While the pair of races at Donington Park last weekend decided the FIA GT1 World Championship and so brought to a close the three year history of the championship promoters SRO Motorsports Group are already bullish about the future of the championship that will act as its replacement.
SRO Founder and CEO Stephane Ratel announced at Spa-Francorchamps in July the creation of a new sprint series taking forward the two hour race format of the GT1 championship in 2013 and at the penultimate round (September 22-23) at the Nurburgring plans for the new series took a step forward with a ten teams, including current GT1 outfits All–inkl.com, Hexis, WRT, Vita4one and AF Corse pledging their interest in the 2012 series.
The new championship will comprise of seven rounds in the Middle East and Europe, alternating dates with the Blancpain Endurance Series, which looks set to again host a grid of 50 GT3 cars for its final round later this month at Navarra.
This has been the most difficult season in my career as a motorsport promoter,” commented Ratel. “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.”
Provisional 2013 SRO Sprint Series calendar:
February 16 – Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
March 31 – Nogaro, France
April 28 – Zolder, Belgium
May 12 – TBA, Germany
July 14 – Zandvoort, The Netherlands
August 18 – Slovakiaring, Slovakia
A seventh race date will be added to the schedule.
Provisional 2013 Blancpain Endurance Series calendar:
April 14 – Monza, Italy
June 2 – Silverstone, Great Britain
June 30 – Paul Ricard, France
July 27 – Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium (66th 24 Hours of Spa)
September 22 – Nürburgring, Germany (1000km)