GT1 – SRO NEWS: Seven teams already confirmed for 2012 GT World project‏

July 31, 2011

GT1

Stephane Ratel, the CEO of the Stephane Ratel Organisation (SRO), officially announced today that seven teams had confirmed their solid commitment to the 2012 GT World project.

The teams confirmed are Young Driver AMR (Aston Martin), Team WRT (Audi), Marc VDS (BMW), Vita4One Racing (Ferrari), Belgian Racing (Ford), All-Inkl.com Münnich Motorsport (Lamborghini), JRM Motorsport (Nissan).

Additionally, talks are advanced with teams to run Mercedes, Corvette and Alpina entries.

Ratel made the announcement prior to the start of the Total 24 Hours of Spa, the third round of the Blancpain Endurance Series.

Under the revised format, there would be between 9 and 11 two-car single-brand teams racing in the global series.

The timeline for the 2012 season has been established by SRO and the teams. The grid will be finalized by early September and the calendar released in October.

“We are fully in line with our declared objective to have nine, 10 teams – 11 in an ideal world – representing nine, 10, 11, different makes in the ultimate GT world championship,” Ratel said. “To welcome Audi, BMW and Ferrari cars in addition to the brands we had already – Aston Martin, Corvette, Ford, Lamborghini, Nissan – is a major achievement. We are convinced that other teams around the world will recognise the potential of this unique opportunity to become the exclusive representative of a given brand in an exciting and truly global series for GT cars.

“This has been a joint effort between SRO as the promoter and the teams who are fully committed to making this championship a success. The 2012 concept will be an evolution of the current FIA GT1 World Championship building on the qualified success of the exciting one-hour sprint format. We are all in agreement about this.

“In the defined schedule of events, we need first to finalise the grid. We are 70 per cent of the way there and we are very confident that we will finalise it by early September. We will then have a full month to confirm dates with the many contacts we have around the world for the 2012 calendar and to be active in the sponsorship and broadcasting market in November/December.”

In reference to the calendar for 2012, Ratel said: “A number of our 2011 events will continue, but to further underline the global status of the championship we need to expand into other territories like we have done with China in 2011.

“Europe Argentina, Brazil, the United Arab Emirates will be on the 2012 calendar. We have had very good discussions on four corners of the globe including Australasia, North America and Russia.

“The FIA GT1 World Championship has proven its ability to provide teams and sponsors with global reach and the capacity to provide teams with total support – financial and logistical – on overseas events.”

Ratel also underlined the success of the Blancpain Endurance Series, in its inaugural year by pointing to the impressive entry list of over 35 entries for the races in Monza and Navarra in addition to the 62 cars for the Total 24 Hours of Spa.   In addition to Blancpain Endurance Series regulars, the line-up for Spa also features a host of leading brands, teams and drivers including three cars from the McLaren GT stable.

The FIA GT3 European Championship, run by SRO, continues to flourish alongside the Blancpain Endurance Series.

“The Blancpain is the most outstanding instant success since the launch of the BPR in 1994 as witnessed by this marvellous Spa race weekend,” he said. “The Total 24 Hours of Spa is more than ever the crown jewel of GT endurance around the world.  There is no doubt by the number of teams that have indicate this weekend their intention to do Spa and the series next year that it is going to be a growing success.”

“The FIA GT3 European Championship has proven this year with a strong and very competitive grid that it definitely has its position in the GT racing landscape. With the appearance on the calendar in 2011 of Zandvoort, the first event in the Netherlands for FIA GT3, and Slovakia Ring near Bratislava, it offers a very spectacular show for a number of markets. We always said that our objective was to manage the success of both the Blancpain Endurance Series and the FIA GT3 European Championship under their respective formats and we have managed that.”

As for the remainder of the 2011 FIA GT1 World Championship, Ratel confirmed that the intention was to have two races in China in September. Besides the race weekend in Ordos on September 3-4, plans a race at Goldenport in Beijing was close to being finalised.

“We are all set now for a second race in China which is only pending an FIA homologation of the Goldenport Circuit which will take place next week,” he said.

The 2011 season will conclude at San Luis in Argentina 5-6 November. A further update on the 2012 season would be provided by SRO around the time of the 2011 Chinese events.

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