The Blancpain GT Series Comes to Asia
THE JURY IS OUT WHETHER SPEED OR ENDURANCE IS THE LITMUS TEST OF A MOTORSPORT RACER. Watchmaking legend Blancpain and Stéphane Ratel Organisation (SRO) Motorsports Group propose that it is indeed both. Hosting the annual Blancpain GT Series, a competition held in several European cities, they gained renown for their Sprint and Endurance Cups for GT3 cars.
This year, racers and enthusiasts in Asia will finally experience their very own Blancpain GT Series, starting with Malaysia’s Sepang circuit, and culminating in China’s recently constructed 3.2-km Zhejiang circuit. While the European series typically comprises five rounds of competition for each cup, the inaugural 2017 Blancpain GT Series Asia will feature six rounds of 12 races. The Asian edition will accommodate both GT3 and GT4 teams, giving the latter opportunities to prepare for graduation to the next level.
GT3 classes typically pair professional drivers with amateurs, but the Blancpain GT Series Asia will add a separate GT3 category for amateur pairs, in addition to GT4 amateur pairings. Confirmed participants include GruppeM Racing from Hong Kong, Taiwanese squad HubAuto, Malaysian company EKS Motorsports, and CMRTeam by Eurasia.
Two 60-minute races will be held for each of the competition’s six rounds, which are spread out from April to October. After the initial race in Sepang, the series will continue in Thailand and Japan, then move on to Shanghai, and end in Zhejiang on 21st and 22nd October. All 2017 Blancpain GT Series Asia races are scheduled to not clash with the European edition and the Intercontinental GT Challenge, as well as other relevant competitions.
The 2017 Blancpain GT Series Asia edition is the brainchild of Stéphane Ratel of SRO Motorsports Group and Paul Yao, founder of the Supercar Club Hong Kong. “Next year will see the introduction of the GT4 European Series Southern Cup in Europe. We will expand the Blancpain GT Sports Club and the Intercontinental GT Challenge will get a round in the United States,” says Ratel, who is keen to segregate GT3 and GT4 into separate races in 2018.
Drivers race to win the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup at Brands Hatch circuit in Kent, England