Pre-season Newsletter 2006-02-24

SRO ANNOUNCES FIRST ROUND OF TV DEALS FOR 2006 SEASON SRO, promoter of the international FIA GT Championship, announced today a series of television broadcast agreements with leading broadcasters from Europe and beyond. In the UK, all races...

SRO ANNOUNCES FIRST ROUND OF TV DEALS FOR 2006 SEASON

SRO, promoter of the international FIA GT Championship, announced today a series of television broadcast agreements with leading broadcasters from Europe and beyond.

In the UK, all races will be broadcast live and in full on FLEXTECH-owned channels BRAVO and PLAYER and a terrestrial partner will be announced soon. In Italy, SKY ITALIA will be the exclusive partner on the live broadcasts, while the one-hour highlights will be shared with NUVOLARI, Italy's specialist motorsports channel. DSF, Germany's leading sports channel, will broadcast the highlights programme to its 33m homes in peak time on Wednesdays. Other live European broadcast partners so far include AB MOTEURS in France, UPC-owned SPORT1 in the Netherlands, CZECH terrestrial TV and TELESPORT Romania with whom agreements are currently being finalised.

Motors TV, Europe's leading motorsports channel, will ensure that FIA GT reaches the maximum number of fans across Europe by broadcasting the highlights to 30 European countries.

Stephane Ratel, Chairman of the SRO group said: "With a record number of cars, drivers and teams this is a fantastic time to get involved in the broadcast of the FIA GT Championship. We know we have the quality and excitement that fans will enjoy and these new strong TV partnerships will allow us to deliver that to them in the best possible way"

Beyond Europe, all races will be shown live on AL JAZEERA across the Middle East with highlights on FUTURE TV throughout the region, and agreements are also in place with THE SPEED CHANNEL (70 million homes in North America), as well as TV GLOBO and SPORT TV in Brazil. The 2006 FIA GT championship will also receive exposure on ESPN Star Sports with all rounds being carried in the long running International Motorsports programme. The channel currently broadcasts to over 57 million homes throughout Asia. Having secured most of the live coverage, SRO is now concentrating on the distribution of short edited programmes to terrestrial networks.

TWO CARS FOR TEAM FELBERMAYR IN 2006

Two father-and-son teams have been regular competitors in the FIA GT Championship for years : Proton Competition, with Gerold and Christian Ried, and the Felbermayr family of Horst Felbermayr Sr and Jr.

When the two families joined forces for the Proximus 24 Hours of Spa in 2005, the result was a fine podium finish for their Porsche 996 GT3 RS. Furthermore, Proton finished the season in second position in the GT2 Teams Classification, after an extremely good year.

For 2006, the Ried and Felbermayr families will join forces, to run two Porsche cars under the colours of Team Felbermayr, joining up again to run a single car in the Proximus 24 Hours of Spa.

FULL SEASON FOR THE GILLET VERTIGO

After winning the G2 category in the final three races of 2005, the Gillet Vertigo will be back for a full season in 2006. "Our aim was to try a few races in 2005 in order to see how we compared to the other cars," the man behind the car, Tony Gillet, explained.

"The last three races went well, so we decided to do the full season in 2006. The Championship is the best possible showcase for our marque, and it also adds more variety and an exotic note to the grid."

The Belgian-built car has undergone a number of changes over the winter: "The car will now have a 4-litre engine, and the weight will be 1100 kg. We have changed the front brakes, lowered the centre of gravity, altered the rear axle and generally optimised the settings to make the car more competitive. Our aim is to be around the middle of the best GT2 cars," Gillet explained. Possible drivers include the 2005 crew, led by former Formula One Minardi third driver Bas Leinders, who helped the car take three class wins at the end of last season. His team mate is likely to be Renaud Kuppens, also a regular in the team, while young Jérôme d'Ambrosio may join the team for the Proximus 24 Hours of Spa.

-fia-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Blancpain Sprint
Drivers Stéphane Ratel , Christian Ried , Bas Leinders , Renaud Kuppens , Jérôme d'Ambrosio
Teams Proton Competition , Team Felbermayr