Watkins Glen joins 10-event 2018 Pirelli World Challenge

Watkins Glen joins 10-event 2018 Pirelli World Challenge

SRO America

Watkins Glen joins 10-event 2018 Pirelli World Challenge

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WC Vision, producers of the Pirelli World Challenge, announced today a 10-event 2018 schedule, including a new season finale at Watkins Glen International on Labor Day weekend, Aug. 31-Sept. 2.

Pirelli World Challenge’s return to the upstate New York road course will feature the entire PWC division line-up including GT (GT/GTA/GT Cup), GTS (GTS/GTA) and Touring Car (TCR/TC/TCA) in a three-day event with doubleheader sprint races. The finale will feature traditional 50-minute sprints for GT and GTS classes and 40-minute features for Touring Car classes.

The last PWC event at Watkins Glen was held in 2010 with sports car greats Ron Fellows (GT) and Peter Cunningham (GTS) winning the top two events and Robert Stout claiming the Touring Car race. The Pirelli World Challenge series premiered at Watkins Glen in 1992 and has featured eight PWC years (1992, 1996-1998, 2007-2010) at the famed New York road racing facility.

The Watkins Glen PWC doubleheader will mark the 2018 season wrap-up weekend for Pirelli World Challenge’s 10-event schedule. In addition to Watkins Glen’s return to the PWC campaign trail, the series has also added a stop at the popular Portland International Raceway on July 13-15 for the 58th Rose Cup races.

In 2017, the Pirelli World Challenge witnessed 26 different auto manufacturers in competition with 44 separate models spread throughout all seven divisions including the highly-competitive GT and GTS series sporting some of the world’s most iconic sports cars from Acura, Audi, Aston Martin, Bentley, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Ferrari, Ford, Lamborghini, McLaren, Mercedes, Nissan, Panoz and Porsche. Sports car stars Patrick Long and Lawson Aschenbach took top honors in the GT and GTS classes at the end of the competition season.

In addition to the GT and GTS categories, PWC Touring Car classes enjoyed some sensational wheel-to-wheel action in three divisions with makes from Audi, BMW, Honda, Lotus, Mazda and Nissan. For 2018, the new TCR division is expected to produce more wild competition during the six-event, 12-round TC series.

“We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Pirelli World Challenge competitors, officials, leadership, and fans to Watkins Glen International in 2018,” said Michael Printup, Watkins Glen International president. “This series features fantastic wheel-to-wheel racing across a wide spectrum of sports car classes and our fans are in for a treat on Labor Day weekend next year.”

The storied circuit will make the perfect landscape in the closing battles for the Pirelli World Challenge point championships. In recent years, PWC titles have come down to the final Sprint contests and the 2018 competition field is expected to produce similar scenarios.

“Adding an historic racing facility such as Watkins Glen International to conclude our 2018 Pirelli World Challenge makes for an outstanding season finale weekend,” said Greg Gill, WC Vision President and CEO. “As the rumors of this date and venue surfaced the feedback from the drivers, teams, and sponsors has been overwhelmingly positive. Watkins Glen International will be a great backdrop to crown our 2018 champions.”

Watkins Glen International renewal customers will have the ability to purchase tickets and camping for the race weekend from Thursday, January 4th through Tuesday, January 9th. Availability for the general public will follow, beginning on Wednesday, January 10th.

In addition to the Watkins Glen season finale, the Pirelli World Challenge also announced its race line-up for 2018 with the GT/GTA/GT Cup divisions again being split into five GT Sprint (50 minutes) and five GT SprintX (60 minutes, two drivers) races. The GTS events, featuring GT4 machinery, will remain nine-weekends with a total of 18 50-minute Sprint rounds while Touring Car divisions will contest 40-minute Sprints in the class’ 12-race, six-weekend campaign.

The GT Sprint championships will be contested in the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., and Long Beach, Calif., as well as at the permanent road circuits of Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Road America and Watkins Glen. The GT SprintX championship will be campaigned at Circuit of The Americas, Virginia International Raceway, Lime Rock Park, Portland International Raceway and Utah Motorsports Campus.

Details on the 2018 race regulations for GT Sprint and GT SprintX events will be announced in the near future, including the new pit stop requirements and other amendments to competition rules.

Featuring the GT3 and GT4 categories, the second annual SRO Intercontinental GT Challenge California 8 Hours is set to return to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on Oct. 26-28.

Date Track City
March 9-11 Streets of St. Petersburg  St. Petersburg, Florida
March 23-25 Circuit Of The Americas Austin, Texas
April 13-15 Streets of Long Beach Long Beach, California
April 28-30 Virginia International Raceway Alton, Virginia
May 18-20 Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
May 25-26, 28 Lime Rock Park Lakeville, Connecticut
June 22-24 Road America Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
July 13-15 Portland International Raceway Portland, Oregon
August 10-12 Utah Motorsports Campus Grantsville, Utah
Aug. 31-Sept. 2 Watkins Glen International Watkins Glen, New York
October 19-21 Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca* Salinas, California
  *Special event – SRO International GT Challenge

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