Stephane Ratel said he’s hopeful that the FIA GT World Cup will remain at Macau this year, amid reports of the world title potentially moving to a new event inside the FIA Motorsport Games.
Multiple sources have indicated to Sportscar365 that a single-driver GT3 Pro race, reserved for one driver per nation, could be added to the Motorsport Games bill this year, which will take place at Paul Ricard/Marseille on Oct. 23-25.
A manufacturer’s meeting is understood to have been held this week to discuss possible options.
While confirming discussions of a “Pro Sprint” race for the Motorsport Games, Ratel stressed that it would be seperate to anything that may or may not materialize in Macau.
SRO manages both the Motorsport Games and GT World Cup on behalf of the FIA.
Ratel confirmed to Sportscar365 that an agreement has not yet been reached between the Macau government authorities although it is not out of the ordinary.
“Each and every year we never had the agreement for Macau before the first of July,” Ratel said.
“We’re waiting and we’ve really worked with all of the manufacturers to know how many cars they want to have.
“Then we sent it to Macau with a report that, ‘As of today, this is what is confirmed. This is what is possible.’ Then Macau has to decide what to do.
“We’ve had the same procedure every year. But it’s true that it has not been easy to get [a sizable] grid.”
Ratel indicated that Audi, BMW, Mercedes-AMG and Porsche have all made preliminary commitments to Macau, as was the case last year, which would produce between 12-14 entries.
It’s understood SRO has been under pressure to confirm a 20-car grid, which the event hasn’t seen since 2017.
“It’s always a bit last minute,” Ratel said of Macau privateer entries. “Last year we had 14 then we had an extra three, which was acceptable. The year before we were at 15, which was not acceptable.
“The base is the same because we have the four German [manufacturers] on the grid. We’re trying hard to get others but the other ones are [privateers].”
Ratel said he hasn’t received any indications if the event will continue as a FIA World Cup but said it would be his personal wish.
“The Automobile Club of Macau, the local government, do they want to have a world title with the costs going with it or not?
“If they do it, I’m sure we [will] have it. Are we going to have a 20-plus grid? I don’t think so. But are we going to have between 15-20 cars? Yes.”
Kyalami 9H to be Moved if Macau Confirms GT World Cup
Should the GT World Cup be confirmed for Macau, Ratel said he will move the date of this year’s Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli season-ending Kyalami 9 Hour back by one week.
Currently, both events are scheduled for Nov. 20-22, due to a misunderstanding of where Macau would fall on the calendar.
“We were surprised by Macau,” Ratel said. “Normally it’s always the third weekend but they counted the third Saturday, so it was one week earlier than anticipated.
“But if the World Cup is confirmed, which I hope it will be, we will need to move Kyalami by a week. If it’s not confirmed we have no reason to change.”
GT3 Pro Sprint Race Under Consideration for Motorsport Games
Ratel said a potential second GT3 race in the Motorsport Games could be confirmed for this year regardless of the outcome in Macau.
“The Motorsport Games, what we’re discussing, is because one of the criticism of the games was that it wasn’t really pro,” he said of the Pro-Am enforcement for the GT3 race.
“We said maybe we could have, next to SprintX Pro-Am, a Pro Sprint. It’s only a discussion and that has nothing to do with Macau.”