The date for the 2019 California 8 Hours has been set, with WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca to host the second round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge on March 28-30.
It comes following the initial release of the IGTC schedule, which had listed the event for a to-be-determined weekend in either March or April.
The U.S. leg of SRO Motorsports Group’s globe-trotting series will move to the springtime date after serving as the season finale in the first two years of the championship.
SRO founder and CEO Stephane Ratel explained that the date shift will enable a “more fluid” calendar for sea freight, particularly with teams coming from the season-opening Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.
“It will be a challenge in some way because maybe it’s more difficult for U.S. teams to race at the beginning of the season than other at the end like we have now,” Ratel told Sportscar365.
“On the other hand, there are many events at Laguna at the second half of the year.
“Spring allows us a more fluid calendar. With sea freight, you can go from Bathurst to California in time without requiring air freight.”
As previously announced, the expanded five-round season will conclude with the Kyalami 9 Hours in November.
2019 Intercontinental GT Challenge Schedule:
Feb. 2-3 — Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour
March 28-30 — California 8 Hours
July 27-28 — Total 24 Hours of Spa
Aug. 24-25 — Suzuka 10 Hours
Nov. 2-3 — Kyalami 9 Hours