The inaugural FIA GT World Cup is quickly taking shape, with SRO Motorsports Group playing a key role in the organization of the grid for the end-of-year event at Macau on Nov. 19-22.
Stephane Ratel, the brainchild of the GT3 platform, has been designated by the Automobile General Association Macao-China to help assemble the grid with manufacturer-blessed entries.
“We need to transform what was a local GT race for many years into a very professional race,” Ratel told Sportscar365. “That’s why we’re involved.
“We have privileged contact with all the car manufacturers involved in GT racing and we have to make it work.”
While the agreement to bring SRO on board as an operations partner was announced last week, Ratel said his team has already been working on format of the event for some time.
It will feature a 28-car grid, with three entries from a total of seven GT3 manufacturers, plus seven wild card entries for local teams.
“I’ve already had contact with a number of manufacturers to convince them to take the manufacturer entries of three cars,” Ratel said. “Then they decide which of the teams should be there.
“The idea is not like DTM to have factory teams. It’s to try to convince the best customer teams from different [countries] to give the world flavor, to come and compete.”
Ratel, who had proposed the concept of a GT World Cup to the FIA, is excited to be playing a role in the inaugural event, despite his organization not having been selected as the promoter.
“I was behind the idea from the beginning,” he said. “I feel the FIA contributed highly with me to build the GT3 category.
“In an overcrowded market such as GT3, with races everywhere, many of them on high quality [circuits], we had to have something that was outstanding.
“Having an end-of-season event where teams from all over the world can come was number one.
“Number two, I was a big supporter of getting Macau in because it can’t go wrong. It’s already a big event. It has heritage and there’s a large crowd. It’s a fantastic place and provides a great setting.”
Ratel said the FIA currently has a one-year agreement with the AAMC for the GT World Cup, although he’s hopeful of Macau being a fixture for the event in the years to come.