The FIA GT World Cup in Macau will be restricted to manufacturer-supported entries and professional drivers only, with other measures having also been made aimed to prevent a repeat of the incident-filled 2016 event.
The FIA, AAMC and Macau Grand Prix Organizing Committee announced Friday a number of changes for the third annual event, set for Nov. 16-19, including allowing only Gold and Platinum-rated drivers.
Previously, the race had no driver restrictions, with roughly half of the entries comprised of gentlemen drivers from privateer teams.
Safety improvements have also been announced, including new curbing in Turns 1 and 2, debris fencing and better use of TECPRO barriers.
There will also be an improvement in the recovery of GT cars, with new equipment set to be used.
While the race format will remain unchanged, with a 12-lap qualifying race and 18-lap main race, the GT sessions will be better scheduled to maximize track time in the event of red flags. The restart procedure will also be reduced from ten to five minutes.
Organizers have also announced a entry cap of 25 cars, and for the first time, no entry fees for manufacturers.
The changes come in the wake of last year’s red-flag ridden race, which was won by Laurens Vanthoor, despite finishing the race on his roof.
Mercedes-AMG’s Maro Engel won the inaugural FIA GT World Cup in 2015, which also saw numerous incidents.
The FIA is planning to launch a seperate World Cup event for Pro-Am and amateur drivers beginning next year.