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PWC Considering Combined GT, GTS Races

Pirelli World Challenge could combine GT, GTS grids into single races later this year…

Photo: Brian Cleary/PWC

Pirelli World Challenge could return to running combined GT and GTS races in selected events later this year, according to WC Vision President and CEO Greg Gill.

The sprint race championship, which separated its two primary classes in 2015 due to the influx of GT3-spec machinery, is now faced with a reduced grid of GT cars this year, following the conclusion of the Cadillac and Acura factory programs and several teams exiting the class.

A total of 12 GT/GTA entries are set for this weekend’s Sprint season-opener in St. Pete, leading to questions over GT3’s long-term sustainability, particularly as a standalone top class.

Gill acknowledged that the topic of combined GT/GTS races has already been raised, with the series currently seeking competitor feedback.

“That will be something that we’ll look at,” Gill told Sportscar365. “We want to talk to the teams and drivers about that.

“It was here [in St. Pete] that we made the first split GTS away from GT because there were just too many cars.

“[However], if you add the 12 GT3 cars and you put them up against 28 GT4s, you’re going to be over the size that can be handled here.

“But I think we’re going to look at it.”

The growth of the GTS class, which sees a nearly 30-car field this weekend and likely additional entries for the SprintX season-opener at Circuit of The Americas later this month, could prevent a full-season integration of the two categories.

Instead, Gill indicated they could consider running combined races at some of the longer tracks on the schedule, such as Road America and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. 

SprintX races, however, wound likely remain standalone, due to the complexities involving the pit stops.

A combined GT/GTS race could be seen as early as next month’s Long Beach Grand Prix, with the series considering inviting selected GTS teams to the GT-only race on an invitational and non-points basis, as a precursor to an increased integration later in the year.

“Another aspect that I think we should look at… is that what if you’re one of these pro GTS teams in GT4, even as a single driver, maybe it would be better [to be] part of the show with GT3,” Gill said.

“We have to talk to the teams and drivers to make sure it works for them.

“Certainly, it’s something you’d want for the fans and the TV audience of what’s going to look good.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John



  1. João Coelho

    March 9, 2018 at 8:21 pm

    I would like to see that as well.

  2. Northstar

    March 9, 2018 at 9:48 pm

    Please no. I love GT4 racing so I would hate the see it return to getting ignored even if there is a battle while the camera focuses on the GT3 car that’s leading by half a lap.

  3. Passanger

    March 9, 2018 at 10:24 pm

    I don’t actually care about it. If combined can make race longer, I will like it.

  4. Gaucherie

    March 10, 2018 at 3:37 am

    Definitely needed for the non Sprint X races. Nothing more dull on TV tiny field plus the idea of spectating at the Glen and waiting 2 minutes for 12 cars to pass by doesn’t appeal.

  5. daedalus

    March 10, 2018 at 11:59 am

    bad idea, you will end up with half the coverage as the races will still be 50 mins. You will just end up missing action in both classes and the huge number of cars will turn the races into caution fests.

  6. JeffB

    March 10, 2018 at 11:01 pm

    As someone who has really enjoyed the variety of machinery in the GTS class in the past, I’m really looking forward to seeing the larger, even more varied field at Road America this year and would really hate to see the focus on this excellent field of cars diluted by having to run with the GT cars.

    I would very much prefer to have them as separate races so I can devote my full attention to both.

    Hopefully with Road America being a driver’s favorite, that event might attract enough cars to push it up to 15 or so, making the organizers comfortable enough to keep them separate races.

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