Sportscar365 gives an overview of the changes made to the Blancpain GT Series sporting regulations for 2016:
***One of the most discussed changes has been the so-called ‘two-car rule’. In order for a model of car to be eligible to compete in the Pro Cup of the Blancpain GT Series (including 24H Spa), at least two cars of this model must be entered in all rounds of the Blancpain GT Series, with at least one car entered in the Pro Cup (or Silver Cup in Sprint). Those cars may be entered by different teams.
***An exemption to the previous rule is granted for the Total 24 Hours of Spa if at least two cars of this model are entered in all 2016 rounds of the Intercontinental GT Challenge.
***A new system of so-called ‘Behavior Warning Points’ (BWP) for driving offenses has been introduced. In addition to a penalty or warning, drivers will be awarded one or more of these points. These are only linked to their own actions, not those of the team or teammates.
***A formal reprimand or drive-through penalty equals one point, while a stop-and-go results in two points added to a driver’s score. The severity of the infraction might also play a role in determining the amount of points.
***Once a driver has collected three points he will receive a five-place grid drop for the car in which he is driving for the next race and ten if he has four points, while five points will result in a minimum of a drive-through penalty.
***Penalty points will be carried forward to the next event. For each event that a driver gains no additional penalty points, two points will be deducted. Once a penalty has been served, the driver will have three penalty points deducted from their score and the remainder will be carried forward to the next event.
***A minimum pit stop time will apply for the Endurance Cup events. The total length of a pit stop, from pit in to pit out, may not fall within a 20-second time range. This range will be determined before each event and will be calculated depending on the length of the pit lane, the target refueling time and the target minimum time for the tire changes. One of the main goals of this rule was to stop teams making further expenses on the development of their fuel rigs.
***Besides the existing Cup Category intended for cars from single-make series, a new XtraCup Category has been introduced, which is aimed at cars from ‘high-level’ single-make series (Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo, Renault RS01. etc). Both classes are only open for the Total 24 Hours of Spa.
***The aforementioned Cup and XtraCup classes are exclusively intended for Bronze-rated amateur drivers, though a Silver-rated driver may join a trio of Bronzes if he respects the imposed drive time limits.
***The maximum Pro Am Cup driver lineup for the 24 Hours of Spa has been reduced from Platinum-Gold-Silver-Bronze to Platinum-Silver-Silver-Bronze. Platinum-Platinum-Bronze-Bronze is also still allowed.
***SRO’s four-tier variable BoP system make a distinctions between the following types of tracks: High speed lower downforce (Type A), high speed medium downforce (Type B), mid speed higher downforce (Type C) and low speed medium downforce (Type D).
***Cars competing in the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Series will be able to take part in the Bronze Test sessions, on condition that they are driven by a Bronze-rated driver.
***Due to the high number of entries in the Sprint Cup and to avoid chaos in the pitlane, the pit window will be automatically delayed if the Safety Car is on track or a Full Course Yellow period is in operation at the time when the pit window is scheduled to open. Any pit stops taken before the start of the new pit window will not count as the mandatory pit stop. Should the Safety Car hit the track during the pit window, it will remain open.
***The Silver Cup has undergone a revamp over the winter and the category is now open to any pairing of Silver drivers, irrespective of their age. There was a proposal on the table at the end of last season that encompassed two additional British GT races, required teams to enter four cars, introduced a fixed pitstop time, two sets of tires per event and a revised BoP with lighter and less powerful cars to lower the running costs, but concept failed to come to fruition
***The average weight of the drivers in any car competing in the Series must be at least 85kg. The difference will be compensated with extra ballast in the car.
***A Bronze test will also be introduced in the Sprint Cup. The first half of the Free Practice 1 session will be reserved for drivers who have been categorized as Silver or Bronze.
***Additionally, cars with a Bronze or Silver-rated driver in the Sprint Cup may purchase an extra 7th set of tires, to be used only by the Bronze or Silver driver during Free Practice 1.
***During the Total 24 Hours of Spa, each car will have to make a longer ‘technical’ pitstop before the 22-hour mark, to ensure that cars won’t do the full 24 hours without a brake change. The minimum duration of the stop is 5 minutes from pit-in to pit out.