SRO Motorsports Group is currently undergoing a “last attempt” to organize a season of GT World Challenge Asia powered by AWS in the wake of significant travel restrictions that have forced the postponement of its championship.
Initially set to kick off at Sepang in late March, a total of six rounds were planned for the 2020 season featuring events in Malaysia, Thailand, Japan and China.
Ratel has revealed they currently cannot hold races in any of those countries due to quarantine restrictions or outright travel bans, forcing series’ general manager Benjamin Franassovici to look at alternative circuits in the region.
South Korea, which has both Korea International Circuit and Inje Speedium, could be one of the few options in the region.
A three-event season kicking off in November has been suggested, although yet to be confirmed.
“We are going month by month,” Ratel told Endurance-Info. “Currently, we cannot go to China, Japan, Malaysia or Thailand. We are therefore rebuilding our calendar with a last attempt of three meetings in November and December.
“If we can’t do it, then we will give up [for the year]. ”
SRO recently gave up on plans to hold a round of its Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli in Asia following the cancelation of the Suzuka 10 Hours.
Ratel admitted that organizing events amid the coronavirus pandemic has been more challenging than initially thought.
“Today, the problem is that there is no clearing on the horizon,” he said. “When I postponed the Total 24 Hours of Spa until the end of October, I had high hopes that everything would be fine by then.”
2021 to Bring “Great Unknown” to Motorsport Worldwide
While still holding steady grids in the majority of its championships in Europe, Ratel said next year will bring a “great unknown” to motorsports amid the global financial recession.
“The onset of the crisis took place at the time of the official GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS tests at Paul Ricard,” Ratel explained. “The contracts with the partners and the teams were already finalized.
“What will happen for 2021? This a great unknown. Not having an audience and hospitality [at 2020 events] will have consequences.”
Laurent Mercier contributed to this report