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Gill: SRO America Aiming for Continuity in 2023

SRO America President and CEO Greg Gill on season expectations, stability in rules, regs…

Photo: Regis Lefebure/SRO

Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS is poised for continuity this year according to SRO America President and CEO Greg Gill, who is taking a measured growth plan for its flagship GT series.

The GT3 championship is set to continue with an unchanged format in 2023, with a pair of 90-minute extended sprint races on each weekend along with the continued mandate of at least one Silver-rated driver for each Pro class driver lineup, a change that was made early last year.

While Sportscar365 understands that at least one long-running team will not return to the series, Gill said car counts are on track for a modest increase over 2022 numbers.

Several new or returning teams have already announced full season GTWC America programs, including MDK Motorsports, RS1, The Racers Group and ST Racing.

“It’s good to see the continued growth on entries as we look forward to the 2023 season,” Gill told Sportscar365. “We’ve picked up where we’ve left off.

“We were in the mid-teens on the grid, now it looks like it will be the high-teens.

“We’ve been pleased with the quality of the teams and drivers that have been coming in.

“GT America is continuing to see growth and I think that’s a good gateway to Fanatec GT World Challenge for people because a Bronze driver can get in and realize they can run with their pro.

“We’ve been pleased with that and I think we’ll see some more announcements. I’m excited about that.”

Gill credited the stable rules and regulations, as well as an unchanged calendar, for helping bring further stability to the paddock.

“I think that’s a key thing,” he said. “We’ve really worked to be consistent and sometimes when I haven’t liked doing something, I’ve thought, ‘This is what we need to do to be consistent with it.’

“Now, stewardship and race direction will be the same. We’ll have a lot of returning faces but we’re also adding more people into race control.

“We’re trying to be consistent and have things be predictable. We’ll debut some things at St. Pete but we’re really excited about Sonoma.”

While GT America presented by AWS kicks off next month on the streets of St. Pete alongside the NTT IndyCar Series, both the GTWC America and Pirelli GT4 America seasons will start at Sonoma Raceway in early April.

Gill said grids in GT4 America will continue to expand, while the new Toyota GR Cup, which will be sanctioned by SRO America, set to add further opportunities to drivers looking to get their start in professional racing.

“Pirelli GT4 America continues to grow and we’ll probably have grids in excess of 40 cars,” he said. “We’ve seen some growth there.

“The success of the Toyota GR Cup is also helping. There’s always some questions with our touring car classes, whether GR Cup would cannibalize it?

“That’s a very legitimate thought but it’s actually helped us grow. We’ll see, in a year or two, people will want to graduate into TCX or go to GT4. Certainly Toyota’s got the product for them.”

With the addition of GR Cup, SRO America has further reinforced its so-called ladder system that offers drivers to move from the TC/GR Cup ranks to GT4 and ultimately GTWC America if desired.

“Considering the fact that we’ve never started with it as a goal; we’ve had people who have been in TC for their entire career,” Gill said.

“But we’ve always liked that you start at it and move.

“Skip Barber is demonstrating that and of course Samantha Tan certainly has proof of that. She came to us through TC, through GT4 and into GT3.

“We’re excited about that. It gives the customer racing program something for people to shoot for.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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