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SRO to Submit Bid for New FIA GT Pro-Am World Cup Event
- Updated: March 22, 2017
SRO Motorsports Group will submit a tender for the FIA’s newly announced FIA GT Pro-Am World Cup, according to Stephane Ratel.
Ratel, who has been co-promoter of the FIA GT World Cup for the last two years in Macau, revealed the FIA’s proposed new standalone event, focused on privateers, would start in 2018, and not later this year.
“Since the backbone of GT3 racing is Pro-Am, the idea came that we should look at another event, still standalone, that would complement so the FIA would have a World Cup for Pro and Am,” he told Sporrscar365.
“I totally support the idea. SRO is very interested but I think it’s quite open. All promoters are welcome to make propositions so we’ll make one and we’ll see.”
The location for this year’s World Cup event, aimed at GT3 manufacturers, meanwhile, has not yet been confirmed, although Ratel is optimistic that it would return to Macau for a third consecutive year.
Rumors had linked a possible switch to Paul Ricard for the end-of-year event.
“I do think [Macau] is the best place for this event,” he said. “The idea is to make it a bit more professional.
“Each year we have more amateur drivers and accidents. If we look at the last two editions, it’s been a bit disserved by less professional drivers having accidents on a very, very challenging circuit.
“The idea is to modify some of the sporting regulations to better run the event and to make it more oriented towards professional drivers.”
Ratel admitted that it could be difficult for the pro event, evolving to manufacturer-only entries, succeeding.
Last year’s World Cup featured only four registered GT3 manufacturers, down from the initial five that were on the grid for the inaugural running in 2015.
“I’ve learned the hard way in the GT1 World Championship that it’s very difficult to promote GT3 with full pro [lineups],” Ratel said. “It’s a question of where the money comes from.
“We know the manufacturers in GT3 sometimes have difficulty putting money out, outside of the well-established events like Spa and Nürburgring.
“It’s difficult with a Pro grid, but I think Pro-Am, if we have the right concept, it can be a success.”