The SRO has announced the Asia Pacific 36 endurance cup for next year, combining three 12-hour races including the Motul Sepang 12 Hours and Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.
The Malaysian round will be combined with Bathurst and a new 12-hour event at Hampton Downs in New Zealand to create a three-race cup over the summer months in the southern hemisphere.
Sepang no longer hosts the fourth round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge, with the Suzuka 10 Hours replacing it on the 2018 schedule, but will serve as the second round of the new Endurance Cup on Dec. 9.
Bathurst, which opens the IGTC season on Feb. 3, 2019, meanwhile, will also double as the season finale of the 36-hour Cup.
According to SRO Motorsports Group boss Stephane Ratel, the concept of the new Cup is to bring a selection of Pro-Am drivers and teams in the region together, leaving IGTC for more factory-backed efforts.
“It’s not really the manufacturer part of it,” Ratel said. “I think Intercontinental is really for manufacturer teams. This is to really put together some Asian and Australian teams that would be happy to do this.
“I think it could be a big [success]. Some drivers would want to do this at the end of the season.”
Ratel said the date for the race at the Tony Quinn-owned Hampton Downs circuit has yet to be confirmed, with further details to be communicated in the coming weeks.
“[Hampton Downs] should be the end-of-October or beginning of November, then you have transport time to go to Sepang, then you have plenty of time to go to Bathurst,” he said.
The Cup will be open to GT3, GT4 and GT Cup cars, according to Ratel.
2018/2019 Asia Pacific 36 Schedule:
Oct/Nov – Hampton Downs 12 Hours (New Zealand)
Dec. 9 – Motul Sepang 12 Hours (Malaysia)
Feb. 3 – Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour (Australia)