18 entries, from nine teams, have been received for the second season of the 2011 FIA GT1 World Championship.
Four brands – Ford, Nissan, Aston Martin and Lamborghini – are confirmed, returning each with a pair of two car teams. Special dispensation has been given by the FIA to allow a tenth team to enter the series, filling up the four car entry of a fifth brand.
Stephane Ratel, figurehead of the SRO Group that promotes the championship, is optimistic of attracting that final team in time – before the first race of the season at the Yas Marina facilty on March 26.
“We have been working extremely hard to ensure we have a good quality grid for the 2011 FIA GT1 World Championship and I'd like to thank the teams who have submitted their entries to the FIA,” he said, before underlining the series will not be moving from the strict rules on the make-up of the grid. “GT1 remains firm on the two car team entries and two teams per brand that have made the Championship unique in the world of sports car racing.”
“It should also be noted that of the entries received, all of the cars that were built specifically for the 2010 GT1 regulations, namely Nissan, Ford and Lamborghini, will be on the grid in Abu Dhabi, alongside the Aston Martin DB9. I am confident that we will find a solution in the next few weeks that will add a fifth brand to the grid and bring the number of cars up to 20.”
Several teams had either confirmed of threatened not to return for a second season, so the possibility of a 20 car field is a step forward for the championship. Of last year's brands Corvette and Maserati have not been confirmed as part of the entry list.
The FIA GT Commission will examine the tendered entries, before a full entry list is released in the coming weeks.