The former FIA-GT1 Series held its last race in 2012, and right after the announcement was made, SRO Motorsports Group stepped up to the plate – note the series name is now FIA GT Series with minor changes.
SRO Motorsports Group and the FIA have announced today details for a newly named 2013 FIA GT Series which will preserve the highly competitive sprint-format of the former GT1 World Championship and bring together the most professional GT teams and drivers from Europe and beyond.
After months of discussions with the FIA and GT teams, SRO Motorsports Group and the FIA have finalised details for 2013. In light of the on-going economic downturn in Europe, a more limited programme will be run in 2013 with six key events. Only one of the races will be run outside of Europe and is to be held in the Middle East.
Ten two-car teams have already confirmed their intention to participate in the new series, making the target of 24 entries attainable for the 2013 season. These are former World Championship teams Belgian Audi Club Team WRT from Belgium, Vita4One Racing from Germany with BMW, Reiter Engineering from Germany with Lamborghini and Sunred from Spain most likely with Audi.
They will be joined by the Spa and Nürburgring 24hrs winning team Phoenix Racing from Germany with Audi and by former European Championship regulars HDC from the Czech Republic with Mercedes, Prospeed Competition from Belgium with Porsche, Novadriver from Portugal with Audi.
Making the headlines, nine times World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb will be racing with his own Sebastien Loeb Racing Team from France with McLaren.
In addition to these ten teams, SRO is also proud to announce that Antonio Hermann’s BMW Team Brazil has also expressed a strong intention to race in the FIA GT Series this season with a stellar line up of Brazilian drivers.
A number of experienced French teams, namely Hexis Racing with McLaren, Sofrev Auto Sport with Ferrari and Sainteloc Racing with Audi, have already confirmed they will take advantage of the opportunity offered for race-by-race entries to be on the grid for the opening round, at Nogaro on Easter-weekend.
A host of other teams are also working on finalising a programme for the 2013 season and they will be announced in the coming weeks. Final entry list will be release on the 1st February, after the official closing date of entries.
The FIA GT format and regulations will be very similar to those of the former FIA GT1 World Championship, with the only significant difference being the introduction of a specific class for Pro-Am and young driver pairings. This format was successfully explored in 2012 when a combination of the GT1 World and GT3 European grids raced together at some events.
SRO founder and CEO, Stephane Ratel :
“After three challenging years in promoting the FIA GT1 World Championship, we are pleased to have devised a realistic and credible platform that will bring together a strong, competitive and quality field for 2013.
European events selected on their ability to deliver large and visible crowds, an overseas closing event to keep an exotic flavour; a strong mix of full Pro, Pro-Am and young driver pairings, as well as a focus on improving the series coverage will lay solid foundations for future GT growth.
Together with the FIA and with the support of the teams, we are confident in the potential of this re-designed GT Sprint package that will be known as the FIA GT Series.”
The calendar for the 2013 FIA GT Series is as follows:
1st April: Nogaro, France
21st April: Zolder, Belgium
14th July: Zandvoort, Netherlands
18th August: Slovakia Ring, Slovakia
13th October: Navarra, Spain
16th or 23rd November: Middle East (date and location to be confirmed)
The TV package for the FIA GT Series will be announced shortly.
In parallel with the 2013 FIA GT Series, the Blancpain Endurance Series will continue its phenomenal success at five key events, including the iconic Spa 24 hours and Nürburgring 1000kms.