> Buriram round moved one week earlier to avoid European clash
> Japanese double header separated by three weeks in July
> Shanghai and Zhejiang round-out the season
The dates and destinations for Blancpain GT Series Asia’s six race weekends in 2018 have now been confirmed following successful discussions with each venue.
The championship’s organiser, SRO Motorsports Group, unveiled the basis of 2018’s calendar during its annual press conference at the Total 24 Hours of Spa in late July, and has now finalised all of the outstanding dates.
Chang International Circuit in Buriram was previously scheduled to host rounds three and four on May 19/20 but has been brought forwards by one week following a change to Blancpain GT Series’ European calendar. Increasing manufacturer, team and driver interest in Asia, and especially following a successful inaugural campaign, meant avoiding clashes was one of SRO’s primary concerns for season two.
The championship’s Japanese events were separated by two months earlier this year but that will become just three weeks next season. Suzuka hosts rounds five and six on June 30/July 1 before Fuji’s two races take place on July 21/22.
Shanghai has retained its third-week-in-September slot before Zhejiang hosts the season finale on October 13/14.
Benjamin Franassovici, Blancpain GT Series Asia Championship Manager: “The framework for 2018 has been in place for several months now as we wanted to give current and prospective teams as long as possible to plan their entries. However, there were still some logistical hurdles that I’m delighted to say we have now overcome. Stability is key to 2018 as we aim to build on a first season that has surpassed all expectations.
“Returning to the region’s best venues is just one element of that, while continuity within the same markets will also help grow Blancpain GT Series Asia’s popularity. The number of spectators attending our events in the championship’s inaugural season has been very encouraging, and we are working hard to ensure that trend continues in 2018.”
As previously confirmed, Sepang in Malaysia once again plays host to the season opener on April 14/15.
UPDATED 2018 CALENDAR
April 14/15: Sepang (Malaysia) 2x 1hr races
May 12/13: Chang International Circuit (Thailand) 2x 1hr races
June 30/July 1: Suzuka (Japan) 2x 1hr races
July 21/22: Fuji (Japan) 2x 1hr races
September 22/23: Shanghai (China) 2x 1hr races
October 13/14: Zhejiang (TBC, China) 2x 1hr races