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GT NEWS 

Stephane Ratel makes new World GT proposal involving Blancpain and Sprint series for 2013

Slovakia GT1GT teams' and manufacturers' world titles could be awarded according to points scored in the Blancpain Endurance Series and a successor to the FIA GT1 World Championship planned for next season.

Stephane Ratel, the boss of the two series, has outlined his vision for a new Sprint Series to succeed the world championship in 2013. He has proposed to the FIA that 'GT World Series' titles could be awarded on the results of the new championship and the BES.

Ratel announced at his traditional press conference ahead of this weekend's Spa 24 Hours Blancpain round that he wants to interlink his Sprint Series, which will run to the same format of two one-hour sprints as the world championship, and the BES. He announced draft calendars that will allow teams to use the same cars and equipment in each series.

"We want teams to be able to amortise the fixed costs across the two series; all we want them to change between races are the stickers on the cars," he said. "There will be a minimum of two weeks between events to allow them to use the same cars."

Combined with a reduction in the number of races from 10 to seven, Ratel believes that a budget for a two-car team for the Sprint Series would be reduced from the 1.6 million required for the world championship to just under one million.

"At 1.6 million the teams are not finding the budgets," he explained. "But a budget of under a million is achievable."

Ratel is aiming for a grid for the Sprint Series made up of eight or nine two-car teams each representing one manufacturer or seven teams running three cars each. If he cannot achieve this, he will allow teams to run single or multi-car teams.

The plan outlined by Ratel is to have his grid for the Sprint Series in place by the end of September. His proposal for world titles to be awarded on the basis of the two series will go to the FIA World Council at the end of October.

There will be no drivers' world title, because Ratel envisages teams running different drivers in each series.

Ratel explained that he had decided to withdraw as the promoter of the FIA series because of the regulatory costs associated with running a world championship. He said he was "not giving up on the idea of a professional GT sprint series".

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