Interest is building within the Pirelli World Challenge GTS paddock for the SRO’s newly announced GT4 World Final in Bahrain, with multiple teams in the planning stages for the inaugural end-of-year race.
GMG Racing and Team Panoz Racing are among the PWC entrants that have expressed interest in the event, which will be part of the Bahrain GT Festival on Nov. 30 – Dec. 1 at the home of the Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix.
The World Final is open to entrants competing in any of the dozen GT4 series either organized or supported by SRO and will include Pro-Am, (Gold-Bronze), Silver and Am driver pairings.
Additionally, the team’s sea freight will be paid for by the SRO, in a move to encourage interest from all corners of the globe.
GMG team owner/driver James Sofronas, who fields three Audi R8 LMS GT4 cars in PWC, has revealed ambitions of taking a pair of the mid-engined sports cars to the Middle East, as part of a two-event overseas trip that would include the SRO’s GT4 sprint event in Hockeheim in October.
“That’s the tentative plan,” Sofronas told Sportscar365. “I really think it would be fun to go and Jason [Bell] seems gung-ho. If it all works out, budget-wise and scheduling-wise, and working with Audi closely, it could be fun.”
GMG, as well as Panoz are also planning entries for the Intercontinental GT Challenge season-ending California 8 Hours at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, which would add to its busy post-PWC season schedule.
According to Panoz team manager Tom Milner, Don Panoz has received a personal invite from SRO founder/CEO Stephane Ratel to attend the Bahrain event.
“In the end, it’s up to Don if we want to do it,” Milner told Sportscar365.
“I’m pretty sure that if SRO subsidizes it, whether it’s transportation, I feel pretty confident we’ll most likely do it.”
Sofronas, meanwhile, has also voiced his support for the World Final, which takes advantage of the GT4 platform’s global reach.
“If it’s heavily supported and subsidized to encourage GT4 teams that are not highly funded teams to go, I think it’s a great idea,” he said. “That’s what’s great about a worldwide class; you can race around the world. That’s why I think these cars are great.”
World Final a “Dream Come True” Opportunity for PWC
PWC boss Greg Gill said he’s excited at the prospect of several GTS teams making the trip overseas to compete against the world’s best in Bahrain, in not only representing the series but also North America.
“One of my earliest goals was to see the ‘world’ in World Challenge,” Gill told Sportscar365. “To me, this is part of a dream come true to be part of that and to see that aspect, and to see it done intelligently.
“When you have an established and trusted partner like the SRO globally, and you get the opportunity to participate and represent America, what a great opportunity. I’m excited for it.”