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Motorsport Games Expands to 15 Events; Pro GT Drivers Permitted

Professional GT category, rallying among additions to expanded Motorsport Games program…

Photo: Dirk Bogaerts/SRO

The FIA Motorsport Games has more than doubled the number of disciplines for its second running this year, while professional GT drivers will now be allowed to compete.

An expansion of the international Olympic-style competition, which was held for the first time at Vallelunga last year, will see the number of disciplines raised from six to 15.

The original categories of GT, Formula 4, TCR, Drifting, Karting Slalom and Digital have been retained for the second Games which takes place at Paul Ricard in October.

The original GT event will be turned into a two-driver ‘GT Relay’ race for Pro-Am lineups, while a single professional driver GT contest has been added.

Last year, the GT races were contested by amateur-based pairings with Silver being the highest driver rating allowed.

Japan came away with the gold medal courtesy of Ukyo Sasahara and Hiroshi Hamaguchi’s victory in the deciding race with their Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo.

Sportscar365 understands that the new professional GT class is not set to replace the similar FIA GT World Cup which has been held at Macau every year since 2015.

In January, Stephane Ratel, whose SRO Motorsports Group company co-organizes the Games, told Sportscar365 that he was hopeful of Macau continuing to host the GT3-based World Cup.

This year’s Games event, which has Marseille as its host city, will also feature an off-road element with separate classes for Rally2 and Rally4-homologated machinery.

Historic Rally for 1970s and 1980s vehicles and Historic Regularity Rally for cars built no sooner than 1990 have also joined the bill.

The karting element of the Games has been expanded beyond Slalom with the inclusion of Karting Sprint and Karting Endurance.

Slalom will again be for mixed-gender pairings of 14-16 years, while Sprint will be a single-driver event for drivers aged 12-14 and Endurance will be for three-driver crews in ‘arrive and drive’ karts.

Grassroots motorsport will be further represented by two Crosscar buggy competitions.

The addition of nine disciplines means a total of 45 medals will be awarded.

As was the case last year, national teams will be assembled by the respective national sporting authorities of each country.

The 2019 Games attracted entries from 49 nations while four, including Russia which topped the medal table, competed in all the events.

“I am pleased to witness the growth of the FIA Motorsport Games,” said FIA president Jean Todt.

“The combination of a spectator-friendly venue such as Circuit Paul Ricard with a varied spectrum of disciplines will surely result in a great and memorable show, and will encourage more National Sporting Authorities to compete.

“The inclusion of rallying and historic motorsport will add even more color to this already diverse event, while a further focus on grassroots disciplines should spark interest among the youngest competitors who are vital to the future of our sport.”

Ratel added: “Following a successful inaugural event, the second edition will meet our commitment to year-on-year growth for this exciting global concept.

“The variety of disciplines confirmed for 2020 is very impressive, particularly the addition of rallying and further grassroots disciplines.

“I am sure that this will bring new competitors and fans to Marseille and Circuit Paul Ricard to experience the unique FIA Motorsport Games atmosphere.”

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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