Like Pirelli World Challenge, the Blancpain GT series has a ton of different cars, all competing on the same track. Blancpain GT uses GT3 cars as well, making it a wonderland of variety. They've recently struck a deal with PWC to bring Blancpain GT champions to America. Rejoice!
"Really it's been from last year we've followed [Pirelli World Challenge] more closely," SRO Motorsports Group CEO Stephane Ratel told Sportscar365. "Before it was a bit of a mish mash of different things, but last year it became a proper GT3 series, and attracted our attention."
FIA GT3 is an international spec, which allows the same cars that are competitive in Pirelli World Challenge to be legal and competitive in Blancpain GT, or any number of series that use the same spec. Both series also run Pirelli tires as well.
Unlike World Challenge where only one driver per car is the norm, Blancpain GT runs both sprint and endurance races.
"That's the thing that makes [GT3] a wonderful category," Ratel told Sportscar365. "We go from 24-hour races with three drivers and sometimes four, to short sprints with only sprint driver. It's a very nice combination of formats and it works well."
Mostly, though, Blancpain GT has been itching for an American date on the calendar.
"Getting an American circuit on the Blancpain GT Series' calendar has always been one of my pet projects," Ratel told Sportscar365. "The best way to do that is to work together with people who know the ins and outs of racing in the United States."
Enter their new deal with Pirelli World Challenge.
Per driver Ryan Eversley's "please let it be me" tweet, the top three GT drivers from this season in PWC will get an all-expenses-paid trip to run the Blancpain GT finale, the Baku World Challenge.
Pirelli World Challenge, on the other hand, gets to host the Blancpain GT champions at their Circuit of the Americas race on March 4-6, 2016. Furthermore, PWC may invite several Blancpain GT teams to race at St. Petersburg in 2016 as well.
Additionally, Pirelli World Challenge finally gets to justify the "world" part of their name. The GT class only will be traveling to Italy for a race in 2016 to race alongside Blancpain GT.
"The organizers of the Pirelli World Challenge and the people at SRO Motorsports Group share the same philosophy on GT racing: it should be competitive, spectacular and entertaining for the fans," explained Ratel to Sportscar365. "It is no use for each of us to do our own thing in our own corner, when sharing our knowledge could produce far better results."
It's great to see the international collaboration, but part of PWC's explosive growth has been because of its lower cost of entry. Here's hoping they find a way to race overseas without breaking the bank or raising race entry fees.
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