Pirelli World Challenge’s SprintX Series gets underway this weekend at beautiful VIR with the format remaining unchanged from the 2016 events, a pair of 60 minute two driver races with compulsory pitstops and tyre changes.
The Series has provided a hefty incentive for the teams to adopt the newer addition to their season calendar but creating an overall Championship combining points from the regular PWC Sprint, plus the SprintX rounds.
The official entry for the opening round shows 37 entries for the SprintX races, 30 of which are in the GT classes (Pro, Pro-Am or Am)
The Pro class sees 12 crews aligned and all drivers named, though the Cadillac pairings have yet to be announced.
What is known though is that Jordan and Ricky Taylor will join the regular Cadillac factory drivers, Johnny O’Connell and Michael Cooper. What isn’t known yet is which Taylor brother will join which ATS-V.R!
K-Pax Racing field a pair of all-Pro crewed McLarens with Jonny Kane joining Bryan Sellers in the #6 car, Ben Barnicoat joins 2016 PWC Drivers Champ, and already two time 2017 PWC race winner, Alvaro Parente in the #9 650S GT3.
RealTime Racing’s Acura NSX GT3s are both all-Pro efforts, Tom Dyer joins Ryan Eversley in the #43 car, Peter Kox is joined by Mark Wilkins in the #93.
Absolute Racing (Bentley Continental GT3) have a car apiece in Pro and Pro-Am, Adderly Fong and Vincent Abril the all-Pro combo in the #88.
Also with a Pro and Pro-Am car apiece are Wright Motorsports (Porsche 911 GT3R and Magnus Racing (Audi R8 LMS) .
Wright’s #58 Pro Porsche sees Pat Long joined by Jorg Bergmeister whilst Magnus field Pierre Kaffer and Spencer Pumpelly in the #4 Audi.
Two Ferrari 488 GT3 entries in Pro are fielded by TC3 Racing (#31 Andrea Montermini/ Daniel Mancinelli) and R.Ferri Motorsport (#61 Alex Riberas/ Kyle Marcelli)
And there’s a Mercedes AMG GT3 from CRP Racing for Ryan Dalziel and Daniel Morad.
13 GT Pro-Am cars are listed with plenty of big names amongst the Bakers Dozen.
Porsche factory driver Laurens Vanthoor joins James Sofronas in his #14 GMG Porsche 911 GT3R.
Jan Heylen and Michael Schein (#16 Wright Motorsports) and Alec Udell and Preston Calvert (#77 Calvert Dynamics) combine in two other Pro-Am Porsches
Magnus Racing (#44 John Potter/ Marco Seefried) and McCann Racing (#82 Michael McCannn/ Mike Skeen) field a pair of Pro-Am Audis whilst a trio of Mercedes AMG GT3s are entered by Black Swan Racing (#54 Jeroen Bleekemolen/ Tim Pappas), DXDT Racing (#63 Aaron Povoledo/David Askew) and MCC Motorsports (#92 Alexandre Negrao/ Alexandre Negrao Sr).
McLaren representation in Pro-Am comes from #98 K-Pax pairing Michael Lewis and Mike Hedlund with the #78 Absolute Racing Bentley shared between Yufeng Luo and Alexandre Imperatori.
The sole Nissan GT-R in the field comes from Always Evolving/AIM Autosport for Frankie Montecalvo and Mexico’s Ricardo Sanchez
A pair of Lamborghini Huracan GT3s (Jonathan Summerton/Michael Macs in the #111 Dime Racing car, and Cedric Sbirrazzuoli/Lawrence Degeorge in the #07 Dream Racing Motorsport machine) complete the Pro-Am entry.
A quartet of Am entries complete the GT class (for GT3 machinery).
The most eye-catching duo comes in the #7 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 GT3 where last year’s GTA champion Martin Fuentes returns, joined by ex Ferrari F1 driver Stefan Johansson!
A second Ferrari 458 GT3, the #30 car of Momo/ NGT sees Henrique Cisneros joined by Tyler McQuarrie.
The David Ostella/James Dayson crewed #23 M1GT Audi R8 LMS Ultra and #007 TRG-AMR Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 entry of Kris Wilson/ Drew Regitz round out the class.
Over and above the GT3 machinery though there are a further eight supporting cars including GT Cup racers Allesandro Bressan/Yuki Haratz in the #55 Dream Racing Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo and Joe Toussaint/Cory Friedman in the Autometrics Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, plus GTS competitors Kyle Tilley/Jerry Kaufman in the #09 TRG-AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT4; Adam Merzon/Trent Hindman in the #017 Case-It Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR; Jason Hart/ Matt Travis in the #47 NOLAsport Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR; Cameron Cassels/Phillip Bloom in the #018 Case-It Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR; and Greg Liefooghe/ Aristole Balogh in the #019 Stephen Cameron Racing Aston Martin GT4.