The 2021 Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli will kick off at next year’s Total 24 Hours of Spa in a reduced four-round calendar.
Confirmed at SRO Motorsports Group’s annual press conference on Friday, the global GT3 championship will not have a replacement round for the recently canceled Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.
SRO founder and CEO Stephane Ratel explained that consideration was given to end next year’s season at the 2022 running of the Australian enduro, although indicated that not every manufacturer was on board with the two-year calendar concept.
“I thought about it and discussed it with the manufacturers,” said Ratel. “Not everyone had the same view but we think it’s better [without a two-year calendar].
“I didn’t like it with WEC when they went to this winter calendar so I don’t think it’s the right thing to do, so we will have a trophy at the end of the year for the SRO and manufacturers participating.”
It is expected that Bathurst will return to kick off the season in 2022.
With no replacement round, it will mean the IGTC season will not start until July.
Suzuka, which was canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is poised to return on its traditional August date next year, with the second running of the Indianapolis 8 Hour to again serve as a double-header with GT World Challenge America powered by AWS.
The date for the season-ending Kyalami 9 Hour has yet to be confirmed but will be run sometime in December.
Ratel, meanwhile, has reaffirmed SRO’s commitment this year’s running of the South African enduro, set for Dec. 10-12, stating during the presentation that COVID-19 infection rates are currently lower than in Europe.
2021 Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli Schedule:
July 31 – Aug. 1 — Total 24 Hours of Spa
Aug. 21-22 — Suzuka 10 Hours
Oct. 16-17 — Indianapolis 8 Hour
December — Kyalami 9 Hour