(featured image credit: David Yowe)
2016 brings a new race format to Pirelli World Challenge that blends a little bit of traditional PWC racing (GT and GTS classes racing together), but also adding in multiple drivers and pitstops into the calculation. Back in October of 2014, I wrote a speculation piece asking what Pirelli World Challenge was morphing into, now here were are a little over a year from that post and Sprint X is just on the horizon – and I think we can look at The Avone Tires British GT Series to get an idea of what Sprint X will be like.
Sprint X will feature 60 minute sprint races for cars in the GT (GT3) and GTS classes, include pitstops for driver and tire changes, without refueling. So why British GT and not Blancpain Sprint like many have compared it to? Well, let’s take a quick look at British GT: The Avon Tires British GT series is a regional series with four classes – GT3, GT4, GTC (one-make cars) and Invitational (cars that do not fit into any of the previously mentioned classes). While four classes are allowed, most races only had GT3 and GT4 cars on the grid – pretty much what Sprint X will feature with GT and GTS on track. British GT has a range of race lengths with 1 hour sprints and 2 or 3 hour enduros, but concentrating on the one hour races (with two races per weekend) is exactly what Sprint X will feature at three weekends for 6 races in 2016.
Sprint X offers a neat format that puts more of a team emphasis back into the sport. It’s great for teams and drivers, especially teams with Pro-Am lineups and gives the fans more of what they want – awesome racecars. Sprint X also, I feel, will become more and more prevalent and popular within Pirelli World Challenge as the series continues it’s upswing in the sportscar world.
For a Sprint X preview, take a look at both rounds of Avon Tires British GT Series from Snetterton below: