• Multiple support categories announced for each Blancpain GT Series event
• Both GT and single-seater championships represented
• Packed schedule for momentous 70th edition of the Total 24 Hours of Spa
The Blancpain GT Series has confirmed an impressive line-up of support events ahead of what promises to be an action-packed 2018 season.
All-star supporting cast confirmed for Blancpain GT Series in 2018
- Multiple support categories announced for each Blancpain GT Series event
- Both GT and single-seater championships represented
- Packed schedule for momentous 70th edition of the Total 24 Hours of Spa
The Blancpain GT Series has confirmed an impressive line-up of support events ahead of what promises to be an action-packed 2018 season.
GT and single-seater championships will form part of a high-octane itinerary throughout the upcoming campaign, ensuring that each of the 10 rounds provides fans with a wealth of on-track entertainment.
The Lamborghini Super Trofeo will once again play a key supporting role in 2018, extending a relationship that stretches back to 2011. This promises to be a landmark year for the Super Trofeo organisation, which celebrates the 10th season of competition for its European championship.
The popular one-make series will deploy a new Huracán Super Trofeo EVO in 2018, with improved aerodynamics and safety features among the developments that will drive standards forwards even further.
Five rounds will run alongside Blancpain GT Series events, beginning at the historic Monza circuit in support of the opening Endurance Cup race of the 2018 season (20-22 April).
The Super Trofeo will then be present at Silverstone (18-20 May), the Sprint Cup round at Misano (22-24 June), during the Total 24 Hours of Spa (26-29 July), and finally at the Nürburgring (14-16 September).
The supporting cast for 2018 is not limited to GT machinery. Blancpain GT Series spectators will have even greater opportunity to catch a glimpse of the racing stars of tomorrow this season, with the ultra-competitive
Formula Renault Eurocup expanding its relationship with the championship.
The long-running junior single-seater series is renowned for developing world-class talent and counts Blancpain GT Series stars Robin Frijns and Albert Costa among its recent champions.
Having been part of the support bill at two Blancpain GT Series events in 2017 the Renault-powered category will be present at five rounds this season. The first will be at Monza, followed by Silverstone, the Total 24 Hours of Spa, Hungaroring (31 August-2 September) and finally the Nürburgring.
There will be plenty more GT action to keep the crowds entertained at every Blancpain GT Series event of 2018. The GT4 European Series will be present at all five rounds of the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup this season, beginning at Zolder (6-8 April) and concluding at the Nürburgring.
Featuring GT4 machinery from 13 prestigious brands, including Aston Martin, Porsche, Mercedes, and Audi, this competitive category enjoys a healthy combination of experienced racers and hungry young talents looking to take the next step. It promises to go from strength to strength in 2018 as it becomes even more closely aligned with the Blancpain GT Series.
Blancpain GT Sports Club will be on the support bill at five Blancpain GT Series events in 2018, beginning at Monza’s much-anticipated Endurance Cup round. It then links up with the Blancpain GT Series at Paul Ricard (1/2 June), Misano, Hungaroring, and Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Now entering its fourth season, Blancpain GT Sports Club gives gentlemen drivers the opportunity to fight for overall victories and provides the perfect stepping stone from club competition to international motorsport.
This year’s Total 24 Hours of Spa promises to be bigger and better than ever, with the iconic endurance race celebrating its 70th edition in 2018. To further strengthen the on-track action, the prestigious FIA Formula 3 European Championship will once again join the supporting cast.
2018 will represent the third successive year in which FIA Formula 3 Championship competes as part of the Total 24 Hours of Spa. The continental championship provides another key development series for the GT and single-seater stars of the future, among them 2013 champion and current Blancpain GT Series racer Raffaele Marciello.
The race in the Ardennes will see further support action from the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Benelux, which makes its second appearance alongside the Blancpain GT Series following a successful debut at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in 2017.
