FIA GT Series slimmed down to just six races for 2013
|By Gary Watkins||Thursday, January 10th 2013, 15:47 GMT|
The newly-named FIA GT Series has been slimmed down to six races with only one flyaway outside Europe at the behest of the teams.
A seven-race schedule with two non-European races had been planned for what was provisionally titled the GT Sprint Series.
Series boss Stephane Ratel said that the decision had been taken to reduce the schedule after meeting with prospective entrants before Christmas.
"I sat around the table with the teams and it was their decision," he explained. "They said it was better to regroup and just to have six races with only one outside Europe.
"We were ready to go to Brazil in addition to the Middle East, but we would have been obliged to use airfreight. In the current economic situation that is not the right thing to do."
The opening round of the series, which takes over from the FIA GT1 World Championship, has been set back from Abu Dhabi in February to Nogaro in April.
An event in the Middle East, almost certainly Abu Dhabi, will now take place at the end of the season after races at Zolder, Zandvoort, the Slovakia Ring and Navarra.
The move means the end of Ratel's plan to award a world title based on points scored in the FIA GT Series and the sister Blancpain Endurance Series. The FIA was insistent on two non-European races for world status.
Ratel now has the commitment of 10 teams to take part in the FIA GT Series ahead of the closing date for entries on January 30.
He is expecting at least one more team to commit ahead of that date and, with race-by-race entries, to have grids of 24 to 26 cars at each race.
FIA GT Series Calendar April 1 Nogaro (F) April 21 Zolder (B) July 14 Zandvoort (NL) August 18 Slovakia Ring (SV) October 13 Navarra (E) November 16 or 23 Middle East * * to be confirmed