Blancpain GT Series Asia is a multi-class GT championship predominantly catering for GT3 and GT4 cars. GTC cars can also compete, as well as Invitational entries (at SRO’s discretion).
Each of the championship’s six race weekends feature two one-hour races: one on Saturday and the other on Sunday. Two 15-minute qualifying sessions - one to decide each race’s grid - are staged on Saturday. Practice takes place on Friday and Saturday.
To maintain a level playing field each driver’s ability has been graded one of four different colours by motorsport’s world governing body, the FIA: Bronze (amateur), Silver, Gold and Platinum (professional).
Drivers’ Championship points count towards an overall GT3 classification, as well as:
Only Am/Am pairings are eligible to compete in GT4, with points counting towards a single class championship.
Points also count towards the overall GT3 and GT4 Teams’ Championships. A team can enter a maximum of three cars under the same licence but only its top two finishers will score points towards the Teams’ Championship.
GT3 and GT4 cars compete on-track simultaneously but fight for their own class victory. There are overall GT3 and GT4 podium ceremonies, plus separate rostrums for GT3 Pro/Am and Am/Am. Points are awarded to the top-10 overall GT3 and GT4 finishers, plus those entered in Silver Cup, Pro/Am and Am/Am.
Each car is shared by two drivers. A mandatory time-controlled pit-stop and driver change takes place between 25 and 35 minutes of each hour-long race.
The top-three overall finishers in GT3 and GT4 receive a ‘time success penalty’ to be served during the following race’s pit-stop. Sunday’s top-three finishers will serve their success penalties during the first race of the following event.
These time penalties are:
Each driver contests one of two 15-minute qualifying sessions that decide the grid order for Saturday and Sunday’s races. The pair’s highest rated driver must take part in race two’s qualifying session.
Blancpain GT Series Asia weekends also typically feature three practice sessions.
Points are awarded to the top-10 finishers overall and in class:
Just like all of the championships SRO Motorsports Group promotes, Blancpain GT Series Asia is reserved for one of two supercar racing specifications: GT3 and GT4.
Following the demise of GT1 and GT2, GT3 regulations now govern GT racing’s premier and most popular customer motorsport platform.
16 different manufacturers currently produce and race or sell GT3 cars around the world. They are built to a common set of regulations and, under SRO’s strict Balance of Performance (BoP) governance, compete on a level playing field. This encourages greater competition, more exciting racing and diversity while also preventing a costly development war from erupting between manufacturers.
GT3 cars are based on their road-going supercar counterparts and must carry over certain features to meet homologation criteria. However, they are also very different, with large front splitters, rear spoilers and diffusers, aerodynamically enhanced bodywork, race-tuned engines developing up to 600bhp and sticky slick Pirelli tyres marking them out as genuine racing cars.
Blancpain GT Series Asia’s GT4 class features cars that, in terms of performance and looks, are much closer to their road-going versions than GT3.
Rules state that more components must be carried over from their production counterparts, while manufacturers are given less freedom to tune and develop them. Splitters, diffusers and wings are still commonplace but produce much lower downforce and grip levels than GT3.
Nevertheless, they have proven extremely popular in Europe and America where they compete in multi-class championships alongside GT3, just as they will in Blancpain GT Series Asia this season. Expect this category to grow in popularity amongst all-amateur crews as the season progresses.
Just like GT3, all GT4 cars are governed by SRO’s Balance of Performance regulations.
The inaugural Blancpain GT Series Asia season will comprise 12 races spread across six rounds in four countries.
THE PROMOTER: SRO MOTORSPORTS GROUP
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 of Spa 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.
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.