SRO Motorsports Group’s new GT2 platform is poised to debut at Spa-Francorchamps next year, with planning underway for a launch event during the Total 24 Hours of Spa weekend, according to Stephane Ratel.
Announced last month, the new-for-2019 class, featuring largely production-based supercars aimed at the gentlemen driver market, will be gradually rolled out into SRO’s sprint-based championships over the next 24 months.
While initially tabbed to be part of the British GT Championship next year, Ratel said plans are underway to utilize the Blancpain GT Sports Club as the primary incubator following a launch event, which is targeted for the Spa weekend next July.
“The priority, we’d like to do a launch event with all [cars] that exists, probably at Spa, during the 24 hours, to present GT2,” Ratel told Sportscar365.
“Then we’ll use the Sports Club in Europe as a development series for it; that’s really the idea.
“We’ll see if we’ll have interest from America or Asia with our existing platforms. That’s basically the idea.”
Ratel said that projected car counts for British GT, which will remain with a combined GT3/GT4 grid next year, has led them to re-evaluate the initial launch plans for GT2.
While not prepared to turn away entries, Ratel indicated there will not be a full-season championship for GT2 machinery in the series next year.
“The problem with British GT is that it’s full,” he said.
“My idea is to ultimately seperate GT3 from GT4. I believe that we could get a bigger GT4 grid in UK, as we have in France and as we will have in Germany.
“It will happen when we have GT2 and GT3 forming one grid and GT4 forming another one.”
Instead, GT2 cars will be developed in the Sports Club during the second half of 2019, with the potential of one-off or partial season entries in other sprint championships, such as Pirelli World Challenge.
“Of course if someone buys a GT2 and calls any SRO series and want to run, in any of the sprint series, we’ll consider it,” Ratel said.
Ratel has targeted “five or six” manufacturers for GT2 within the next two years, with significant interest from Lamborghini and Porsche, which has reportedly already been testing a race car based on the GT2 RS.
He expects a mix of existing machinery and all-new cars developed to the platform, indicating that some GT3 and GT4 cars could be “pumped up” to GT2 specification.
“But it’s a different car,” Ratel said. “It’s not GT4 plus because if you do that, you rebuild the car. It’s in fact a completely different car.
“The idea of putting a full 600-horsepower engine into a GT4 Audi will not work. You’d have to change everything from cooling to braking to transmission and everything.”
Audi, Aston Martin Monitoring GT2 Developments
Both Audi and Aston Martin are monitoring GT2 developments but admitted they’re waiting on further technical details and assurances before coming to a conclusion on whether it’s a feasible platform.
Aston Martin Racing president David King told Sportscar365 that he “really likes” SRO’s concept and could eventually see a Vantage GT2 “sprung off” from either its new-for-2019 GT3 or GT4 cars.
However, the British manufacturer’s immediate focus is on its already announced Vantage models.
“The concept is great and something in between GT3 and GT4 is needed, sure,” King said. “We’ve got some ideas around that, but no decisions yet.
“We’ve got a lot of interest in GT3 and that’s where it’s focused right now. I think if we were to talk about GT2 now, we’d probably confuse them.”
Chris Reinke, the head of Audi Sport customer racing, meanwhile, has stressed that GT2 must be “clearly defined” and not have any overlap with existing GT platforms.
“If we find an exact, clear, defined section for GT2, there is enough room,” he said. “But we have to make sure, in the definition, that it’s clarified and we don’t have overlaps.
“If there becomes overlaps, we won’t be interested.”