GT1 Championship 2010 launch notes

Global Launch For New FIA GT1 World Championship Iconic Brands, Glamour, Heritage, Intense competition, TV-friendly Paris (March 01, 2010) The newest motorsport world championship has stepped onto the world stage with the ringing endorsement...

Global Launch For New FIA GT1 World Championship

Iconic Brands, Glamour, Heritage, Intense competition, TV-friendly

Paris (March 01, 2010) The newest motorsport world championship has stepped onto the world stage with the ringing endorsement of Jean Todt, President of the Federation Internationale de LAutomobile (FIA).

The FIA GT1 World Championship features six iconic brands Aston Martin, Corvette, Ford, Lamborghini, Maserati and Nissan, a revamped race programme, global television coverage and a commitment to delivering fierce competition and compelling entertainment.

Twelve teams, each with two cars making a total of 24 GT1 cars and 48 of the worlds leading sports car drivers, including Karl Wendlinger, Mika Salo, Andrea Bertolini, Tomas Enge and Darren Turner will contest the 10 rounds of the championship on four continents. The championship starts on April 17th at the stunning Yas Marina Formula One circuit in Abu Dhabi and features a mix of legendary grand prix circuits and exotic locations.

Mr Todt presided over the unveiling of the cars, teams and drivers that will compete in the 2010 championship at the official launch in Paris.

Along with Stephane Ratel, CEO of SRO Motorsports Group and promoter of the FIA GT1 World Championship, Mr Todt spoke at length to a room full of international media, teams and VIP guests before travelling to the Place Vendôme to unveil 12 of the GT1 cars.

In addressing the gathering, Mr Todt said: "Its a big privilege for me to be here to share this important moment with Stephane Ratel, whose determination and patience has brought together all the different elements to form the FIA GT1 World Championship.

"In terms of FIA world championships, we have Formula One, WRC, WTCC - and now GT1 World Championship.

"I like the way the 10 GT1 World Championship races are divided geographically. It is a good balance. The championship also features very talented drivers and six great brands. Im sure it will be very spectacular. You can be sure that me as president and my colleagues at the FIA will do everything to ensure that it succeeds."

Stephane Ratel said the focus of the FIA GT1 World Championship was to safeguard the proud heritage of GT racing and a determination to take the appeal of the competition way beyond traditional audiences and heartlands.

In a reference to the format of 12 teams with two cars each, he said: "Sports car racing has always been a bit messy. Finally, after 15 years of effort, we have 24 cars, we have two-car teams, we have two teams per brand, two, one-hour races, and I think for the spectator it will be very easy to follow and appreciate. "We now have a clear product which has only been achieved before by Formula One.

"We also want to make full use of 21st century media. We will use HD television production and are currently developing a new official GT1 World website aimed directly at our fans.

"The GT1 World Championship is about the iconic, prestigious brands which are filled with history. Our ambition is to regenerate GT racing and transform it from a championship which was aimed at a specialised audience and bring it to a far larger and younger fan base. "And through partnerships like the relationship with Bloomberg TV which we are also announcing today, which takes us into 220 million homes around the world, we will take GT racing to a truly global and diverse audience."

The European leg of the championship starts on another grand prix circuit at Silverstone in the UK where the GT1 drivers will be the first to race on the new ,,Arena layout and compete for the world famous Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy.

The championship heads east to Brno in the Czech Republic before travelling to the Paul Ricard HTTT in the South of France. The championship will race on another world famous grand prix circuit at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium. The final two rounds in Europe will be held at the Nurburgring in Germany and in Portugal at the new Autodromo Internacional do Algarve.

The teams then head to the southern hemisphere with Round 8 in South Africa on the streets of Durban. The final two rounds will take place in South America at Interlagos in Brazil before the finale of the inaugural season takes place in Argentina on the majestic San Luis circuit in December.

-source: prism team

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Series Blancpain Sprint
Drivers Karl Wendlinger , Mika Salo , Darren Turner , Stéphane Ratel , Andrea Bertolini , Jean Todt
Teams Nissan Motorsports