With the success of its championship domestically, Pirelli World Challenge is poised for further international growth, with plans in the works to hold an invitational-only GT3 round overseas in 2016.
PWC President and CEO Scott Bove confirmed to Sportscar365 plans for an end-of-year event, either in Australia, Europe or the Middle East, which would see the top-20 drivers and teams from the GT class be invited to compete.
“Our name for 25 years has been World Challenge. If we are truly going to be a ‘World Challenge’ we want to challenge the world,” Bove told Sportscar365.
“We are in discussions looking at several different options for our teams to participate in an overseas event, which we would sponsor. We want to find the right event and venue, whether that’d be in Australia, Europe or the Middle East.”
The proposed event would be reserved for full-season PWC entrants only and likely be run to the same sprint race format that’s seen in North America.
Such an event would come as part of the series’ long-term plan of international expansion.
As revealed by Sportscar365, the top-three drivers and teams from the 2015 GT championship will be invited to next year’s Blancpain Sprint Series season-ending Baku World Challenge in Azerbaijan.
Bove sees the Baku cooperation as a first step towards a potentially larger relationship with Stephane Ratel’s SRO Motorsports Group, which organizes the popular European-based Blancpain GT Series.
“We don’t have plans to go endurance racing, but there are some of our teams that would like to. So there might be some ways for us to engineer that,” he said.
“I believe Stephane respects Pirelli World Challenge and its accomplishments in the U.S. and I respect what Stephane has done with the Blancpain GT Series.
“Since the cars are identical platforms and [PWC] teams do want to travel in Europe, we have teams wanting to be involved in both series. It’s natural for us to start some discussions.”