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Private Testing Ban, Pit Stop Changes for Blancpain GT

Testing clampdown, pit stops slowed in new regs for 2019 Blancpain GT Series…

Photo: Dirk Bogaerts/SRO

A ban on private testing and changes to the pit stop procedures are amongst the changes in store for the Blancpain GT Series next season.

Several new rules and alterations were announced by SRO Motorsports Group Founder and CEO Stephane Ratel at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Saturday evening.

It comes as the Sprint Cup has been renamed Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe while the Endurance races will continue as the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup, with both series falling under the Blancpain GT Series banner.

Private testing will be banned from the start to the end of the season, with teams instead allowed to utilize five in-season tests including the Total 24 Hours of Spa test day on July 3.

The other four tests will be held on the Thursday or Friday at selected events.

No minimum pit stop time will be implemented for the top classes in the newly renamed Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe, with Ratel having discussed the topic with teams in recent weeks.

In a move to encourage entries, Am class competitors will be subject to a minimum time, while it could be extended to the Pro-Am class too, although Pro and Silver Cup stops will remain open. 

However, mechanics will only be allowed to carry one wheel at a time in all classes, thus slowing down the stops and maximizing drivers’ safety.

Sportscar365 understands that the exact changes to the pit stop is still under evaluation, and other measures besides a one-wheel rule could be used to slow the procedure.

The sprint series will be capped at 26 full-season entrants although a maximum of two race-by-race cars will be permitted.

The Pro class in the Endurance Cup, including the 24H Spa, will be reserved for manufacturers with entries in either the Intercontinental GT Challenge, Blancpain GT Series (both European series) or full Blancpain GT World Challenge (on all three continents).

Teams will be able to carry out the five-minute technical stop at Spa at any part in the race, rather than during a four-hour period as has been the case in recent years.

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist. He is a graduate of Politics and International Relations.


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