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Road America Set for Combined GT/GTS Races

Pirelli World Challenge set for combined GT/GTS races at Road America…

Photo: Brian Cleary/PWC

Next month’s Pirelli World Challenge round at Road America is set to feature combined GT and GTS races, in a return to a multi-class format for the sprint race championship on the popular IndyCar weekend.

It comes in the wake of a depleted GT/GTA class field, with only ten cars taking part in this weekend’s Sprint round at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

Confirmation of the change came in the release of the schedule for the June 22-24 event to competitors on Friday.

As revealed by Sportscar365 in March, PWC officials had been considering combining the grids at several events this year, with selected GTS cars having taken part in the GT-only Sprint round at Long Beach on a non-points basis.

The Road America Sprint event, however, will award full points to all classes, which will remain with seperate practice and qualifying sessions, except for one combined practice on Saturday morning.

Based on the overall car count at CTMP this weekend, upwards of 40 cars are expected for the Road America race, across the GT, GTA, GTS and GTSA categories.

It’s unclear if additional Sprint weekends could also be combined later this year.

Sportscar365 understands that a stakeholders meeting is scheduled for next week at Lime Rock Park.

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

16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. João Coelho

    May 19, 2018 at 11:26 am

    This time will be all of the GTS/GTSA cars or again just a few selected ones?

    • John Dagys

      May 19, 2018 at 11:41 am

      It is expected to be all of them, as it’s a points-paying round.

      • João Coelho

        May 19, 2018 at 12:30 pm

        Alright! Thank you.

  2. Sol Shine

    May 21, 2018 at 8:57 am

    No surprise this, there’s only so much money around and the hyper expensive SRO GTx format just eats cash. PWC made a huge mistake by abandoning the shop built racers who can make up for lack of cash with shop skill. That’s what PWC was built on, not this factory race car nonsense. This series has lost relevance and entries to IMSA, only one will survive, doubt it will be PWC unless they wise up quickly.

    • GT3 FTW

      May 21, 2018 at 10:26 am

      The shop-built cars were dying as well, at least in GT.

      • daedalus

        May 21, 2018 at 11:00 am

        In GTS also, thats why they switched to GT4. The GT4 sprint grid is better than the old GTS grid size and the sprintX GTS grid is huge.

        IMSA GTD is also in the doldrums as well just 12 cars started in Mid-Ohio and that includes the extra NSX entry that will not be full time. The sprintX GT3 grid is actually bigger than the GTD grid. If anything its GTD that will loose out to PWC because of the higher running costs in IMSA with the longer races and endurance events.

        The underlying problem is the high cost of running GT3 cars which is not of SROs making as it is the FIA that regulates GT3. The SRO which controls GT4 put a cost cap on GT4 hence the large entrys in every GT4 series around the world. These is also less of a market for Top level privateer GT racing in the USA compared to Europe which has hundreds of GT3 cars in championships all over the continent.

        • Andy Flinn

          May 21, 2018 at 12:26 pm

          “The underlying problem is the high cost of running GT3 cars which is not of SROs making as it is the FIA that regulates GT3.” — Daedalus

          Daedalus, the REAL problem are the morons who convinced IMSA that if they just adopted full-FIA GT3 specs (for GTD) the class would not only be less expensive, but both domestic and foreign teams would also flood the class entry lists, and all the series problems would be solved.

      • Matt

        May 21, 2018 at 9:37 pm

        The shop cars weren’t dying, they just weren’t as competitive as the factory built/supported GTx cars. The GT3 class success was good while it lasted, but PWC now needs to come up with a cheaper, cost-capped formula and bring back shop-built cars.

  3. Ed Holmes

    May 21, 2018 at 4:00 pm

    Why will Ford Mustang GT4 and Chevrolet Camaro GT4 not compete in the CTSC? How long will Bentley and Nissan (GTR) not choose to compete in IMSA?

    • daedalus

      May 21, 2018 at 7:55 pm

      As long as IMSA keeps their silly manufacture fees that they are not willing to pay. Nissan and Bentley have small Motorsport budgets compared to the big manufactures, Its the same with Aston martin and Mclaren.

      • Andy Flinn

        May 22, 2018 at 12:25 pm

        McLaren?

        Don’t they shell out millions to race in F1?

        Bentley – along with Audi and Lamborghini, which both race in IMSA GTD – is owned by the largest global car consortium (VAG) in the world.

        • daedalus

          May 22, 2018 at 1:42 pm

          McLaren Racing Limited (F1) is a separate legal entity to McLaren Automotive which manages the GT cars now so they don’t have access to the F1 budget.

          Same goes for Bentley which is a UK company, VAG might be the parent company but Bentley has to fund its own Motorsport budget.

  4. pierre

    May 21, 2018 at 7:36 pm

    what’s the logic behind having separate practice sessions? surely you’d like to get seat time with the different cars and closing speeds.

    • Matt

      May 21, 2018 at 9:34 pm

      Those who run PWC use no logic. Haven’t you realized that by now?

  5. JeffB

    May 22, 2018 at 1:11 am

    Disappointed to hear the car count has dwindled so far so fast in PWC that they have to combine classes so you don’t have ten or so GT cars swallowed by a four mile track. I fear the GTS race will get lost in crowd. It is the best kept secret in North American GT racing and I’d rather they were able to have their own separate race at Road America.

    I recall a few years ago in 2015 when World Challenge had their own headline weekend at Road America and it was an amazing lineup of makes. We even got a bonus race to make up for a Detroit round not run due to weather. The three races were won by Lamborghini, Bentley and Nissan. That, plus Cadillac, Ferrari, Porsche, McLaren, Audi and Acura. Just an awesome weekend!

  6. Av

    May 23, 2018 at 4:13 am

    I think that a 50 mins race for such an amazing grid was just not adequate. I was not going to pack up and spend a significant amount of money and time to go watch 50 mins races. This series used to be a support series on friday before the sebring 12. In my opinion when they should have expanded the races when they had the large grids.

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