SRO Motorsports Group’s GT Festival will be held in a different country each year, according to Stephane Ratel, who said he’s already planning the next three editions.
The new-for-2018 event, which will take place at Bahrain International Circuit on Nov. 30 – Dec. 1, is set to feature the first-ever FIA GT Nations Cup and GT4 International Cup.
Ratel said he’s planning a yearly rotation of venues for the end-of-year event, which is largely focused on amateur drivers across both GT platforms.
“The idea is to change it every year, from one country to the next,” he told Sportscar365.
“As you can imagine, I’m already working on potential countries for 2019 and 2020. As part of the agreement [for the next five years], I need to have it once in Europe.
“I think the concept will be proven successful.
“The announcement gathered interest. We’ve talked to a number of places that could do it. Once it will be delivered and proven successful in Bahrain… I love the idea. And it can develop.”
Announced in June, the first-ever GT3 Nations Cup will feature a maximum of one car entered per country, comprised of Silver or Bronze drivers hailing from that nation.
A total of 17 countries have either committed or in the preparation stages for entries.
The Nations Cup will be the second FIA-sanctioned event SRO is associated, alongside the FIA GT World Cup in Macau, which has evolved into an race exclusively for Platinum or Gold-rated drivers.
“We’ve seen the response from the drivers is very good,” Ratel said. “Drivers are very keen to represent their countries and it can develop into something very exciting.
“We’ve had [a lot of] interest from some countries, and not the most expected ones.
“Hong Kong has received four applications, while France for the moment has only one. It’s strange!”
As is the case with the GT4 World Final, SRO will cover transportation costs for cars attending the GT Festival, with sea-freight provided for GT4 and overseas GT3 entrants receiving free air-freight.