GT4-spec cars have made their way into the Pirelli World Challenge GTS class this year and over the next two years, the class is expected evolve solely into the GT4 platform.
SRO founder Stephane Ratel, who joined WC Vision’s Board of Directors at Long Beach, told NBC Sports at Long Beach he could see GTS moving to a solely GT4 platform, which this release confirms.
Here’s the full release from the series:
Coming off another exciting Pirelli World Challenge GTS race weekend at Barber Motorsports Park, WC Vision LLC, producers of the Pirelli World Challenge, today announced the series’ future plans for the Grand Touring Sedan class.
In 2017, the GTS category will include all applicable SRO-homologated GT4 cars and the Pirelli World Challenge series will grandfather in current 2016 GTS classified vehicles. Full SRO GT4 compliance is expected for the PWC series in 2018.
In 2016, the GTS division has already enlisted ten different auto manufacturers competing in the first six rounds and four of the auto makers have reached victory lane. The ten models include Chevrolet Camaro Z-28, KTM XBow GT4, Ford Boss 302, SIN Car R1 GT4, Ginetta GT4, Lotus Evora GT4, Aston Martin Vantage GT4, Maserati Gran Turismo MC, Audi TT RS and Porsche Cayman.
“The PWC series was the first in this country to adopt the global GT3 platform with our Competition Director Marcus Haselgrove leading that charge,” said Greg Gill, WC Vision President and CEO. “Now, as the series reviewed the data from its first six rounds of GTS racing, we are ready to confirm the full addition of GT4 to GTS in 2017, with a year transition time for adoption of the SRO GT4 homologation globally by 2018. We anticipate hearing about more OEM entries into the GTS class in the coming weeks. This is a very exciting time for GTS racing and its drivers, teams and sponsors. We see a great future for GTS.”
Beginning in the third and fourth quarters of 2015, the Pirelli World Challenge established a testing program for GT4 cars as the North American GT production series worked closely with the SRO, the series’ technical partner, to examine GT4 cars homologated by the worldwide sports car organization.
“The PWC series supported the homologated GT3 concept in North America, attracting many new manufacturers,” said Haselgrove, “The goal in the competition department has been to assist all manufacturers with their motorsport ladder systems. I proposed in January, 2015 that GT4 was a logical step for the series. We took a bold move allowing manufacturers to test in public on race weekends. Through transparency other manufacturers looked at the GT4 platform developed by Stephane Ratel and technical director Claude Surmont (SRO) for their North America customers. Already five new manufacturers have joined since last season’s final race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. This also answers to feedback from the fans for more manufacturers.”
Two-time GTS champion Lawson Aschenbach (548 points) currently leads the GTS point standings as the series heads to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on May 19-22 for Rounds 7-8. Fifteen-year-old racer Parker Chase (518) holds the second position in GTS points followed by Brent Sandberg (504), Nate Stacy (440), Jack Roush Jr. (420), Scott Dollahite (361) and Tony Gaples (326).