3 WORLD-CHALLENGE.com | RACER.com
2017 PIRELLI WORLD CHALLENGE
s Pirelli World Challenge enters its
28th season (or more if you go back to
the Escort Endurance series that
preceded it), the championship looks
to the future with renewed vigor. Every
level of the series is flush with entries,
interesting cars and top-flight drivers.
The GT class will have the greatest
variety of GT3 cars of any series that
uses the formula worldwide. The same
might be true of the GT4 cars populating
GTS. And in 2017 the Touring Car class
will introduce TCR cars – albeit slightly
detuned – to North American racing.
“2017 is shaping up very nicely,” says
WC Vision president and CEO Greg Gill.
“Entrants and competitors are up
10 percent over a year ago.”
There are a lot of new cars coming
into the series – the Mercedes AMG GT3,
Ferrari 488, Lamborghini Huracan and
Acura NSX GT3 in GT, along with new
GT4 machinery from Ford, Chevrolet and
McLaren in GTS. But the biggest change
for 2017 is the addition of SprintX.
SprintX, which features two drivers
and pit stops in an hour-long race for GT,
GTA and GTS classes, was a toe-in-the-water addition at three races in 2016,
but it takes a greater presence this
coming season, being the feature race at
Pirelli World Challenge standalone
events. For 2017, there will be three
separate championships for the GT
classes – Sprint, SprintX and Overall.
Heading into 2017 Pirelli World Challenge, the storylines
through the field, including more SprintX, more GT4 cars,
more TC entries –more everything, really – point to a classic.
WORDS & MAIN IMAGE Richard S. James