GT World Challenge America powered by AWS will return to allowing all-pro lineups, while retaining its existing 90-minute two-driver format.
Confirmed by SRO America on Friday, the North American GT3-based championship will feature Pro, Pro-Am and Am classes after a season consisting primarily of Pro-Am lineups.
The Silver class, which saw only a single car for the majority of the season, has been axed for 2021.
The return of the Pro class, which had been eliminated for the 2020 season, came after consulting its existing stakeholders in the paddock according to SRO America President and CEO Greg Gill.
“The Pro-Am teams said to us, ‘If that helps the grid, we’ll do it,'” Gill told Sportscar365.
“We don’t want to be in competition with IMSA. Stephane [Ratel] nor myself are not interested in that. But the privateers want to run in a pro championship.
“Now we give them that opportunity. We don’t have anybody knocking on our door demanding we do it. We’re just saying the opportunity is there.
“As it stands, we’ll have a very nice Pro-Am championship.”
While having evaluated a change of race length, Gill said they believe the 90-minute format — along with the newly consolidated GT America series that will feature 40-minute races — offers a variety of options for its customer base.
“Let’s see how a 40-minute sprint works for GT3 cars and what happens and give customers who have been loyal to us during the time of the pandemic the opportunity to consider another year of 90-minute races,” Gill added.
A handful of teams, including K-PAX Racing, have expressed interest in running in the series on the condition of Pro-Pro lineups being revived.
RealTime Racing, meanwhile, has also been plotting a potential return, although it’s unclear what class it could enter.
Gill said he is targeting a grid of 13-15 cars, following a series-low average of seven entries this year.
The 2021 schedule is expected to be released on Saturday.