SRO Motorsports Group, the organiser of a significant proportion of GT racing around the world, celebrated 25 years of operation when 2017 championship winners gathered at the Palais Brongniart in Paris for its annual awards celebration on November 24.
Founder and CEO Stéphane Ratel took the opportunity to outline his vision and plans for the development of GT racing in 2018 and beyond.
Focusing on the growing GT4 class, SRO Motorsports Group will launch several new series to bring the total to seven GT4 championships over the next two seasons. Three additional series will be launched in conjunction with the European Series; Central, Nordic and Eastern.
The French GT4 Cup (FFSA GT) will continue in 2018. SRO is planning to introduce a Belgian GT4 Cup but the series will not have its own events but rather competitors will score points while participating in events in different series. SRO announced that Asia will have a stand-alone GT4 series on the Blancpain GT Series Asia package.
To bring together all the different GT4 championships, SRO is planning to create a GT4 World Cup in the near future.
In order to focus the Blancpain GT Series on the Pro-Am and Am categories, the maximum number of cars with a full pro line-up will be restricted to 26 in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup. An exception will be made for the Total 24 Hours of Spa however.
SRO will continue to grow the Blancpain GT Series Asia championship with a similar calendar in 2018 and, as mentioned earlier, there will be a stand-alone GT4 series. The GT4 class will race together with the GT3 cars at Fuji and Suzuka and China will be a focus for development with dedicated communications being provided in Mandarin.
In Pirelli World Challenge the FIA driver grading system will be adopted and shortened race weekend progammes are being considered.
SRO Motorsports Group is also tendering for the FIA GT3 Cup of Nations which will be the equivalent of the FIA GT World Cup in Macau but for Silver and Bronze-graded drivers. Current plans are to hold the event at the Sochi Autodrome, Russia on October 20 – 21 2018, subject to FIA approval.
The Suzuka 10 Hours has been added to the Intercontinental GT Challenge as the Asian round of the series.