Blancpain GT Series Asia’s season finale will take place at Ningbo International Speedpark in China on October 13/14, while a host of new partner categories have also been confirmed as part of a wider agreement with Mitime Motorsports.
2018’s deciding round has remained TBC since the original calendar was announced last year. And while the previously confirmed date remains unchanged, Ningbo’s 4.015km, 23-turn FIA Grade 2 facility has now been officially selected.
The track is overseen by Mitime Motorsports, which – through its circuits and championships, plus the support of China’s national governing body, CAMF – plays a leading role in developing motorsport across the region.
Located some 200km south of Shanghai, Ningbo hosted its inaugural meeting – the FIA F4 Chinese Championship – in October 2017. Now, the same category has joined forces with Blancpain GT Series Asia for the races held at Shanghai and Ningbo later this season.
It’s a similar story for the newly-announced F3 Asian Championship Certified by FIA, which will also partner Blancpain GT Series Asia in Shanghai and Ningbo. Formula 3 has proven itself the most effective training ground for young single-seater drivers since its inception in the 1940s, and will add an extra exciting dimension to this year’s weekends, while F3 Asia’s organisers – Top Speed China – already work closely with Blancpain GT Series Asia.
Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia will also once again play a leading role at five of this year’s six events, allowing GT teams and drivers to spread the cost of logistics should they wish to compete in both.
Finally, the Mitime Motorsports-organised Geely Super Cup will add a popular touring car element to both Chinese weekends.
Blancpain GT Series Asia Championship Director Benjamin Franassovici: “While we were always scheduled to race at Shanghai, the opportunity to join forces with Mitime Motorsports and compete at Ningbo as part of a wider package was too good to turn down. We say goodbye to Zhejiang with fond memories after a thrilling season finale; their facilities are excellent and we wouldn’t rule out returning in the future. But, equally, we feel switching to Ningbo is the right move for our championship. We have consistently stated our aim of visiting the best circuits in Asia, and Ningbo’s wider layout is better suited to multi-class Pro/Am GT racing. The FIA F4 Chinese Championship and FIA World Touring Car Championship both enjoyed successful outings there last season and, having visited the track myself, I’m confident this is the correct move for the series going forwards both in terms of venue selection and wider promotion.”
Mitime Motorsports General Manager Wang Feng: “Bringing Blancpain GT Series Asia and Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia together with the new F3 Asian Championship Certified by FIA and FIA F4 Chinese Championship offers the entire package greater stability but also a lot of potential. We are very keen to develop motorsport in China and these marquee categories, along with our very own Geely Super Cup, have the power to attract fans from far and wide. This level of cooperation already has strong support from the FIA and China’s national governing body, CAMF. We see this as a long-term opportunity that will prove mutually beneficial for all parties by offering the growing number of Chinese motorsport fans a truly spectacular continental platform on their doorstep.”
There are no changes to the other five 2018 dates and venues previously announced, with Sepang in Malaysia hosting round one on April 14/15.
2018 Blancpain GT Series Asia Calendar:
April 14/15: Sepang (Malaysia) 2x 1hr races
May 12/13: Chang International Circuit (Thailand) 2x 1hr races
June 30/July 1: Suzuka (Japan) 2x 1hr races
July 21/22: Fuji (Japan) 2x 1hr races
September 22/23: Shanghai (China) 2x 1hr races
October 13/14: Ningbo (China) 2x 1hr races
Source. SRO Motorsports Group