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PWC GT4 Series Formats Under Evaluation

Pirelli World Challenge evaluating changes to previously announced GTS, GT4 formats…

Photo: PWC

Pirelli World Challenge’s GT4 Sprint and SprintX-based categories are under evaluation for 2019, with changes possible from the provisional format and schedules released in July, according to WC Vision President and CEO Greg Gill.

The series, which was acquired by SRO Motorsports Group earlier this year, announced the launch of GT4 Americas East and West championships, utilizing a SprintX format, alongside a return to a full-season single-driver Sprint races for GTS.

Gill said further competitor feedback has now opened up the opportunity for possible adjustments to the GT4-based structure prior to the finalized calendars.

“What was initially proposed at Portland was well-received,” he told Sportscar365.

“Teams have now had some time to think about it. We sat down in Utah and had a conversation with the GTS teams.

“At that time, it was more of the GT4 SprintX teams or dual-drivers had questions. [Some of them] didn’t want to be relegated to what was proposed. They want to be part of a big show.

“I think what you’ll see us adapting to is giving equal weight to both series and equal opportunities, because we have the track time to do that.”

While seeing a surge in GT4 entries, the PWC paddock has largely been divided on race format, with roughly a 50/50 split between those in favor of 50-minute single-driver rounds and 60-minute two-driver races featuring pit stops.

Gill reiterated that plans are still in place to offer both Sprint and SprintX-style series for GT4 cars, although its exact makeup is the topic that remains open for discussion and feedback.

“We definitely are working to make sure that neither preference is made to feel like they are the second choice,” he said. “That’s the biggest concern for us.

“We talked about a 50/50 paddock and when we presented, we were evenly split.

“As we’ve talked about it right now, our goal, what we’ll be working on, is to get an equal level of involvement for that so both series and sets of drivers have a race and a championship that benefits them.

“Jack Baldwin, the series manager, has been out in the paddock talking and Stephane Ratel is giving us his feedback.

“I think in the next week or so we’ll have something final for next year.”

Gill added that improved clarity on the platform’s class structure, and within PWC in general, remains a key element.

GTS was initially announced to be eligible for Gold, Silver and Bronze-rated drivers, each with separate podiums, with GT4 East/West featuring Pro-Am and Am classes.

“It’s great to have a passionate and engaged paddock,” Gill said.

“On the same token, [some] criticism has been raised, ‘Gosh, all the changes, all the classes. I have trouble following it.’

“That’s important to us. Even though we’re customer-driven, we still want something that fans can understand and follow.

“So let’s keep it simple and make sure it’s easy to understand.”

No changes are in the works to what was announced for the GT class, which will still feature a seven-event calendar with a pair of 90-minute races with full service pit stops, which were confirmed over the weekend.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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