With increasing car counts and the addition of a new class, Pirelli World Challenge officials are evaluating the race structure format of its three top categories for 2015.
Speaking to Sportscar365, World Challenge Director of Competition Geoff Carter confirmed intentions of having separate GT and GTS races at the majority of the events next year, although the addition of the Porsche GT Cup class adds a new variable to the mix.
“We have a a fair number of GT3 cars and a fair number of GTS cars, but too many as a group together,” Carter told Sportscar365. “We’re trying to figure out a way to bolster one or the other to make sure we have two solid shows, whether it’s GT/GT Cup and GT Cup/GTS.”
The Porsche GT Cup class, announced last month, will be open to the popular 991-based Cup cars, which are also currently seen in the IMSA-sanctioned Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge series.
A test is scheduled for next month with Pirelli and Porsche to verify the tire fitment for the new single-make class, which should slot in between the GT and GTS classes in terms of performance.
“We’ve had huge interest in the GT Cup class,” Carter said. “Of the ten cars we were originally talking about [allocating], we had nine filled overnight when the announcement came out.
“We see the performance of the Cup cars to be much quicker than the GTS cars, so we’ll have less of a disparity from GT3 to the GT Cup cars, should they run together. We’ve also discussed the opportunity of running the GT Cup cars with the GTS cars.
“It’s all a matter of managing our car counts. We’re car count limited at certain venues like Long Beach and Detroit and to some extent St. Pete.”
While a preliminary 2015 World Challenge schedule is believed to be nearing completion, the final class structure for each event may not be confirmed until the series has a better grasp on its projected car counts for next year.
Carter said they hope to have 30 GT/GT-A full-season entries, while they are evaluating options of allowing more than the originally capped 10 entries in GT Cup.
It could all come into play at event such as Long Beach, which was limited at 40 entries this year. As a result of the increased GT grid, GTS cars are not likely to return to that event in 2015.
“This year [at Long Beach] we feel like we short-sided our teams and our fans by only taking 20 of each for a maximum of 40 cars,” Carter said. We have to find a compromise somewhere.
“Everyone loves the Southern California market. The GTS guys aren’t excited about not going to Long Beach. How many cars we would get at a place like Detroit, Mid-Ohio… we just have to wait and see how it goes.”