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Intercontinental GT Challenge

Ratel: ‘No Rush’ to Decide on Spectators for 24H Spa

Stephane Ratel provides updates on 24H Spa, Indianapolis 8H IGTC rounds…

Photo: SRO

SRO Motorsports Group is in no rush to declare whether the Total 24 Hours of Spa will feature fans or be run behind closed doors according to Stephane Ratel, who said a decision will likely be made in early October.

The Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli and GT World Challenge powered by AWS centerpiece, which has been rescheduled for Oct. 24-25, is the next major international endurance race in Europe that has yet to declare whether spectators will be allowed.

Both the 24 Hours of Le Mans and Nürburgring 24, set take place in September, will be run behind closed doors although Ratel indicated they have time on their side to make a final decision.

This weekend’s FIA World Endurance Championship event at the Belgian circuit is running without fans.

“It seems that in recent days, the growing curve of the epidemic has stopped in Belgium,” Ratel told Endurance-Info. “At our level, there is no urgency to do anything.

“We do not have large installations to set up and it is obvious that there will be no concert.”

Ratel indicated that his team will use the upcoming Formula 1 race that’s scheduled at the end of the month as a potential barometer.

“We have no reason to decide anything before the beginning of October,” he said.

“We will do everything according to government decisions. We must also be realistic and think that it will be complicated to host of the public as we would like. Formula 1 will be at Spa shortly, so we’ll see how things go.”S

SRO “Working Hard” to Maintain Indianapolis 8H on Calendar

Work on the next IGTC round, the Indianapolis 8 Hour, is still ongoing although Ratel admitted only “a few” GT3 teams from Europe will likely be coming over.

The first-ever professional long-distance endurance race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, scheduled for Oct. 3-4, is set to also serve as the season-ending round of GTWC America, which will run to to the three-hour mark.

However, GTWC America has seen reduced grids in its recent rounds, with only seven cars taking part in last weekend’s event at Sonoma Raceway.

Ratel said he expects to rely heavily on U.S.-based teams for the race although has not revealed entry projections other than saying they will not host a race with only ten cars.

“We are working hard to maintain the event,” Ratel said. “Our policy is that as long as an event is not canceled, we keep working on it.

“The concept of the Intercontinental GT Challenge is to rely on local teams, so we therefore have few cars to send [to the U.S.].

“We see in IMSA and GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS that [foreign] drivers can travel.

“We need to have the teams confirmed very quickly and our team is working with the manufacturers and the teams in this direction.

“We are talking about a few cars coming from Europe. The grid will be essentially American.”

Laurent Mercier contributed to this report

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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