Pirelli World Challenge has revised the points structure for both the drivers’ and teams’ championships, as part of its integration with USAC as the championship’s new sanctioning body.
The sprint race championship has eliminated the SCCA-based points system in favor of a more simplified format, awarding the top-20 finishers with points, ranging from 25 points for a win, 23 for 2nd, 21 for 3rd, and decreasing to 1 point for 20th position.
Bonus points for pole position and fastest lap in Race 1 in each class will also remain, but at a single point each, instead of the previous 7 points.
The SprintX points structure will mirror Sprint races, but will be awarded per driver pairing, unlike last year’s individual points system for the two-driver, pit stop race format.
Points in the manufacturer’s championship remain unchanged, with 10 points for the winning car, 8 for second, 6 for third and so on. One bonus point for pole will also continue.
According to PWC President and CEO Greg Gill, the overhaul was made to simplify the overall process, in the wake of recent incidents involving points-related mishaps with the previous scoring and timekeeping system.
“Our goal is to have it be smoother for our competitors, easier to understand, and I think particularly now what we’ll look at is, how points are being scored within SprintX,” Gill told Sportscar365.
“That’s going to be intriguing. I won’t add any more comment into it until we get to VIR and we see how that rolls out, but I think it’s going to make for some exciting racing and more fair not only to the drivers but to the teams and driver to understand the system and follow on track.”
Also new for 2017 will be an overall GT champion for Sprint and SprintX combined, along with individual champions for GT Pro and GT Am (Sprint), GT Pro-Pro, GT Pro-Am and GT Am-Am (SprintX).
Combined GT Cup and GTS champions will also be awarded between the Sprint and SprintX series, although SprintX will be optional for GTS competitors.
The PWC season kicks off at St. Petersburg on March 10-12 with Sprint races for GT/GTA/GT Cup and GTS, with the SprintX season getting underway at Virginia International Raceway on April 28-30.