GT World Challenge Asia powered by AWS will have a delayed start to its 2021 season, with the anticipation of COVID-19 travel restrictions still impacting the series in the early part of next year.
Released during SRO Motorsports Group’s annual press conference at Spa on Friday, the six-round calendar is not slated to kick off until June.
It comes following the cancelation of the entire 2020 season due to the global pandemic, which has created difficulties with inter-Asia travel.
“In Europe, it’s different,” said SRO founder and CEO Stephane Ratel. “We get PCR tests up our nose many, many times and almost every week now. But somehow we can make it.
“Even in America, the [Department of] Homeland Security and special authorizations allowed me to go to Indianapolis and come back.
“We have K-PAX here [at Spa], we have CJ [Moses, AWS Deputy CISO], George [Kurtz, CEO CrowdStrike] and it’s possible [to travel].
“In Asia, it’s simply impossible.
“We can’t cross borders so we want to be cautious. The closest we can get to the Olympic Games, the better it will be.”
SRO has targeted a six-round championship for 2021, with the addition of a pre-season test and non-points scoring “warm up race” penciled in for Sepang in May.
It would be followed up by the official season-opener at the Malaysian circuit on June 19-20, followed by a trip to either Buriram or Autopolis, Motegi, Suzuka, Shanghai and a yet-to-be-announced season finale in China.
All races except the planned Sepang season-opener do not currently have confirmed dates, which Ratel hopes will be confirmed “very soon.”
2021 GT World Challenge Asia powered by AWS Schedule:
May — Sepang Pre-Season Test/Warmup Race
June 19-20 — Sepang
July — Buriram or Autopolis
July — Motegi
August — Suzuka
September — Shanghai
October — TBA (China)