Blancpain GT Series
Encouraged by the success of the Blancpain Endurance Series, world-renowned Swiss watch manufacture Blancpain and the SRO Motorsports Group decide at the end of 2013 to extend their partnership to the Sprint series, previously promoted as the FIA GT Series, offering teams and drivers the opportunity to compete for an overall Blancpain GT Series title, linking sprint and endurance.
The Blancpain GT Series runs over 10 events with 5 endurance cup and 5 sprint cup races.
The objective of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup, five events centred around the Total 24 Hours of Spa, is to take GT3 cars into endurance racing formats of three hours with two mandatory pit stops.
The Blancpain GT Series is mainly reserved for GT3 cars, applying the principles of Balance of Performance and a driver categorisation system successfully developed by SRO Motorsports Group.
The Series comprises the title of Blancpain GT Series Winner for Drivers and one title of Blancpain GT Series Winner for Teams, which will be awarded overall as well as in the Pro-Am and Am categories.
It also includes Cups : the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Overall, Pro-Am and Am Cup for Teams and Drivers, the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Overall, Pro-Am and Am Cups for Teams and Drivers, and the Blancpain GT Series Silver Cup for Drivers.
Since the new FIA GT1 World Championship was based on a sprint format, there was a need for an international GT endurance championship.
The Blancpain Endurance Series is launched and meets instant success with a strong level of entries for the five-race series centred around the Total 24 Hours of Spa. The Blancpain Endurance Series is the result of twenty years of motorsport experience built by the SRO Motorsports Group.
The recipe was quite simple: to bring GT3 cars to endurance racing, by setting up a convivial championship which met the requirements and expectations of teams and drivers alike. The Blancpain Endurance Series quickly becomesthe new reference point in GT racing.
After a second successful GT1 World season in 2011 with two races in China and a spectacular demonstration run in the Beijing Olympic Park, the announcement of the FIA GT World Cup as part of the newly-launched FIA World Endurance Championship cast doubts over the Championship’s future. Despite having added Russia to the calendar and running the Championship with GT3 cars, the 2012 season was difficult enough to convince SRO to drop the World title but to preserve a sprint format in GT Racing for 2013.
The Blancpain Endurance Series consolidates its reputation as the benchmark for GT3 series. The series is brought into more homes than ever, with among others, Eurosport and RTL committing significant coverage to the races.
For the international sprint series, 2013 is a transition year, during which SRO Motorsports Group proves that there was a place for such a series alongside the Blancpain Endurance Series. The FIA GT Series, run under the aegis of the RACB with an FIA title, continues in the footsteps of the FIA GT1 World and GT3 European Championships. With an average of 22 cars per event over the season and culminating in a successful and popular season finale in Baku the FIA GT Series meets all expectations.
By bringing the Blancpain Sprint Series and Blancpain Endurance Series under a common banner, the growth of GT racing in Europe continues. Both promotion and TV coverage enjoy increasing figures.
Encouraged by the success of the inaugural season, the development of the Blancpain GT Series continues, with new venues like Misano and Moscow. The introduction of prize money in the Blancpain Endurance Series sees a growing number of teams participating in both Endurance and Sprint Series.
After successfully developing their partnership through the Blancpain Endurance Series and the Blancpain Sprint Series, world-renowned Swiss watch manufacture Blancpain and the SRO Motorsports Group have decided that 2016 will see both successful Series further integrated into the Blancpain GT Series, putting the emphasis on the prestigious overall drivers' and manufacturers' titles.
With both the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup and Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup now sharing the same driver categories and points system, the ten round - five sprint events and five endurace events - Blancpain GT Series season will crown the most complete of GT drivers.
A Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup event consists of two races of one hour per event, while the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup races range from three-hour events through a 1000 km race to the season highlight of the Total 24 Hours of Spa, the world’s leading 24-hour race reserved for GT3 cars.