Race Weekend Central

2019 Pirelli World Challenge GT, GTS, GT4 Schedules Released

On Friday, the SRO Motorsport Group held their annual press conference at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, site of this weekend’s Total 24 Hours of Spa.

As part of that 56-minute press conference, SRO Motorsports Group CEO Stéphane Ratel and Pirelli World Challenge President/CEO Greg Gill showed off a number of schedules for Pirelli World Challenge in 2019.  In addition, a new logo for Pirelli World Challenge was revealed during the schedule reveal.

First off is the GT Pirelli World Challenge, the headlining class.   As previously announced, the GT cars will participate in only seven race weekends in 2019, down from 10 in 2018.  The GT3 cars will no longer race in support of the Verizon IndyCar Series.  The street races at St. Petersburg and Long Beach have been dropped from the schedule, while Road America has been moved away from the INDYCAR weekend.

The season will start at Circuit of the Americas in Texas next March, but that weekend is not yet confirmed.  VIR will retain their current weekend next season, along with Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.

After a one-year absence, Sonoma Raceway returns to the schedule with an early June race weekend, similar to what the now-Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series had when they first raced there in 1989.  Then, there is a long break before Watkins Glen on Labor Day weekend.  Road America will run in September.  The season wraps up with a Grand Finale at an unknown circuit in early October.

It’s not the California 8 Hours, as that race will move from October to either March or April in 2019.  It will be the second race of the Intercontinental GT Challenge after the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.

2019 GT Pirelli World Challenge Schedule

DatesTrack
MarchCircuit of the Americas
April 27-28VIRginia International Raceway
May 18-19Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
June 8-9Sonoma Raceway
August 30-September 1Watkins Glen International
September 21-22Road America
October 5-6Grand Finale (Unknown Venue)

The GTS Pirelli World Challenge has eight race weekends and will stick to the traditional one-driver sprint format.  Their season will start in early March at St. Petersburg on the undercard of the Verizon IndyCar Series.  After skipping COTA, the series joins the GT Pirelli World Challenge fot VIR, CTMP and Sonoma before traveling to Portland International Raceway for a standalone weekend in July.  The final three weekends are in support of the GT Pirelli World Challenge.

2019 GTS Pirelli World Challenge Schedule

DatesTrack
March 9-10Streets of St. Petersburg
April 27-28VIRginia International Raceway
May 18-19Canadian Tire Motorsports Park
June 8-9Sonoma Raceway
July 13-14Portland International Raceway
August 30-September 1Watkins Glen International
September 21-22Road America
October 5-6Grand Finale (Unknown venue)

Finally, the schedules for the two regional series, GT4 America East and GT4 America West, were revealed.  The schdeduling philosophy of the two regional series is actually quite different.

The East series’ five-race schedule will run in support of the GTS Pirelli World Challenge.  They’ll start their season at St. Petersburg before racing at VIR, CTMP, Watkins Glen and Road America.

2019 GT4 America East Schedule

DatesTrack
March 9-10Streets of St. Petersburg
April 27-28VIRginia International Raceway
May 18-19Canadian Tire Motorsports Park
August 30-September 1Watkins Glen International
September 21-22Road America

The West series will start their season on one of the configurations at The Thermal Club, a country club circuit near Coachella southeast of Palm Springs.  There’s a race at an unknown circuit in California track scheduled for May.  The other three races will run as support events to the GT Pirelli World Challenge.

DatesTrack
April 6-7The Thermal Club (Palm Springs)
MayUnknown California venue
June 8-9Sonoma Raceway
July 13-14Portland International Raceway
October 5-6Grand Finale (Unknown Venue)

Lime Rock Park and Utah Motorsports Campus have been dropped from the schedule for 2019.  In Lime Rock’s case, they have already secured a replacement series for Memorial Day weekend.

The Trans-Am Series presented by Pirelli raced at Lime Rock through 2015 before Pirelli World Challenge showed up, so this is a return of sorts.  Also of note, all of Trans-Am’s classes used the Classic Course with the Climbing Turn, thus providing fans with the potential for big wheelies.

The schedule for the TC Pirelli World Challenge was not announced on Friday.  There is currently no date for when that schedule will be announced.  However, when the new formats were announced, Pirelli World Challenge indicated that the TC classes will have their own marketing and identity in an attempt for those classes to stand on their own.

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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