St. Petersburg, Fla. – WC Vision President and CEO Scott Bove announced today that the Pirelli World Challenge Championships series will be joined by the European-based Blancpain GT Series for the 2016 season opener at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

This global premiere of North America’s top production car-based sprint racing championships and the SRO Motorsports-owned International Blancpain tour will take place at the state-of-the-art 3.427-mile, 20-turn circuit on March 4-6, 2016.

This action packed event will mark the first time that the two premiere production car-based sports car series will compete on the same weekend giving the fans in attendance and viewers at home world-class racing never seen on the same event weekend. In addition, this partnership invites the Pirelli World Challenge Championships to compete at a Blancpain GT Series event weekend in Italy in 2016, marking the first time the PWC series will compete outside North America in its 26-year history.

“The Pirelli World Challenge and Blancpain GT Series share similar desires to expand their product outside their existing markets,” said Bove. “Pirelli is the common denominator being the Official Tire for both series. PWC has developed a strong worldwide presence with international drivers, teams and manufacturers competing in our series. It’s now time to take our brand of racing to the global stage as a true World Challenge.”

“For 2015, the top three GT drivers’ in the PWC GT Championships will be invited to participate in the Blancpain GT Series finale at Baku. And then for 2016, we open our season again at Circuit of the Americas with the Blancpain GT Series. Towards the end of 2016, our GT class will be competing at one SRO Blancpain Sprint race either at Misano or Vallelunga.”

“Getting an American circuit on the Blancpain GT Series’ calendar has always been one of my pet projects,” said Stephane Ratel, CEO and Founder SRO Motorsports Group. “The best way to do that is to work together with people who know the ins and outs of racing in the United States. 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. 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.”

Both North American and international sports car series exclusively utilize Pirelli tires. Pirelli & C. SpA, established in 1922, is a multinational company based in Milan, Italy and is present in over 160 countries. Pirelli has 19 manufacturing sites around the world and a network of around 10,000 distributors and retailers. Pirelli has been involved in motorsports since 1907 and is currently the exclusive tire supplier for the Formula One Championship.

“We couldn’t be happier to see this relationship come together,” said Rafael Navarro, Vice President, Communications, Media Relations and Motorsports, Pirelli Tire North America. “Pirelli has a very close relationship with both SRO and WC Vision and the P Zero tire is the official tire for both series. From a technical development and worldwide marketing standpoint, the cooperation between the two series makes perfect sense, and Pirelli is excited be involved as a major partner.”

Competition in the Pirelli World Challenge and the Blancpain GT Series is some of the most exciting and dramatic in all of motorsports with over 20 manufacturers battling door-to-door in multi-class action at some of the world’s most famous and legendary racing facilities.

The global doubleheader at COTA on March 4-6, 2016 will bring a global sports car presence to one site that will promise to supply non-stop action for the racing enthusiasts and worldwide television viewing audience.

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About the Pirelli World Challenge: The Pirelli World Challenge is one of North America’s top production car-based racing championships. Divided into GT (GT, GTA and GT Cup), GTS and Touring Car (Touring Car, Touring Car A and Touring Car B- Spec) categories, each race features thrilling standing starts, adrenaline filled door-to- door action and world-class drivers. The Pirelli World Challenge features cars from the world’s most popular manufacturers — race-prepped versions of the cars driven on the streets. Sanctioned by SCCA Pro Racing, the series races at North America’s premier road and temporary street courses.

About the Blancpain GT Series: Launched in 2011, the Blancpain Endurance Series is operated by the SRO Motorsports Group and SRO established the Blancpain Sprint Series starting in 2014. Both have continued to grow in promotion and TV coverage. Founded by Stephane Ratel, a twenty-year motorsports veteran, SRO Motorsport Group dates back to 1995 and sanctions and promotes several championships including the Blancpain GT Series (Sprint and Endurance), British GT Championship and has various franchise agreements including the GT4 European Series.

About Pirelli Tire: Pirelli & C. SpA, established in 1922, is a multinational company based in Milan, Italy and is present in over 160 countries. Pirelli has 19 manufacturing sites around the world and a network of around 10,000 distributors and retailers. Pirelli has been involve in motorsports since 1907 and is currently the exclusive tire supplier for the Formula One Championship as well as the Pirelli World Challenge Championships and the Blancpain GT Series.

Contacts: S. Greg Gill and Dave Drimmie, Pirelli World Challenge
greggill@wcvision.com, davedrimmie@wcvision.com

Adelheid Terryn, SRO Motorsports Group
aterryn@sro.co.uk