Ratel to pull plug on GT1 World Championship
The Stephane Ratel Organisation has informed the FIA’s GT Commission that it will cease promoting the FIA GT1 World Championship at the end of the current season, seemingly signifying the class’s death.
A successor to the FIA GT Championship, the GT1 World Championship has endured a rocky three years in existence.
Reverting to GT3 regulations this season following the failure of its bespoke GT1 rule package has failed to revive the category this year, with just 14 cars attending the most recent round at Portimao in Portugal.
Its initial 10 race 2012 calendar has also seen several withdrawals since it was announced pre-season. It currently sits at seven rounds, with further revisions expected to follow. All five events run so far have taken place in Europe.
In addition to dropping the GT1 championship, the SRO has also confirmed that it will no longer promote the FIA GT3 European Championship in 2013.
The category’s 60 minute pro-am races proved immensely popular from the series’ debut in 2006, before the advent of Ratel’s second GT3 competition last year, the Blancpain Endurance Series, saw numbers in the FIA class dwindle towards single figures.
It is expected that the GT1 and GT3 fields will be combined for the remainder of the 2012 season.
The SRO will publically discuss its future plans in a press conference at the Blancpain Series’ crown-jewel event, the 24 Hours of Spa, later this month.