SRO have announced changes for the 2018 Blancpain GT season designed to restrict the Pro class an top encourage Pro-Am and Am teams to remain with the Series.
It’s not a surprising move, Stephane Ratel is known to hold lasting concerns that the successful Series could have gone too far in the Pro stakes, the experiences of SRO in the late 1990s and beyond with full Pro grids and classes will have begun to ring some alarm bells.
The average number of Pro cars in the Blancpain GT Series has risen from 11 in 2011 to 32 this season.
The following measures have been taken for the 2018 season:
To make the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup more appealing for non-professional drivers the maximum number of cars with a full Pro line-up will be limited to 26. Exceptions will be made for the Total 24 Hours of Spa, not only a round of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup but also of the Intercontinental GT Challenge.
Driver pairings in the Pro-Am Cup of the endurance races will be solely made out of two Bronze and one professional driver, with possible derogations for two-driver line-ups as is currently allowed. The pairing rules for the Am Cup will remain identical, with three Bronze drivers.
In order for each driver to be guaranteed to play a role in qualifying for the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup races, the starting grid will be determined by a combination of the times of all three drivers, except for Spa where the Intercontinental GT Challenge rules will apply.
In the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup, a more traditional GT3 format will be adopted, with two qualifying sessions, each setting the grid for a race, both scoring equal points.
The Silver Cup, reserved for cars with a full Silver driver line-ups, will be extended to Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup.
2018 Blancpain GT Series calendar
13-14 March: France – Circuit Paul Ricard – Test Days
06-08 April: Belgium – Zolder (Sprint Cup)
21-22 April: Italy – Monza (Endurance Cup)
05-06 May: Great Britain – Brands Hatch (Sprint Cup)
19-20 May: Great Britain – Silverstone (Endurance Cup)
01-02 June: France – Paul Ricard 1000 km (Endurance Cup)
22-24 June: Italy – Misano (Sprint Cup)
03 July: Belgium – Spa-Francorchamps – Test Day
26-29 July: Belgium – Total 24 Hours of Spa (Endurance Cup)
31. August – 02 September: Hungary – Hungaroring (Sprint Cup)
14-16 September: Germany – Nurburgring (Sprint Cup)