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GT World Challenge Europe

SRO Releases New Eight-Event Calendar for July Start

Season to get underway at Imola in July for first of eight weekends…

Photo: Patrick Hecq/SRO

The GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS season is now set to get underway in late July for the first of eight rounds on an updated schedule, which was released by SRO Motorsports Group on Friday morning.

The organization’s European race programs are set to begin with a new three-hour endurance race at Imola, culminating with the previously-announced new mid-November date at Circuit Paul Ricard.

Despite reducing from ten to eight race weekends, racing time will be maintained by staging a longer six-hour enduro at the Nürburgring, and a third sprint race at both Imola and Barcelona.

Two events – Nürburgring (Sept. 5-6) and Barcelona (Oct. 9-11) – remain on their originally planned weekends, while the Sept. 25-26 date, which still clashes with the Nürburgring 24, has been moved from Hungaroring to Zandvoort.

Elsewhere in the schedule, new dates have been found for Imola, which moves from an season-end date to the season opener on July 25-26, and Misano, which will now host the series on Aug. 7-9. 

Magny-Cours has been added to the schedule for a pair of Sprint races on Sept. 11-13, the scrutineering weekend for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The previously-announced new dates for the Total 24 Hours of Spa (Oct. 22-25) and Circuit Paul Ricard 1000 km (Nov. 13-15) have been maintained.

Events will be staged under local regulations and with appropriate measures in place, with “stringent” social distancing measures set to be enforced.

“We are pleased to present a complete program that maintains 10 Sprint Cup races and the full Endurance Cup duration, while respecting our commitment to our teams to bring down costs,” said SRO founder and CEO Stephane Ratel.

“With fewer meetings, all of which are centrally located in Europe, transport times will be reduced. Teams and drivers will be able to reach these events by road during a period when air travel is likely to remain challenging.

“Our other key priority was to create a calendar in harmony with the FFSA French GT Championship, British GT Championship, GT4 European Series and ADAC GT Masters.

“Most of our teams also compete in at least one of these championships and I would like to thank the organisers of ADAC GT Masters for their constructive contribution to this process.

“We are now very much looking forward to starting the 2020 season. In the meantime, I am pleased that we continue to maintain competitive momentum for our drivers and fans through the SRO E-Sport GT Series.”

Lamborghini has also revealed an updated calendar for its Super Trofeo Europe series, which will now be on the support bill at Misano, Nürburgring, Barcelona, Spa and Paul Ricard.

It won’t host its traditional World Final, which was originally scheduled for Oct. 31 – Nov. 1 at Misano, but is expected to have some celebrations to mark the end of its European season at Paul Ricard.

GT Sports Club Europe Absorbed into GTWC; GT2 Cars Still Permitted

GT Sports Club Europe will be brought into the GT World Challenge Europe, meaning the Bronze-focused GT3 and GT2 series will share grids with the headlining series.

This means GT2 cars will be permitted in a GTWC series for the first time. 

Drivers in both types of Sports Club machinery will be able to race alone or share their car with another Bronze-graded driver. The overall, Titanium and Iron Cups remain unchanged.

A Pro-Am class has also been established for GT2 cars, taking the category away from its inital Bronze-only focus.

Sports Club will join the GTWC grids at Misano, Magny-Cours, Zandvoort and Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

2020 GT World Challenge Europe Schedule

July 25-26 – Imola (3H Endurance)
Aug. 7-9 – Misano (3x 1H Sprint)
Sept. 5-6 – Nürburgring (6H Endurance)
Sept. 11-13 – Magny-Cours (2x 1H Sprint)
Sept. 25-27 – Zandvoort (2x 1H Sprint)
Sept. 29-30 – Spa test days
Oct. 9-11 – Barcelona (3x 1H Sprint)
Oct. 22-25 – Total 24 Hours of Spa (24H Endurance)
Nov. 13-15 – Circuit Paul Ricard 1000 km (6H Endurance)

Note: an earlier version of this article listed the Imola round as July 18-19, as initially communicated by SRO, which issued an amendment on Friday afternoon, changing the date to July 25-26.

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

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