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Blancpain GT Sprint Cup Field Drops to 20 Entries

Reduced field of 20 cars set for Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

A three-year low of 20 cars will take part in the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup this season, with the entry list released on Tuesday during the pre-season test at Circuit Paul Ricard.

ENTRY LIST: Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup

The field will be the Sprint Cup’s smallest since 2015 after consistently having over 30 cars at each race over the last two seasons. 

It features 14 Pro Cup entries, four in Pro-Am, two in Silver Cup and no Am Cup competitors. 

Belgian Audi Club Team WRT is the largest contingent with four Audi R8 LMS GT3s, all in the top class, while Grasser Racing Team and AKKA ASP each have three cars entered.

A surprise entry comes from 3Y Technologies which will run the Sprint Cup’s only BMW M6 GT3 while ROWE Racing elects to only enter the Endurance races this season. 

The low turnout for the Sprint Cup, which will have an altered format this season with both races paying equal points, is in contrast to the 50-strong Endurance Cup entry

Rising costs are expected to have played a part in the reduced interest with several teams opting for the German-based ADAC GT Masters series instead, which has almost 40 confirmed GT3 entries.

Additionally, manufacturers are no longer required to have entries in the Sprint Cup in order to be eligible to compete in the Pro class of the Endurance Cup.

Nevertheless, SRO Motorsports Group Founder and CEO Stephane Ratel remains positive about the Sprint Cup’s prospects this year.

“This is down from the 32 cars we had last year, but further one-off entries that have already been confirmed for selected rounds will bring us closer to the ideal number for Sprint races, which we have previously estimated at 24,” Ratel said.

“Above all we want to remain true to the founding principles of the series: placing equal emphasis on professional and non-professional drivers to ensure full grids and a high standard of competition.

“I know that we’ll deliver on that promise in 2018.”

The Sprint Cup season will get underway at Zolder on April 6-8.

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist who is Sportscar365's European Editor and also Managing Editor for e-racing365. He is a student of Politics and International Relations. Contact Jake

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. jrw

    March 13, 2018 at 3:58 pm

    I’m waiting for the SRO Southeast Lichtenstein GT Championship, both Sprint and Endurance, GT3 and GT4, with Pro/Pro, Pro/Am, Silver, Bronze, Chrome, Purple, Teal, and Orange classes.

  2. N8

    March 13, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    It’s unwatchable from a fan standpoint. Amateurs appear to have lost interest. Shut it down and add to more Endurance races, problem solved.

  3. Michael Sørensen

    March 13, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    Pro’s racing…. too little racing on track and too high costs…. when I saw all the cars at the sprint races, I thought why are you here???

  4. daedalus

    March 13, 2018 at 9:06 pm

    I agree with N8, the sprint series has always struggled. Maybe just have one 2 hour race instead of two 1 hour races, a kind of endurance lite format that is also part of the overall endurance series. 60 min races have worked best for the pan national series like British GT, ADAC and Australian GT and that’s where they should stay. There is always GT Open for a European sprint series and I think that’s why blancpain sprint has failed to be as popular as it is trying to satisfy a need that is already being met.

  5. Jessie

    March 14, 2018 at 3:02 am

    Most have gone to ADAC GT Masters a better sprint championship They have 37 entries

  6. JorritVD

    March 14, 2018 at 3:54 pm

    One more problem of the sprint series: Tracks and BoP are in favour of certain cars like the Audi and Merc. Ussually Bentley, Nissan, M6 struggled in the sprint cup. As BoP was completly not in favour of McLaren last year, this also resulted in a reduced entry of 650S.

    But indeed with GT Masters and GT Open and GT4 and their own gentlemen GT3 GT Sportsclub, the Blancpain Sprint Cup seems a bit to much. Maybe they should reconsider the format completly.

    > Yes or no pitstop?
    > Shorter and more events?
    > one or two drivers a car? (Bit what PWC has with GT and GTA)

    Maybe SRO should combine the GT Sportsclub and Sprint Cup.
    > 1 driver each car.
    > 2 or 3 races each event.
    > Races become a bit shorter. Maybe 45 minutes.

    Practice can be shorter than as well, because you not need to share a car, and the driving time therefore will increase.

    I think why the ADAC GT Masters is maybe more in favor, is that both drivers are important. In the Blancpain Sprint Cup, your first driver is dominant with quali. If you have a good quali, you will have probably good races as well. That’s why ‘gentlemen’ drivers could win the championship (Ide and Leonard) as they basically needed just to ‘defend’. This is ofcourse frustrating for teams like McLaren / Nissan / Bentley / BMW who put in big effort. In ADAC GT Masters you need to perform well in both quali with both drivers and this also gives therefore a lot of different scenarios.

    So in this case SRO has two options:
    – Go for a minor change in format: add a second qualy session for the second driver
    – Go for a big change in format

    • gtgianlu

      March 14, 2018 at 5:31 pm

      This year driver1 and driver2 have their own quali, so race1 and 2 deliver the same points. Never liked sprint format,but mind,Fia Euro Gt3 was sprint only at his birth

    • MarcusM

      March 17, 2018 at 9:13 pm

      Another aspect teams like ISR, HTP swich their focus to ADAC GT Masters is cost. I’m sure they are much higher in blancpain. Plus GT Masters is using SRO BoP this year aswell.

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