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Blancpain GT to Limit Pro Entries; Equal Sprint Cup Races in 2018

SRO to limit Pro class field to 26 entries in Blancpain GT Endurance Cup…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

The grids in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup will be limited to 26 Pro class entries, in an effort to make the championship more attractive to Pro-Am and Am class competitors.

As revealed by Sportscar365 in June, SRO Motorsports Group boss Stephane Ratel had been looking at ways to reduce the Pro class field, which made up 31 of the 50 overall entries from last weekend’s season finale at Barcelona.

The entry cap will be in place for all Endurance Cup rounds except for the Total 24 Hours of Spa, which doubles as a round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge.

“Having learned from the past experiences of full pro championships in GT1, in the late 90s and again some ten years later, SRO Motorsports Group wishes to stop the increasing professionalization of the Blancpain GT Series, where the average number of Pro cars has gone from 11 in 2011 to 32 this season,” a statement from the SRO read.

It’s not yet been revealed how SRO will select which Pro entries will be permitted to take part in the championship.

Driver pairings in the Pro-Am class in the Endurance Cup, meanwhile, have been adjusted to that it must include two Bronze-rated drivers, and only one possible Silver, Gold or Platinum-rated driver. 

The possibility of two-driver lineups in Pro-Am will continue, with the Am class driver rating rules remaining unchanged, at three Bronze-rated drivers per car.

The Silver Cup, which has featured in the Sprint Cup, will be extended to the Endurance Cup.

Additionally, the starting grid in the Endurance Cup races will be determined by the combined best times from all three drivers, except at Spa.

Format Changes to Sprint Cup

The Blancpain GT Sprint Cup, meanwhile, will see changes to its format for next year, with both 60-minute races now scoring equal points and featuring separate qualifying sessions for each.

Previously, the results from the Qualifying Race determined the grid for the Main Race, which paid additional points.

The change thus puts the championship into a more traditional GT3 format in featuring two identical races over a race weekend.

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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