The GT Asia Series and China GT Championship have merged, with all GT Asia rounds now set to fall under the existing China GT calendar this year, series officials announced on Saturday.
It comes following a delayed start to the 2017 GT Asia series, which was set to get underway at Sepang in March, but was put on an indefinite hold, understood to be related to low car counts.
Motorsport Asia Limited and China GT Management Company Limited, the promoters of the GT Asia Series and China GT Championship respectively, unveiled plans to build a collaborative platform, following a meeting in Italy last month.
GT Asia promoter David Sonenscher will join forces with Jim Ye and his team in China GT, with a blueprint for the growth of both championships currently being finalized.
“I’m proud to say, that the GT Asia Series and China GT will be very closely aligned for the future to build on the foundations both of us have established over many years,” said Sonenscher.
“It is becoming increasingly important to have a strong presence in the most important automotive territory in the world and I am delighted that we will be able to work together closely to create a fully integrated strategy to maximize this opportunity.”
The new direction for GT Asia comes in the wake of the successful launch of the Blancpain GT Series Asia, which debuted last weekend at Sepang with a 30-car grid featuring GT3 and GT4 cars.
“China is the emerging market in world motorsport, but whilst the automotive industry is moving along at an incredible pace, motorsport is still only in it’s formative years,” Ye said.
“To that end, we need to be very careful about helping the industry to grow in a way that will help build a future, so we need to ensure that we work together as a group and protect that growth for the long term.”
The opening round of the GT Asia Series will get underway at Goldenport Motor Park in Beijing on May 12-13, followed by events at Ordos, Zhuhai, Shanghai, Chengdu and Zhejiang.