Macau | SRO doesn’t rule out the return of amateur drivers to the GT race - Grand Prix

The smallest grid ever of the Macau GT Cup - FIA GT World Cup could force the organizers to go back to its roots in the near future

Macau (MNA) – When Associação Geral Automóvel de Macau-China (AAMC) successfully launched the Macau GT Cup in 2008, the grid consisted essentially in gentlemen drivers. The idea of the FIA GT World Cup in Macau, which was introduced for the first time in 2015, was to bring together the cream of GT3 competition from around the globe to go for glory in an end-of-season blue-riband event.

Quickly the car manufacturers, factory supported teams and professional drivers took over the grid, and the slower amateur drivers walked away.

Last year’s World Cup, the first at which the entry was limited to FIA platinum and gold-rated professional drivers, the so called professional drivers, attracted 20 cars split between seven manufacturers, but this year’s race entry list includes only five manufacturers and 15 entries.

Even if this weekend’s grid quality is outstanding, Stéphane Ratel Organisation (SRO), who assists FIA and AAMC in the race co-ordination, doesn’t rule out the possibility of accepting again Silver and Bronze drivers in the race.

“We always sit down and discuss the future after each event to see if and how we need to evolve. Motorsport does not stand still and neither do we”, says Benjamin Franassovici, the Series Manager of the successful Blancpain GT Series Asia and SRO Coordinator for the Macau event.

The new high levels of the Macau GT Cup race, as well as the rising costs of the participation, also shove away the local drivers. For the second consecutive year Macau won’t be represented in the grid.

Too early to talk about the GT2

A new category for high-powered supercars that revives the GT2 name has been announced by the Stephane Ratel Organisation last July, with six manufacturers having expressed their interest to date. The idea is for the new category to become the basis of the amateur classes as a complement to GT3 class in SRO’s sprint series from 2020.

SRO can’t predict when and if this new breed of GT cars will hit the Guia Circuit at this stage.

“It’s still too early to say. GT2 is a very new class and the cars are yet to be delivered,” told MNA Franassovici. “But it’s definitely a new, sexy, high-powered GT category to keep an eye on”

As in recent seasons the competition will be run over two race distances – a 12 lap Qualification Race on Saturday followed by an 18 lap Main Event on Sunday that will determine this year’s FIA GT World Cup Champion.