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New 24H Spa Date Among Several Changes to 2023 Schedule

SRO confirms July 1-2 as new date for next year’s 24H Spa, plus other schedule tweaks…

Photo: Jules Beaumont

Next year’s CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa has been brought forward by four weeks after the original late July date was taken up by the Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix.

Event organizer SRO Motorsports Group on Tuesday announced an updated calendar for the 2023 Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS season that includes the revised Spa date and several other schedule adjustments.

The Spa event will now run from June 29-July 2, and will remain as the third round of the GTWC Europe Endurance Cup season.

The date change was forced by the Belgian Grand Prix being organized for July 30, in a move that was confirmed by the FIA on Tuesday.

SRO has also changed the starting dates for its Endurance Cup and Sprint Cup series to avoid date clashes with the FIA World Endurance Championship, which has not yet revealed its 2023 calendar.

The Endurance Cup opener at Monza has been moved back one week to April 21-23.

It means that its original April 15-16 date is set to feature a WEC round, which is expected to be a new seventh race.

The opening round of the GTWC Europe Sprint Cup season at Brands Hatch has similarly been pushed back by one week to May 13-14, to relieve an overlap with the WEC.

The Endurance Cup season continues with the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa official test days on May 23-24. It was previously booked for June 20-21.

Spa testing will be followed by the Paul Ricard 1000km, which has not been altered from its early June weekend, and the rescheduled 24 Hours of Spa.

The new Spa date was the original weekend for the Sprint Cup meeting at Misano, which has consequently been rearranged for July 14-16.

There has been a change of venue for the fourth round of the Endurance Cup season, with the Nürburgring returning and Hockenheim moving into the Sprint Cup calendar in place of the now-absent Magny-Cours.

The Nürburgring fixture takes the old 24H Spa date in late July and precedes the Endurance Cup finale at Barcelona in late September-early October.

GTWC Europe Endurance Cup last visited the Nürburgring last year, while Hockenheim took its place as the series’ German stop for the first time this season.

The Sprint Cup calendar has been heavily altered compared with the provisional version that was released at Spa two months ago.

Brands Hatch is still the site of the curtain-raiser, but Misano has jumped up from Round 4 to Round 2 considering Magny-Cours has been removed and Zandvoort has been pushed back to mid-October.

Magny-Cours was initially due to host the Sprint Cup on the mid-May weekend that is now occupied by the Brands Hatch meeting.

Round 3 of the Sprint season is due to take place at Hockenheim in early September, followed by Valencia two weeks later and the final round at Zandvoort.

It will mark the first time since 2016 that the GTWC Europe season has concluded with a Sprint Cup event.

An SRO statement outlined that the calendar changes, which are also set to impact several support series, are “intended to ensure the best possible experience for the competitors and fans who invest their energy in SRO’s racing programs across the globe.”

2023 Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Schedule (Updated):
March 7-8 – Official Testing (Paul Ricard)
April 22-23 – Monza (Endurance)
May 13-14 – Brands Hatch (Sprint)
May 23-24 – Official Testing (Spa)
June 3-4 – Paul Ricard 1000km (Endurance)
June 27-July 2 – CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa (Endurance)
July 15-16 – Misano (Sprint)
July 29-30 – Nürburgring (Endurance)
Sept. 2-3 – Hockenheim (Sprint)
Sept. 16-17 – Valencia (Sprint)
Sept. 30-Oct. 1 – Barcelona (Endurance)
Oct. 14-15 – Zandvoort (Sprint)

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

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