing and marketing rights to the Pirelli World Challenge. In 2015, the Pirelli World Challenge officials announced an alliance with the SRO Motorsports Group and the Blancpain GT Series. That affiliation has expanded in 2016 with the two sports car racing series utilizing similar technical regulations including the SRO Balance of Performance equations and other selected particulars.
In 2016 the Pirelli World Challenge consists of five categories, running in three Series. The headline Series runs FIA GT3 homologated cars labelled GT and GTA for GT Pro and GT Am together with GT Cup cars, competing over 11 rounds, starting at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin and ending at the Californian track of Laguna Seca.
The GTS category, bringing together American muscle cars and European GT4-homologated cars, is present at seven of these events while the TC class, consisting mainly of Japanese Touring cars joins the bill at six events. All events are organised in North America, with ten events in the United States, and one at the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Bowmanville, Ontario.
At six events, the Pirelli World Challenge races as part of the prestigious Indycar race meetings, with the remaining five being standalone events. All races follow a Sprint format, with 40 or 50 minute duration, no mandatory pit stops and only one driver per car. Most categories have two races per weekend, with the exception of a single GT race at the Long Beach Grand Prix in California. Later this year, a new format, SprintX, will be launched for GT3 cars, with a two-driver format and mandatory pit stops, mirroring GT3 competition in Europe.
“Working with Stephane and his SRO Motorsports Group, a great relationship has been established with WC Vision over the past year,” stated Greg Gill, president and CEO WC Vision, producers of the Pirelli World Challenge. “We have an open forum with their officials to work closely on the technical side with the GT3 regulations. Now, having Stephane join our Board of Directors, this definitely gives WC Vision and the Pirelli World Challenge a worldwide perspective from the leader in GT racing.”
“Our alliance with WC Vision and Pirelli World Challenge has been outstanding,” added Stephane Ratel founder and CEO SRO Motorsports Group. “We have enjoyed working closely with Greg and his entire WC Vision staff as well as getting to know the WC Vision Board members. I’m very enthusiastic about joining the Board of Directors and the outlook for the company’s future. I see great potential in the Pirelli World Challenge and I can’t wait to work more closely within the series.”