Ratel positive on SRO's future GT plans

SRO looks ahead after GT1 World championship finale in Donington

A thrilling, and occasionally dramatic race weekend marked the end of the SRO promotion of the FIA GT1 World Championship, which started in Abu Dhabi in early 2010. We offer our congratulations to All-Inkl.com Münnich Motorsport, and to Marc Basseng and Markus Winkelhock, for their titles, to be officially confirmed by the FIA later this year.

By closing the GT1 World Championship chapter, however, SRO is not closing the book it started writing twenty years ago, but intends to fill many more pages with GT racing excitement.

This week’s launch of the superb Bentley Continental GT3, at the Paris Motorshow, is the best possible illustration of the expanding success of a category SRO initiated in 2005 and successfully developed together with the FIA over the years. It is SRO’s intention to focus on its further growth by confirming the launch of a GT World Series that will bring together the outstanding success of the Blancpain Endurance Series and the promising heritage of the GT1 World Championship and its action-packed sprint format.

Race action in FIA GT1 World season finale at Donington
Race action in FIA GT1 World season finale at Donington

Photo by: Daniel James Smith

At a meeting held at the Nürburgring last weekend, the following teams confirmed their interest in the proposed Sprint series, which will alternate events with the Blancpain Endurance Series, to form the future World Series : All-Inkl.com / AF Corse / Hexis / Heico / Vita4one / Prospeed / Sunred, possibly in partnership with Lambda / Reiter / WRT, hopefully joined by others, to form an expected grid of 24 or more cars, with regulations allowing the full-season entry of up to three two-car teams per make. The series will allow for a Pro class, and a ‘Silver’ class, for young and upcoming pairings.

The Blancpain Endurance Series, that will end its extremely successful 2012 season in Navarra on October 14th, with another grid of over 50 cars, is most likely to remain at top level with a number of additional teams having expressed interest for 2013. Teams competing in both the Sprint and Endurance series will score points towards the global title, with a trophy to be awarded to the Manufacturers taking into account the four best-placed cars of each series.

Stéphane Ratel
Stéphane Ratel

Photo by: Ed Fahey

“This has been the most difficult season in my career as a motorsport promoter, “ commented Stephane Ratel, Founder and CEO of SRO Motorsport Group. “But I am glad that despite the cancellation of our overseas events we have been able to respect our commitment to the teams who have trusted us for so many years, who in turn were in a position to honour their contracts with drivers, sponsors and manufacturers. I am certain they all valued our effort and investment in doing so, and will stay with us to build together a brighter continuation.”

The final calendar will be presented for approval by the RACB to the FIA World Motor Sport Council in December, with events as follows:

16th February Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates Sprint
31st March Nogaro France Sprint
14th April Monza Italy Blancpain Endurance
28th April Zolder Belgium Sprint
12th May tba Germany Sprint
2nd June Silverstone Great Britain Blancpain Endurance
30th June Paul Ricard France Blancpain Endurance
14th July Zandvoort Netherlands Sprint
27th July Spa Belgium 24 Hours of Spa, Blancpain Enduance
18th Aug Slovakiaring Slovakia Sprint
22nd Sept. Nürburgring Germany 1000 km, Blancpain Endurance

A 7th sprint event will be added.

Source: SRO

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About this article
Series Endurance
Drivers James Smith , Stéphane Ratel , Markus Winkelhock , Marc Basseng
Teams AF Corse , Münnich Motorsport
Article type Breaking news
Tags blancpain, business, endurance, gt, gt1, navarra, ratel, sro