There will be an added incentive for Pirelli World Challenge GT competitors next year, as the top drivers and teams will have a chance to race overseas in the Blancpain Sprint Series season finale.
PWC President and CEO Scott Bove confirmed to Sportscar365 that the top three teams from the 2015 GT drivers’ championship will be invited to compete in the Baku World Challenge on Oct. 24-25.
The race on the streets of the capital city of Azerbaijan will play host to the final round of the Blancpain Sprint Series for the third consecutive year, with additional entries from other European-based domestic championships also expected. This year’s Baku race was limited to a 30-car entry.
“They’ll be there to represent Pirelli World Challenge on the international front,” Bove told Sportscar365. “We have wanted to have a relationship with the Blancpain GT Series and this is a good way to start off that relationship by having our top three teams go to Baku and compete against the best in Europe.”
PWC will cover all travel expenses and logistics for its three teams, which will be for FIA GT3-spec machinery only. Bove said the deal to race in Baku came through its tire partner Pirelli, which also supplies tires to the Blancpain GT Series.
“As of right now, 15 to 18 percent of our TV and internet viewership is overseas,” Bove said. “We have a very, very large following in places like Germany, Italy and France. I believe that making this next step will increase our international attraction. Our goal is to grow our international flavor for 2015 and 2016.”
Bove said the the invited PWC teams will have to adjust accordingly to Blancpain Sprint Series rules, including the two-driver requirement per car.