SCCA Pro Racing and WC Vision have announced competition classifications for the 2010 SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Championships. The series will take a firm stance on cost control in 2010, with the Touring Car class adopting TC2 rules and the GT class using a new baseline of performance. Additionally, a new Grand Touring Sport class has been added.
Committed to reduced costs and an increase in actual racing for 2010, SCCA Pro Racing and WC Vision have announced that the Touring Car and Touring Car 2 categories will merge, with performance standards set to TC2 levels. The class will maintain the Touring Car name and share the same points system and purse amounts as the GT and GTS classes.
"We had numerous discussions with our Touring Car teams in the off-season before determining this to be the best course of action," World Challenge Competition Director Neil Hannemann said. "The return to a more showroom stock-type preparation brings the class back to its roots and what it was designed to be. The feedback from competitors thus far has been positive."
The World Challenge Touring Car class is designed for four-seat coupes, sedans, wagons and hatchbacks. Adoption of the TC2 rules for 2010 will put tighter limits on engine, drive train and aerodynamic modifications. Cars will still be afforded substantial handling upgrades, including aftermarket racing shocks, sway bars and springs.
Along similar lines of cost containment, the GT class will use a new performance baseline in 2010, for example, one similar to the 2010 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. Existing cars, such as the Chevrolet Corvette, Dodge Viper, Ford Mustang, Volvo S60, 2009 Porsche GT3 Cup and Aston Martin DB9, will be adjusted to the new baseline by means of weight and air restriction to achieve parity.
"There's no way to ignore the changing economic climate and the need for racing to be more affordable," WC Vision Co-Chair Bob Woodhouse said. "In 2010, World Challenge will be one of the best deals in racing, as we have reduced the travel by 20 percent, with eight weekends, while increasing the number of races by 20 percent, to 12."
Additionally, the series will add the Grand Touring Sport class. Eligible cars, including (but not limited to) the BMW M3 GT4, Ford Mustang GT, Dodge Challenger, Chevrolet Camaro and Ferrari F430 will be permitted with fewer modifications than their GT counterparts. SCCA Club Racing Touring 1 cars are a strong fit for the class, as are cars previously classified in the World Challenge Touring Car category that do not convert to the class' 2010 standards.
"The FIA GT3 and GT4 regulations are a good basis for GT and GTS," explained Hannemann. "While we will not follow those rule sets explicitly, they serve as a solid platform moving into the future.
Current teams and prospective entrants are being assisted through the transition by the SCCA Pro Racing Technical Staff. Additional inquiries can be made by contacting the SCCA Pro Racing offices at (785) 357-7223. Full specifications will be published in the 2010 SCCA Pro Racing Rulebook which will be available before the close of 2009.
"This transition provides what the competitors have asked for and therefore is the best direction for World Challenge," SCCA Pro Racing President and CEO Robert Wildberger said. "Neil Hannemann, Ken Tripkos and the entire SCCA Pro Racing technical staff are prepared to help teams through this process step by step. We've consulted numerous teams regarding the plans for 2010 and we'll be at the Performance Racing Industry show for further meetings. We want to make this transition as smooth as possible for everyone."
Seven of the planned eight race weekends for the 2010 SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Championships have already been announced. The 2010 season starts in St. Petersburg, Fla., March 26-28. For more information, visit www.world-challenge.com
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