Pirelli World Challenge will be under a new sanctioning body beginning this year, with WC Vision confirming a partnership with longtime open-wheel and dirt racing organization, USAC.
The off-season change ends the championship’s 26-year relationship with the SCCA, which has served as the series’ sanctioning body since its inception.
According to PWC President and CEO Greg Gill, a decision for the change, which largely deals with administration and various other areas of series support, was not taken overnight.
“It’s not so much about who is sanctioning us but about where we are growing as a company: what makes sense, what kind of partnership do we need,” Gill told Sportscar365.
“We’re here today because of the Sports Car Club of America helping us grow as a business. We’re always mindful of that. Even though we had separate business areas and had turned the business around from a money-losing one to a money-making one, there still was a heritage.
“We were very proud of that, and we didn’t want to just loosely walk away from that relationship.”
According to Gill, WC Vision’s two-year contract extension with the SCCA, signed last March, was adjusted due to “some terms in the contract.”
He said WC Vision has been taking on a larger role in the organization of the championship since its takeover of the series from the SCCA in 2008, with the move to USAC being the logical next step in the process.
“Each year subsequently, we began pulling in more responsibilities and bringing more things in house,” Gill said. “Last year, as an example, we brought the technical inspections in house and brought a new technical manager on that was a WC Vision employee.
“As we looked forward, the next change came as we looked at what the club was able to do, and there was a clause in the agreement where there was an opportunity for us to change.
“As the agreement changed, that gave us the opportunity to switch to USAC and put us in a position where we can work with them.
“It’s kind of been a genesis and it’s been a process certainly that was accelerated back in August or September.
“Eventually this relationship was going to age, and the structure was going to change.”
PWC is the second road racing organization to now fall under the USAC umbrella, following last month’s announcement that Formula Race Promotions’ Atlantic, F2000 and F1600 championships will also be USAC-sanctioned beginning this year.
Founded by Tony Hulman in 1955, USAC has a strong history of road racing, having sanctioned the USAC Road Racing Championship from 1958-1962 that featured champions such as Roger Penske, Carroll Shelby and Dan Gurney.