SRO Group in pole position for Australian GT takeover
By Mat Coch
Thursday 5th November, 2020 - 2:26pm
Organisers of the Intercontinental GT Challenge are in pole position to take over the commercial rights to Australian GT from next year.
SRO Motorsports Group is understood to be the preferred party following an Expressions of Interest process undertaken by Motorsport Australia for the commercial rights to the Australian GT Championship and Australian Endurance Championship from next year.
The EOI process opened in July and was scheduled to have its successful candidate revealed last month.
However, that announcement was delayed and a statement from Michael Smith, Motorsport Australia Director of Motorsport and Commercial Operations, issued to this publication at the time said: “Discussions around the Commercial Rights Agreement for the Motorsport Australia GT Championship and the Motorsport Australia Endurance Championship remain ongoing.”
The SRO Group has been a key supporter of GT racing globally, having originally been the promoter of the FIA GT Championship.
Headed by Stephane Ratel, the organisation has grown over the last two decades to now encompass British GT, GT World Challenge Europe, GT World Challenge Asia, GT World Challenge America, and the Intercontinental GT Challenge.
It has enjoyed a strong relationship with Australian GT, with Ratel a guest of Tony Quinn at the 2016 season finale in Highlands.
SRO Motorsport Group’s ownership of the category would make for the third owner in quick succession, after Quinn sold the rights to Jim Manolios’ Trofeo Motorsport in mid-2018.
The organisation has also been involved locally with the Bathurst 12 Hour, which has acted as the opening round of the IGTC since 2016.