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Intercontinental GT Challenge

SRO Waiting on 24H Spa Date to Shape 2024 Calendars

Ratel: SRO waiting on Formula 1 Spa decision in order to confirm next year’s 24H Spa date…

Photo: SRO

SRO Motorsports Group is waiting on confirmation of the date for next year’s CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa before before being able to shape the 2024 calendars across it numerous championships according to Stephane Ratel.

This year’s Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup centerpiece, which doubles as the third leg of the Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli, has been moved to July 1-2 due to Formula 1 taking over SRO’s traditional late July date at the Belgian circuit.

Ratel said he’s still yet to receive word on what will happen next year, although his preference is to have the event return to its normal slot in the calendar for tradition’s sake.

“It’s not always simple,” he told Sportscar365. “The calendar is always a headache. The biggest problem for us is that we don’t know where Spa [will be on the calendar].

“It was so complicated last year for us, to change the date. In principle, we prefer to go back to our traditional date.

“Not that we’ve seen a big difference in numbers or anything, but I like tradition and I think it was [nice] that this was the last race before the [summer] break.

“You have it in the last weekend of July. The whole SRO team works flat out the first half of the year and everybody goes for two weeks off.

“It’s a tradition. It’s always been the last weekend of July.

“But we don’t know if Formula 1 will come back to that date, if Formula 1 will change. ”

Ratel explained that SRO is currently in a holding pattern to determine the calendars for its other series, competing within Europe and around the world, because of the unknown date for Spa.

“From Spa, you then build the calendars of everything,” he said. “It’s a bit less in America but of course America can’t clash with Spa.

“If you look at the number of American teams we have in the 24 Hours, it’s also a date we need to protect.

“For the moment we’re a bit up in the air.

“Last year [Spa] was not supposed to be on the [F1] calendar and it came on the calendar quite late.

“What we heard at that time was that it was a one-year [agreement] so let’s see if it becomes a multi-year or not. We don’t know.”

When factoring in other non SRO-run series that it attempts to avoid clashes with, Ratel admitted that the overall calendar situation is getting “complicated.”

He said: “Of course we don’t want to clash with DTM, we don’t want to clash with WEC. We then have to build the British [GT] and the French [GT] and put everything in line.”

Gill: SRO America Likely to Feature New Event in 2024

SRO America, meanwhile, is likely to feature a new venue on its schedule next year according to president and CEO Greg Gill.

The U.S.-based organization, which features Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS, however, will remain at seven events, meaning one of its existing tracks will be replaced.

This year, the series visits Sonoma Raceway, NOLA Motorsports Park, Circuit of The Americas, Virginia International Raceway, Road America, Sebring International Raceway and Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“We want to keep a very similar schedule, with the same number of events and the same venues, but our customers always like one new venue,” Gill told Sportscar365.

“We’re going to survey the teams [this] week to see where they would like to go and not want to go.”

Gill said the increased footprint of the organization, which saw more than 140 cars in action last weekend at COTA thanks to the addition of Toyota GR Cup North America, also has to come into consideration when selecting venues.

“It’s a little more challenging now,” he said. “I think the other thing that we’ve learned is that we’ve enjoyed partnering with IndyCar races.

“It’s exciting, our customers like doing it, but at the end of the day, as we’re seeing more and more fans, we want to build on that for people. That means the same way.

“We have to find places. Can we get everybody in at VIR and Road America? Yes we can. But it becomes more challenging at other places and even at COTA where we were on two [paddock] levels.

“That’s something you have to keep working through. But I like to have these problems.”

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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