Pirelli World Challenge Announces Watkins Glen International as 2018 Season Finale with Labor Day Road Racing Weekend Event
Legendary road circuit wraps up 2018 10-Weekend PWC Calendar with all 7 classes
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – WC Vision, producers of the Pirelli World Challenge, announced today that famed Watkins Glen International will be the site of the 2018 Pirelli World Challenge season finale with a Labor Day road racing weekend on Aug. 31-Sept. 2 at the legendary 3.4-mile, 11-turn road circuit in upstate New York.
Pirelli World Challenge’s return to the classic Watkins Glen road course will feature the entire PWC division lineup including GT (GT/GTA/GT Cup), GTS (GTS/GTA) and Touring Car (TCR/TC/TCA) in a three-day sports car spectacular with doubleheader sprint races. The exciting finale will feature traditional 50-minute sprints for GT and GTS classes and 40-minute features for Touring Car classes.
The last PWC event at Watkins Glen was held in 2010 with sports car greats Ron Fellows (GT) and Peter Cunningham (GTS) winning the top two events and Robert Stout claiming the Touring Car race. The Pirelli World Challenge series premiered at Watkins Glen International in 1992 and has featured eight PWC years (1992, 1996-1998, 2007-2010) at the famed New York road racing facility.
Watkins Glen International’s rich professional racing history goes back to its original establishment in 1948. The Glen’s legacy was further cemented in history with 20 Formula One races from 1961 to 1980.
The Watkins Glen PWC doubleheader will mark the 2018 season wrap-up weekend for Pirelli World Challenge’s 10-event schedule. In addition to Watkins Glen’s return to the PWC campaign trail, the series has also added a stop at the popular Portland International Raceway on July 13-15 for the 58th Rose Cup races.
In 2017, the Pirelli World Challenge witnessed 26 different auto manufacturers in competition with 44 separate models spread throughout all seven divisions including the highly-competitive GT and GTS series sporting some of the world’s most iconic sports cars from Acura, Audi, Aston Martin, Bentley, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Ferrari, Ford, Lamborghini, McLaren, Mercedes, Nissan, Panoz and Porsche. Sports car stars Patrick Long and Lawson Aschenbach took top honors in the GT and GTS classes at the end of the competition season.
In addition to the GT and GTS categories, PWC Touring Car classes enjoyed some sensational wheel-to-wheel action in three divisions with makes from Audi, BMW, Honda, Lotus, Mazda and Nissan. For 2018, the new TCR division is expected to produce more wild competition during the six-event, 12-round TC series.
“We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Pirelli World Challenge competitors, officials, leadership, and fans to Watkins Glen International in 2018,” said Michael Printup, Watkins Glen International President. “This series features fantastic wheel-to-wheel racing across a wide spectrum of sportscar classes and our fans are in for a treat on Labor Day weekend next year.”
The storied circuit will make the perfect landscape in the closing battles for the coveted Pirelli World Challenge point championships during the holiday spectacular. In recent years, PWC titles have come down to the final Sprint contests and the 2018 competition field is expected to produce similar scenarios.
“Adding an historic racing facility such as Watkins Glen International to conclude our 2018 Pirelli World Challenge makes for an outstanding season finale weekend,” said Greg Gill, WC Vision President and CEO. “As the rumors of this date and venue surfaced the feedback from the drivers, teams, and sponsors has been overwhelmingly positive. Watkins Glen International will be a great backdrop to crown our 2018 champions.”
Watkins Glen International renewal customers will have the ability to purchase tickets and camping for the race weekend from Thursday, January 4th through Tuesday, January 9th. Availability for the general public will follow, beginning on Wednesday, January 10th.
In addition to the Watkins Glen season finale, the Pirelli World Challenge also announced its race lineup for 2018 with the GT/GTA/GT Cup divisions again being split into five GT Sprint (50 minutes) and five GT SprintX (60 minutes, two drivers) races. The GTS events, featuring GT4 machinery, will remain nine-weekends with a total of 18 50-minute Sprint rounds while Touring Car divisions will contest 40-minute Sprints in the class’ 12-race, six-weekend campaign.
The GT Sprint championships will be contested in the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., and Long Beach, Calif., as well as at the permanent road circuits of Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Road America and Watkins Glen. The GT SprintX championship will be campaigned at Circuit of the Americas (COTA), VIRginia International Raceway, Lime Rock Park, Portland International Raceway and Utah Motorsports Campus.
Details on the 2018 race regulations for GT Sprint and GT SprintX events will be announced in the near future, including the new pit stop requirements and other amendments to competition rules.
Featuring the GT3 and GT4 categories, the second annual SRO Intercontinental GT Challenge California 8 Hours is set to return to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on Oct. 18-21.
2018 Pirelli World Challenge Schedule
|MAR 9-11||Streets of St. Petersburg||St. Petersburg, Fla.||GT Sprint and GTS|
|MAR 23-25||Circuit Of The Americas (COTA)||Austin, Texas||GT SprintX, GTS and Touring Car|
|APR 13-15||Streets of Long Beach||Long Beach, Calif||GT Sprint|
|APR 27-29||VIRginia International Raceway||Alton, Va.||GT SprintX, GTS and Touring Car|
|MAY 18-20||Canadian Tire Motorsport Park||Bowmanville, Ont., CAN||GT Sprint and GTS|
|MAY 25-26, 28||Lime Rock Park||Lakeville, Conn.||GT SprintX, GTS and Touring Car|
|JUN 22-24||Road America||Elkhart Lake, Wis.||GT Sprint and GTS|
|JUL 13-15||Portland International Raceway||Portland, Ore.||GT SprintX, GTS and Touring Car|
|AUG 10-12||Utah Motorsports Campus||Grantsville, Utah||GT SprintX, GTS and Touring Car|
|AUG 31 – SEP 2||Watkins Glen International||Watkins Glen, N.Y.||GT Sprint, GTS and Touring Car|
|October 26-28||Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca||Salinas, Calif.||SRO Intercontinental GT Challenge|