The Pirelli World Challenge paddock could be a very crowded place in 2014.
Officials from WC Vision report that team entries for the sprint-style sports car series have noticeably spiked as they prepare to celebrate the series’ 25th anniversary season.
In fact, the group is now projecting fields of over 80 cars across all five classes of competition – GT, GTS, TC, TCA and TCB – and that they’ll likely max out on entry levels for the first two 2014 race weekends at St. Petersburg (Fla.) and Long Beach (Calif.).
“We are pleased to see the fruits of our efforts develop the way they have. I am honored and humbled to see the results of these development programs as they have delivered steady series growth over the past five years since WC Vision took over the management of the series,” WC Vision president and CEO Scott Bove said in a statement.
“We are all looking forward to the start of the 2014 season; our 25th anniversary year is shaping up to be the best in the series’ history.”
One of the series’ more important calling cards, strong manufacturer involvement, also endures for 2014 as over 15 marques are set to battle this year in the PWC – including American stalwarts like Cadillac, Chevrolet and Ford.
Toro Rosso chief Franz Tost hopes to see sacked driver Daniil Kvyat return to Formula 1 in the near future, saying the Russian “deserves” a place on the grid.
Toro Rosso dropped Kvyat twice through the 2017 season due to poor form, with his final dismissal coming after the United States Grand Prix in October.
Kvyat is no longer part of Red Bull’s motorsport program and is exploring options both inside and outside of F1 for 2018, and Tost feels he could be energized by some time away before returning.
“I am still convinced that Daniil has a very high natural speed. He was sometimes even faster than Daniel Riccardo, but somehow last year and this year he couldn’t show the potential that is within him,” Tost told the official F1 website.
“He was involved in many incidents, but in his defence I also have to say that he had many reliability issues and that didn’t help build up confidence. Being the victim of too many incidents killed the performance he would have been able to show.
“Maybe a short break – to get organized again – and probably we will see Daniil back at his usual performance level with another team.
“Sometimes he was too aggressive at the beginning of the race. The first corner was his weak point. He wanted too much in the first hundred meters – success by any means!
“That puts you under pressure – unnecessary pressure – and that never works.
“I hope for him that he gets another chance, as I think he deserves to be in F1.”