One of many successful Porsche Cup championships competing across the globe, the Benelux series makes use of the Stuttgart marque’s iconic 991 machine. Competing as part of the 70th anniversary Total 24 Hours of Spa will represent its headline event in 2018. Together with regular support series Formula Renault Eurocup and Lamborghini Super Trofeo, an action-packed weekend is guaranteed at Spa.
Additional categories will join the Blancpain GT Series at selected rounds throughout the upcoming campaign. For the season-opening contest at Zolder the Belcar Endurance Championship, Youngtimer Cup and Historic Cup will add a distinctly local flavour to proceedings. This trio of popular domestic categories will begin their 2018 season alongside the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup, making for a busy weekend at the Belgian circuit.
Paul Ricard will witness the debut race weekend for the Alpine Europa Cup. This one-make series for the revived A110 model is new in 2018 and will join the Blancpain GT Series support bill at the French Grand Prix circuit.
Using a brand-new version of the iconic Alpine sportscar, the championship will embark on a six-race schedule this year with Paul Ricard representing its first stop. The competition version of the A110 is fully race-modified to FIA standards and promises to produce entertaining on-track competition.
The Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup event at Misano will feature additional support from a pair of national championships, with touring cars represented by the TCR DSG. Approaching its third season as a standalone championship, TCR Italia will make its first appearance alongside the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup at Misano with machinery from the likes of Audi, Alfa Romeo, and Honda on display.
Italy’s Trofeo Abarth Selenia Series will also be on-track at Misano, using a race-tuned version of the Turin marque’s 595 model.
The grand finale of the 2018 Blancpain GT Series season at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya can also boast additional entertainment, notably from the FFSA French GT Championship.
2018 brings fresh developments that promise to deliver an even better year of racing for the series. What’s more, the trip to Spain alongside the Blancpain GT Series represents the only round to take place outside France, making for a particularly significant event.
In addition, the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya event will also see action from the Peugeot 308 Racing Cup and Porsche Carrera Cup France, both of which are the regular support series for FFSA French GT Championship.
The Peugeot category uses a competition version of the French manufacturer’s familiar compact car, while the Carrera Cup is embarking on its maiden season with the new Porsche 911 GT3. When it comes to racing, both can be relied upon to pack a punch.
The breadth of support events on offer is certainly impressive, with regular action from GT3, GT4 and single-seater categories. What’s more, the addition of touring cars and a diverse range of one-make cups means the Blancpain GT Series is the hottest ticket for 2018.
The official test days at Paul Ricard (13/14 March) will signal the start of the new season before racing gets underway at Zolder (6-8 April).
Giorgio Sanna, Head of Lamborghini Motorsport: “We are very happy to confirm that the Lamborghini Super Trofeo will continue to support the Blancpain GT Series in 2018 as a proud partner of SRO, especially as our European championship will be celebrating its 10th edition. This is a particularly exciting time as we await the debut of the Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo EVO, which includes higher-spec performance and a brand-new carbon fibre body kit. Meanwhile, in the Blancpain GT Series, we will see the Huracán GT3 of Grasser Racing Team defend their 2017 titles. Continuing as part of the Blancpain GT Series package is the perfect way to showcase the Lamborghini Super Trofeo and we look forward to the year ahead.”
Jean-Pascal Dauce, Director of Customer Racing Programmes, Renault Sport Racing: “We are very proud to showcase the Formula Renault Eurocup alongside the Blancpain GT Series at five weekends this year. Our full 2018 calendar includes 20 races spread over 10 weekends and will visit the most famous tracks in Europe. This will allow 30 ambitious young drivers to run in front of the stars of the sport – some of them former Formula Renault drivers themselves – and the team managers who could one day help them take the next step in their careers.”
Blancpain – Innovation is our Tradition
Since 1735, Blancpain has been contributing to the development of mechanical watchmaking, while conserving the traditional skills of its founder
Blancpain is currently engaged to the renewal of mechanical watchmaking and to passing on exceptional expertise from one generation to the next through constant investment in human resources, production facilities and research. This approach is its strength and the expression of our long-term vision, even though it goes against the tide of a certain tendency to seek immediate profit.
