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Ratel Examining American GT3 Landscape

Stephane Ratel not ruling out future SRO involvement in America…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency/SRO

Photo: Vision Sport Agency/SRO

While currently in the early stages of a partnership with Pirelli World Challenge, SRO Motorsports Group founder and CEO Stephane Ratel hasn’t ruled out taking a larger involvement in North America in the future.

Speaking with Sportscar365 during last weekend’s Blancpain Sprint Series round in Moscow, Ratel denied rumors that his organization would be interested in an ownership role of PWC but has left the door open for the future.

“You have to do step-by-step in life,” Ratel told Sportscar365. “You should never say never what will happen in a number of years but for the moment I have to successfully run what we have in Europe.

“My team needs to concentrate on that. We’re also starting in Asia with Macau and Sepang and our agreement with Bathurst. There’s a lot [going on].

“America, let’s see in time. There’s nothing immediate. I think [PWC President] Scott Bove and his team are doing the job. They have a good grid. Let’s work on what needs to work.”

Ratel joined PWC officials at its St. Petersburg round in March to announce a partnership between the two organizations, including a planned joint event at Circuit of The Americas next March.

The Frenchman said the deal to take the Blancpain Endurance Series to Texas hasn’t been finalized, although the top three PWC GT teams are still invited to compete in this year’s Sprint Series season finale, which has been relocated from Baku to Zandvoort.

While multiple industry sources have indicated to Sportscar365 that there could be something larger in the works between SRO and WC Vision, Ratel admitted his organization doesn’t typically take over successfully run championships.

“I’ve never been given anything that works in my life,” he said. “I’ve only been given series that were usually either non-existent and I created it, or took over something that was in trouble, like the 24 Hours of Spa.

“At the end, we take things that either don’t work or we create them and we make them work. For the moment, the Pirelli World Challenge is a success.

“I love America. I studied there. Part of my heart and soul is in America. I think all my life, when I get out of an airport in America, I feel like a little bit at home.

“But I’m not rich enough to buy a series. I need to create them myself or take them when it’s in trouble.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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