WC Vision announced a number of broadcast improvements during the Pirelli World Challenge “State of the Series” presentation at the Performance and Racing Industry Show in Indianapolis. The series announced plans for four live broadcast events with CBS Sports Network among a variety of updates and clarifications during the presentation.
The past year has shown valuable growth for World Challenge in terms of live production and television coverage. The series featured one live CBS Sports broadcast for Long Beach with all events being streamed live on Motor Trend OnDemand and the series website. Broadcast hours increased from 102 to 120 hours, including behind-the-scenes footage, driver profile features, and a pit reporter. The effort was supplemented by Advance Media Outreach, connecting drivers and personalities to 24 local radio stations and over 22 placements on local news channels.
Though new media is proving to be an interestingly evolving landscape, the series has recognized the value of live network television coverage. Though the venues for the four live television events have not been announced, the series looks to sustain their television growth from the past year. Live broadcasts will continue to be featured on MToD and the series website.
An increase in coverage is seen on all levels of the series as TC and GTS will get dedicated 60-minute broadcasts on CBS Sports while the GT classes look to feature 90 and 120-minute broadcasts. TC will also gain a pit reporter as GT and GTS did for 2016. MToD coverage will increase with a new TV show in the works in addition to live coverage.
Fans at the track will also be treated with something new as WC Vision announced LED Position Indicators for GT, GTA, and GT Cup classes in Sprint and SprintX races. The classes will utilize the SPAA05-RPD multi-color LED system to display race position, Pro/Am classification, and pit timing. Similar systems are already being used in the Verizon IndyCar Series, IMSA, and other sports car bodies.
Another change for the series includes the announcement of TLS Sports Timing joining the series as the new timing and scoring partner.
“Its been a very long processing finalizing all the different things that we want. They’ve been in the industry for 30 years, they time around the globe,” series Director of Competition Marcus Haselgrove commented. “I’m very happy to welcome TSL on board.”
The new system will use the same three sectors plus one speed trap for data collection. Results will be shared to teams by email and a wireless intranet system on pit lane. Live weather information and pit stop monitoring will also be included in the system, which will be packaged via web and mobile applications.
Improvements for race teams were also announced, including more efficient use of track time and set up procedures. The series will cut a day of at-track time at each event without reducing on-track time. Haselgrove took the time to clarify that single-driver Sprint events will not be featured on SprintX weekends.
The new year looks to bring a variety of exciting changes for Pirelli World Challenge. The season will kick off on the Streets of St. Petersburg with IndyCar on March 10.