The organizer of the Gulf 12 Hours has revealed plans to launch a new GT3-based sprint race championship in the Middle East next year.
The Gulf Sports Car Championship will be comprised of five rounds, each consisting of two-one hour races, which will initially be held between the Dubai Autodrome and Yas Marina Circuit from November 2018 to February 2019.
The Gulf 12 Hours, which is now in its seventh edition, will remain a standalone event.
According to Andrea Ficcarelli of Driving Force Events Ltd, the national championship will be open to international drivers, but with the goal of featuring Bronze and selected Silver-rated pilots only.
“Having one event a year like the 12 Hours of Abu Dhabi is not easy to fill a full staff,” Ficcarelli told Endurance-Info.
“The time has come to revive the UAE GT Championship with some adjustments. This championship was stopped following the financial crisis.
“More and more European teams want to have a base in the region. It will be possible for them to do some shopping and testing. It’s a plus for the logistics to be able to leave the cars on the spot. ”
While initially running exclusively within the United Arab Emirates, Ficcarelli said he hasn’t ruled out expansion to other countries in the region in future.
“The name of the series is unambiguous,” he said. “It allows you to leave the United Arab Emirates if you wish.
“All GTs will be accepted with why not the presence of prototypes such as the Ligier JS P4 or the new Wolf? It is not planned to have LMP3 cars, which remains an ACO product.”
Teams will be allowed single or two-driver lineups, with the championship being determined by the three best results from each driver in the season.
Further details on the series, including the 2018/19 schedule, is expected to be released in February.