Blancpain GT Series Asia will become known as Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia next season as part of SRO Motorsports Group's revamped global sprint racing format.
SRO founder and CEO Stephane Ratel chose the European Blancpain GT Series season finale at Barcelona as the location to confirm next year’s calendars as well as a number of changes affecting several of the organisation’s myriad GT3 and GT4 championships.
The headline news concerns SRO’s three continental sprint series currently known as the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup (Europe), Pirelli World Challenge (USA) and, of course, Blancpain GT Series Asia. From 2019 onwards this trio will spearhead a new global initiative: the Blancpain GT World Challenge.
This exciting international endeavour will present GT3 manufacturers, partners and teams with the chance to compete in worldwide customer racing and measure the success of their achievements on a truly global scale.
Each series retains its present status as an individual championship and will be known as Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia, Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe and Blancpain GT World Challenge America.
However, drawing inspiration from the concept successfully pioneered in the Intercontinental GT Challenge where manufacturers compete through local teams, each of the 12 current GT3 manufacturers will be able to establish a line-up of 12 drivers who score points for their brand in the overall Blancpain GT World Challenge.
They will be split across the three continental sprint series, with four competing in the World Challenge Europe, four in the World Challenge America and four in the World Challenge Asia.
To fully integrate all classes of driver, each group must include a star (classified as Platinum); a good professional (classified Gold); an up-and-coming driver or a very experienced non-professional (classified Silver); and a Gentleman driver or former star (classified Bronze).
With major manufacturers striving to demonstrate their excellence in the competitive arena of international customer racing, the new Blancpain GT World Challenge will take on-track competition to a new level in 2019 and beyond.