WC Vision, the parent company of Pirelli World Challenge, announced Friday evening (May 25) that majority interest Pirelli World Challenge and WC Vision itself have been acquired by the SRO Motorsports Group, led by Stephane Ratel. The acquisition now means that the SRO Motorsports Group will operate touring series on three continents (Asia, Europe and North America). The overall goal is to establish a global GT platform for drivers, teams and manufacturers.
Ratel is excited about the direction that the SRO Motorsports Group is heading.
“I am very pleased to make this announcement,” Ratel, the founder and CEO of the SRO Motorsports Group, stated. “Having started my business journey as a college student in San Diego, Calif. many years ago, I am very pleased to be adding the Pirelli World Challenge in totality to our global business. This addition was the final piece in our plan to provide global GT racing to our drivers, teams and manufacturers around the world. Our next step will be to meet with our PWC paddock members and discuss the future together.”
The acquisition is just the next step of a pre-existing relationship between WC Vision and the SRO Motorsports Group, which runs series such as the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup and Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup. The introduction of SprintX to Pirelli World Challenge in 2016, which is very similar to the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup, was just the first step to streamlining the relationship between the two bodies.
The SRO Motorsports Group already manages the Intercontinental GT Championship, a series of four major GT-only endurance races. These events are currently the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, the Total 24 Hours of Spa (part of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup), the new Suzuka 10 Hours and the California 8 Hours. The California 8 Hours at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca is hosted by Pirelli World Challenge and is set to see a substantial increase in entries for the second edition in October.
For now, the changes to Pirelli World Challenge look to be minimal. The official press release indicates that the current Pirelli World Challenge leadership will not change. RealTime Racing owner Peter Cunningham, K-PAX Racing owner Jim Haughney, Greg Gill and Bob Woodhouse are set to remain as Members of the Pirelli World Challenge Board.
About the author
Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.
Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.
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