From the creation of components through to watch design, Blancpain is distinguished by its ability to develop exceptional movements. Through its various models, Blancpain preserves its heritage of precision and elegance, while also displaying an innovative and occasionally provocative spirit. Its range encompasses the sportive Levolution line, the legendary Fifty Fathoms diver’s watch, as well as the classic Villeret collection, the high complication from Le Brassus collection and the Women models.
Pirelli – Official Tyre Supplier
Pirelli is a tyre manufacturer and world leader in the automotive industry. It has an exclusive relationship with over 50 racing series worldwide, including Formula One.
Pirelli has a long and illustrious history in endurance racing, and has also claimed a huge variety of class wins in GT racing all over the world. The design of the new Pirelli GT tyres meets the needs of GT racing while maintaining the performance characteristics that endurance drivers have appreciated in the past.The slick tyres used for GT racing are branded Zero: just like the slicks that have become a central feature of Formula One. The name P Zero is used in the highest categories of motorsport such as GT racing.
SRO Motorsports Group – The architect of modern GT racing
Over the last 25 years SRO has specialised in the promotion and organisation of motorsport series around the world. Inextricably linked with GT racing’s revival, SRO predominantly promotes categories that adhere to the successful GT3 and GT4 regulations. Indeed, these rules – a common framework allowing manufacturers, teams and drivers to compete equally with one another – has helped establish SRO as the global leader in customer GT racing.
Today, SRO’s influence and organisation can be seen around the world. Its flagship remains the European-based Blancpain GT Series, which features both the Sprint and Endurance Cups. Its annual highlight remains the iconic Total 24 Hours of Spa.
The same Pirelli tyres and Balance of Performance parameters governing the Blancpain GT Series have also been adopted in the United States by the Pirelli World Challenge (of which SRO is also a major shareholder), while SRO expanded its successful platform East in 2017 by establishing Blancpain GT Series Asia.
In addition, the world’s best GT races from all four corners of the globe are brought together under the Intercontinental GT Challenge. 2018’s edition features four events – the Total 24 Hours of Spa, inaugural Suzuka 10 Hours, and Laguna Seca Raceway California 8 Hours – as well as the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.
SRO is also strong domestically. The multi-class British GT Championship, over which it has presided since 2005, pairs GT3 with GT4 machinery. The FFSA French GT Championship, for many years run by SRO, returned to the fold in 2017, and was added to the existing GT4 European Series. GT4’s incredibly successful first season in France provided SRO with the blueprint and confidence to expand the class’ European footprint further. Three new regional series to support the flourishing GT4 class are added in 2018: GT4 Nordic European Cup, GT4 Central European Cup and GT4 Belgium Cup.
But that’s not all. SRO’s world-renowned Balance of Performance regulations are licensed by other series running GT3 and/or GT4 machinery, such as Super GT in Japan, the Australian GT Championship and China GT. SRO works also closely with the FIA when organising its prestigious Macau FIA GT World Cup race.
While Macau caters solely for professional teams and drivers, SRO also understands the important role amateurs play in GT racing’s global success and sustainability. That’s why it operates the SRO Race Centre by MMC – a high-level technical centre at Paul Ricard Circuit in southern France – and Curbstone Track Events, which provide ultimate track driving opportunities on world-renowned circuits. Many of its clients have subsequently graduated to the Blancpain GT Sports Club, a first competitive step towards gaining the confidence and racecraft required to compete in a Pro/Am environment.
SRO Motorsports Group is chaired by company founder and CEO Stephane Ratel and has offices in London, Paris, Liège and Hong Kong. Its dedicated team of full-time and freelance staff work with the support of numerous national sporting authorities and sanctioning bodies to offer teams, drivers and manufacturers the world’s best professional, Pro/Am and amateur GT racing platforms.