2019 Pirelli World Challenge GT, GTS schedules announced (UPDATED)

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2019 Pirelli World Challenge GT, GTS schedules announced (UPDATED)

Blancpain GT World Challenge

2019 Pirelli World Challenge GT, GTS schedules announced (UPDATED)

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The SRO Motorsports Group, now majority interest holder of WC Vision, the owner of Pirelli World Challenge, has announced the 2019 schedules for its GT, GTS and new GT4 America series. Pared down from the number of events in 2018 to better focus the series, GT has seven weekends, GTS has eight and each GT4 America series has five weekends.

“You need to listen to your teams,” said SRO Motorsports Group founder and CEO Stephane Ratel during the announcement. “I went to meet personally with 20 of the teams, heard their requests, and wanted to implement our experience without forgetting the DNA of World Challenge. It will be celebrating 30 years next year, and we don’t want to erase 30 years of history.”

The series had previously announced during the Portland International Raceway weekend that GT events would all be 90-minute, two-driver races with tire changes and refueling. GTS races — which will allow drivers with up to a Gold FIA rating — will go back to all 50-minute, solo-driver contests, and GT4 America will be SprintX-style 60-minute, two-driver races. GT4 America races will be limited to Silver- and Bronze-rated drivers.

All the GT races will be World Challenge-headlining events, beginning with Circuit of The Americas, VIR, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Sonoma, Watkins Glen, Road America and a “Grand Finale” with a venue to be announced. That event appears likely to be on the West Coast, as GT4 America West will also be present that weekend. It seems likely that WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca will be the location, given World Challenge’s long history and that Portland and Sonoma have other dates on the calendar. It will not be in conjunction with the California 8 Hour round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge, however, because that event will be held sometime in March or April, according to the Intercontinental GT calendar released at the same time.

All of the venues with the exception of Sonoma were on the 2018 schedule. PWC had previously run at Sonoma with IndyCar, but that was not an ideal situation because of the schedule and the location of the PWC paddock. Now it will be a standalone event, as the Verizon IndyCar Series will not be returning to Sonoma in 2019.

Events on the 2018 schedule that are not on next year’s calendar are Long Beach, Lime Rock Park and Utah Motorsports Campus, the future of which is still uncertain.

Two venues on the 2018 schedule become GTS-only for 2019: St. Petersburg with IndyCar, and Portland for the Rose Cup Races, where it will headline. Both venues will also host their respective GT4 America series. Otherwise, GTS follows the GT calendar with the exception of COTA.

The New GT4 America series will have five events for both East and West Coast. GT4 America East’s schedule is the same as GTS’s Eastern schedule – St. Pete, VIR, CTMP, Watkins Glen and Road America. The West series starts with a Palm Springs date (The Thermal Club), visits an undetermined California venue in May, joins GTS at Portland and also GT and GTS at Sonoma and at the grand finale.

Touring Car, which will once again include TCR, TC and TCA, will accompany GT at the six of its seven scheduled venues in 2019, omitting CTMP and joining GTS at Portland.

2019 Pirelli World Challenge Schedules

Pirelli GT World Challenge America

Circuit of The Americas March TBA
VIRginia International Raceway April 27-28
Canadian Tire Motorsport Park May 18-19
Sonoma Raceway

June 8-9

Watkins Glen International Aug. 31-Sept. 1
Road America Sept. 21-22
Grand Finale Oct. 5-6

GTS Pirelli World Challenge

Grand Prix of St. Petersburg March 9-10
VIRginia International Raceway April 27-28
Canadian Tire Motorsport Park May 18-19
Sonoma Raceway

June 8-9

Portland International Raceway July 13-14
Watkins Glen International Aug. 31-Sept. 1
Road America Sept. 21-22
Grand Finale Oct. 5-6

GT4 America East

Grand Prix of St. Petersburg March 9-10
VIRginia International Raceway April 27-28
Canadian Tire Motorsport Park May 18-19
Watkins Glen International Aug. 31-Sept. 1
Road America Sept. 21-22

GT4 America West

Palm Springs April 6-7
California TBD May
Sonoma Raceway

June 8-9

Portland International Raceway July 13-14
Grand Finale Oct. 5-6

Touring Car

Circuit of The Americas March 1-3
VIRginia International Raceway April 27-28
Portland International Raceway July 13-14
Sonoma Raceway

June 8-9

Watkins Glen International Aug. 31-Sept. 1
Road America Sept. 21-22
Grand Finale Oct. 5-6

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