Stephane Ratel has targeted this year’s GT America powered by AWS season finale at Indianapolis Motor Speedway as a formal North American kickoff for SRO Motorsports Group’s GT2 platform, with the goal of attracting at least one car from each active manufacturer.
The emerging platform, which sees involvement from Audi, KTM, Maserati, Mercedes-AMG, Porsche and eligibility for a modified version of Lamborghini’s Huracan Super Trofeo model, has yet to gain significant traction in North America, with only the Audi R8 LMS GT2 and Porsche 911 GT2 RS Clubsport having been in previous SRO America competition.
Ratel said his organization is trying to change that, by encouraging manufacturers to make cars available to Bronze-rated drivers for a showcase event as part of the existing GT America races at The Brickyard in October.
GT2 cars have been eligible in the single-driver sprint races for the last three seasons, although has only recently seen participation from CJ Moses’ Audi on occasion, alongside GT3 and GT4 machinery.
“We’re really trying,” Ratel told Sportscar365. “Will we succeed? I don’t know, but we’re trying to bring one of each car to Indianapolis for GT America.
“GT America is the perfect platform to do it. So we’re trying to have a KTM, a Porsche, Audi, Mercedes and Maserati.
“That’s the objective. We can have more than one because some clients have bought the car and would be keen to come.”
Ratel explained the new Evo kit for the Porsche, which was introduced this year, has led to a class-wide performance increase that was on display at last month’s Fanatec GT2 European Series season opener at Monza, a race that the Frenchman took part in as a driver.
“Now with the new performance of the Porsche, they’re really fun,” he said. “You’ve seen the times at Monza. If you look at the times of the GT3 and the GT2 with the Bronze drivers, it’s very similar.
“I think they should be quite equal in performance.
“The other cars could go faster but the base Porsche was too slow. So we had to [slow] the other cars. Since the new evolution on the Porsche, it’s made the car a lot faster.
“Now other cars can be a lot faster. That’s why at Monza, in the Audi, we were running unrestricted. No [extra] weight, no restrictor, bang! That’s more fun.
“As I was driving, I can tell you it’s a very fun car now.
“The KTM, of course, they carry so much weight, you can offload 200 kg from this car if you need to.
“The Mercedes is very fast and has a lot of power. The new Maserati, I can’t tell you, because we haven’t seen it really running yet, but it will be fast based on the car.
“It will be fun to see it in GT America. But it’s a project.”
Ratel held discussions with teams during last weekend’s SRO America event at Circuit of The Americas to gauge interest levels on the platform, although he said it’s still too early to see if the objective will be met.
“At the moment I know we have one [car], which is the Audi of our friend CJ [Moses]. For the rest, it’s still a work-in-progress,” he said.
“But I think all of the GT2 manufacturers are interested, of course, by the U.S, market.
“We don’t need to create a platform and go through what I’m going through in Europe for three years. It’s so difficult to start from nothing.”