Blancpain GT Series Asia partners with Audi R8 LMS Cup

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Blancpain GT Series Asia partners with Audi R8 LMS Cup

#Calendars aligned for cost-effective logistics
#Teams and drivers encouraged to compete in both series
#Free Total 24 Hours of Spa entry up for grabs

Blancpain GT Series Asia and one of the region’s premier one-make sportscar championships – the Audi R8 LMS Cup – will collaborate next season in pursuit of more cost-effective GT racing. Series organiser SRO has worked hard to create an attractive package for the inaugural Blancpain GT Series Asia campaign by introducing elements such as substantial prize money, live television and online streaming, subsidised travel and world-renowned BoP. However, its strategy also extends to helping teams and drivers currently competing in other championships progress from one category to another.

To achieve this, SRO has focused on the often difficult logistics teams face when competing at venues across the vast continent and has taken steps to make the Blancpain GT Series Asia package more affordable.

This starts with its choice of race dates, which closely mirror those of the Asia-based Audi R8 LMS Cup’s. With its GT3 cars also eligible for Blancpain GT Series Asia, teams and drivers have an opportunity to race at the same venue just a few weekends apart without incurring the substantial freight costs of two trips. Instead, cars can be stored for a short period at a nearby workshop while teams and drivers re-apply their recent experience of racing at the same circuit.

The partnership goes even further, though, with the winner of Audi R8 LMS Cup’s amateur class receiving a free entry into 2018’s edition of GT racing’s blue riband event: the Total 24 Hours of Spa in Belgium.

Benjamin Franassovici, Blancpain GT Series Asia General Manager: “We have worked very hard to make Blancpain GT Series Asia as attractive a package as possible, and our partnership with the Audi R8 LMS Cup certainly adds even more value. It’s not often that championships work together for the good of both series, but we understand that what is good for one of us also benefits the other. The more cost-effective we can make both the better. Equally, offering a free entry into the 2018 Total 24 Hours of Spa for the championship’s top amateur provides an Asian driver with a fantastic opportunity to test themselves beyond the continent in a world-class event.”

Bernd Goeres, Director of Audi Sport customer racing Asia: “Our 2017 calendar provides teams with the flexibility to fully utilise their Audi R8 LMS race car by entering additional racing series. Audi continues to play its leading role for the accelerating motorsport development in Asia.”

The inaugural Blancpain GT Series Asia campaign begins at Sepang in Malaysia on April 8/9.

2017 Blancpain GT Series Asia

2017 begins at Malaysia’s Formula 1 circuit, Sepang, in early April before moving on to Thailand’s only FIA Grade 1 track, the Chang International Circuit in Buriram, for two more one-hour races in late May.

2017 Blancpain GT Series Asia Schedule
April 8/9 – Sepang, Malaysia
May 20/21 – Chang International Circuit, Thailand
June 24/25 – Suzuka, Japan
August 19/20 – Fuji Speedway, Japan
September 23/24 – Shanghai, China
October 21/22 – Zhejiang, China

2017 Audi R8 LMS Cup Schedule
May 6/7 – Sepang, Malaysia
June 10/11 – Suzuka, Japan
August – Korea, further details TBC
September 9/10 – Shanghai, China
October 20/21 – Zhejiang, China

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
Since 1995 SRO has specialised in the promotion and organisation of motorsport series. Inextricably linked with GT racing’s revival, SRO predominantly promotes categories that adhere to its 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. SRO’s flagship is the European-based Blancpain GT Series, which combines the Sprint and Endurance Cups, of which the iconic Total 24 Hours is the highlight.

The same regulations and Balance of Performance parameters governing the Blancpain GT Series have been adopted in the United States by the Pirelli World Challenge (in which SRO is also a major shareholder), while the inaugural Blancpain GT Series Asia begins in 2017. In addition, the world’s best GT races from all four corners of the globe are brought together under the umbrella of the Intercontinental GT Challenge, and amateur drivers are also fully catered for via the Blancpain GT Sports Club.

Likewise, select European race weekends feature the Blancpain Ultracar Sports Club where the world’s fastest and most technologically advanced limited-production road and track-only cars gather to demonstrate their awesome capabilities.

SRO is also strong domestically. The multi-class British GT Championship, which it has presided over since 2005, pairs GT3 with GT4 machinery, while France’s national series – now known as the GT4 European Series Southern Cup – was recently added to its existing Northern Cup counterpart.

SRO also operates the SRO Race Centre by MMC – a high-level technical centre at Paul Ricard Circuit in southern France – and Curbstone Track Events, which provides ultimate track driving opportunities on world renowned circuits.

SRO Motorsports Group is chaired by company founder and CEO Stephane Ratel and has offices in London, Paris and Liège.

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