Pirelli World Challenge boss Greg Gill says it’s been “business as usual” for the series in the wake of SRO Motorsport Group’s majority acquisition, although expects further integration into the company’s global platform in the months to come.
SRO announced last month that it has become a majority shareholder in WC Vision, following an initial investment into the sprint race championship in 2016.
The partnership, which brought SRO’s Balance of Performance to the series, has increased in the last two years to include the expansion of the SprintX championship and co-promotion of the Intercontinental GT Challenge round at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
Gill, who along with all PWC management remain in unchanged roles, indicated that no major changes are on the horizon, with a focus instead on areas of improvement and leveraging SRO’s procedural knowledge and expertise.
“We’ve been very pleased so far with the integration into the SRO,” Gill told Sportscar365. “Because we had a two-and-a-half year relationship prior to the majority change, in a lot of ways, it’s been business as usual.
“The key aspects, though, is our desire to watch how they put a series together and how they’re able to get shorter running weekends and a more focused championship.
“We’ll certainly be working to that area and we’re looking forward to that in the future.”
One of the first steps taken has been the distribution of a survey to competitors last month at Lime Rock, which will help dictate any potential enhancements.
Gill said the results of the survey will be shared at the next round at Portland International Raceway, with further details on the championship’s future to be revealed during the SRO’s annual press conference at the Total 24 Hours of Spa in July.
“I’ve been really pleased with the paddock response, almost an 80 percent response rate to the survey, which is almost double than we ever had before,” he said.
“I think it helped from us having a ‘State of the Series’ meeting in Lime Rock, and making the announcement about the SRO.
“It was very clear to everyone that this is a group relationship. This is how the SRO operates. They gather feedback from the paddock; they take that information and come back to the paddock and say, ‘Here is what we have tabulated from all of your feedback. Here’s how we’re going to move forward.’
“I’ve been really impressed with it… But much more importantly, what I’m excited about is to see as the SRO brings Pirelli World Challenge under its global environment, what does that look like?
“That’s what we’ll have to wait to hear more about about at Spa.”
Gill said he doesn’t expect to see wholesale changes to the structure for 2019.
“I don’t think it’s a big opportunity for changes but it’s a big opportunity for improvements, definitely. That’s the next step for us,” he said.
“We’ll be entering the 30th year of World Challenge next year and that’s due to the loyalty of our fans and our drivers that have been there. There are certainly some teams here that have been part of the series for nearly that long and their opinion is extremely important to us.
“By the same token, we all recognize that in that 30-year period of time how motorsports has changed, and we have to be reflective of those changes. Those are the type of things we are thinking about.”