On the eve of the Motul Sepang 12 Hours, Stephane Ratel introduced the new Blancpain GT Series Asia to the many interested teams and drivers. Final preparations for the series are in full swing, and with agreements in place with the Audi R8 LMS Cup, Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia and China GT, the Blancpain GT Series Asia is ready for an exciting inaugural season.
Just after Porsche works driver Nick Tandy showed off the qualities of the Porsche Cayman GT4 on the Sepang International Circuit, SRO Founder and CEO Stephane Ratel, together with Blancpain GT Series Asia General Manager Benjamin Franassovici and co-director Paul Yao took the stage in front of teams, drivers and press to explain the details of the inaugural Blancpain GT Series Asia, which will be held over six rounds and twelve races in 2017.
Greater value for money for the teams and important prize fund
In the Blancpain GT Series Asia, SRO Motorsports Group will introduce a Team Transportation Package with a contribution of $400,000 to be distributed among the first twenty full season entrants. This will give the teams an substantial contribution towards their season costs. This package comes in addition to an already impressive list of initiatives which proves the solidity of the new Blancpain GT Series Asia and which will widen the exposure of the teams’ performances, enhance sponsor relations and aid the general organisation.
Just like all other SRO Motorsports Group series, the Blancpain GT Series Asia will benefit from professionally produced live streaming at every round, while live TV exposure is also guaranteed across the continent on Fox Sports, and beyond on most of the many broadcasters which already showcase the European Blancpain GT Series.
Competitors in the Blancpain GT Series Asia will also benefit from a substantial $300,000 prize fund, which will be distributed in both the GT3 and GT4 categories. This emphasizes the ever-increasing importance and popularity of SRO’s exclusively owned GT4 class, next to the already established GT3 category.
Action packed race-weekend
Building on its successful partnership in Europe, Blancpain GT Series Asia will be supported by the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia, present on all but one of the events. The Audi R8 LMS Cup will also run a parallel calendar, meaning that teams aiming to run their cars in both the Audi Cup and the Blancpain GT Series Asia can save on logistics. In addition, Audi will lend their support to the Audi teams participating in the Blancpain GT Series Asia. To further strengthen this partnership, the winner of the AM Cup of the Audi R8 LMS Cup will be awarded a free entry to the highlight of the 2018 Blancpain GT Series, the Total 24 Hours of Spa.
In the final round of the season, the Zhejiang GT Festival, the China GT championship will be part of the line-up as well, joining forces with the Blancpain GT Series Asia to provide the necessary promotion for an exciting “GT Festival” season finale.
Use of SRO’s extensive knowledge
From a technical point-of-view, the Blancpain GT Series Asia will enjoy the complete SRO technical environment, including all tools and knowledge necessary to establish an equitable Balance of Performance.
As the world-renowned architect of GT racing, the SRO Motorsports Group sees its successfully proven Balance of Performance used in many GT3 and GT4 championships all over the world, from the Blancpain GT Series and Blancpain GT Sports Club through the GT4 European Series, British GT and Australian GT to the Pirelli World Challenge and the GT3 category of the Japanese Super GT.
First entrants confirmed
The appeal of the new Blancpain GT Series Asia has already been confirmed by the first entrants for the 2017 season.
Gruppe M will make a return to full time competitive action, bringing no fewer than three Mercedes-AMG to the six events. Determined to leave no stone unturned in its quest for success in the Far Eastern championship, GruppeM will field an extremely strong ‘Pro’ line-up with vastly experienced British racer Tim Sugden, a former British GT and Porsche Carrera Cup Champion, as the first confirmed driver. “It is a great pleasure to welcome Kenny Chen, Tim Sugden and their Gruppe M team as the first confirmed entries in the inaugural Blancpain GT Series Asia”, says Stephane Ratel. “A welcome back in an SRO promoted series since Gruppe M competed in the FIA GT Championship, winning the GT2 team and driver titles for Porsche in 2005. We wish them similar success with their all new Mercedes-AMG car line up in 2017.”
April 8/9 Sepang International Circuit Malaysia 2x 1hr races
May 20/21 Chang International Circuit Thailand 2x 1hr races
June 24/25 Suzuka International Circuit Japan 2x 1hr races
August 19/20 Fuji International Circuit Japan 2x 1hr races
September 23/24 Shanghai International Circuit China 2x 1hr races
October 21/22 Zhejiang Circuit China 2x 1hr races
Source. SRO Motorsports Group