Pirelli World Challenge President and CEO Greg Gill has reaffirmed the future of SprintX, indicating that tweaks to the race length and format are in the works for 2018.
The 60-minute two-driver format, first introduced in 2016, has seen considerable growth this year, with 30-plus car grids for the majority of the events, which have been integrated into the overall PWC championship.
Gill said he sees the concept moving forward next year, with the likely addition of mandatory tire changes and potentially longer races that would require refueling.
“Definitely SprintX is here to say,” Gill told Sportscar365. “I think we’ll see the technical tweaks we’ve talked about before.
“We stopped, at the team’s request, from tire changes [this year]. We’ll certainly return to that. We think tire changes are going to be really important.
“The 60-minute format might increase slightly, but we’ll have to address the fueling that would go with that. So we’ll see when that time comes, and with the stakeholder’s input.
“We’ve already started those conversations now and looking at it.”
Gill said the proposal of extended SprintX races would still maintain the sprint racing format, although would not be drawn on a possible race length.
It’s understood the concept of 1 hour and 40-minute races have been floated to teams for feedback.
“It would be in minutes, and not hours [longer],” Gill said. “That’s something we’ll look at.”
While currently featuring a three-class format in GT, GT Cup and GTS cars, Gill indicated that GTS machinery could be dropped from the lineup in favor of a potential format shakeup to the GT4-based category.
The series met with GTS team owners for a stakeholder’s meeting on Friday evening to gain feedback and discuss possible changes for the future.
“Now that SprintX has run for a full season, now the GTS guys are asking what their place is in that. How do we fit?” Gill said.
“I don’t think they’ve successfully fit well within GT3 SprintX. So how do we address that?'”
While the 2018 PWC schedule is due to be released later this month, Gill indicated that details such as race lengths and potential SprintX format changes will not likely be announced until later this year, likely in December.
He reaffirmed the traditional Sprint format will remain unchanged at single-driver 50-minute races.