Autosport Awards
Topic

Autosport Awards

Autosport Awards 2018: Stephane Ratel gets a Gregor Grant Award

Stephane Ratel's enormous contribution to the last quarter-century of GT sportscar racing was recognised with a Gregor Grant Award at the 2018 Autosport Awards

Autosport Awards 2018: Stephane Ratel gets a Gregor Grant Award

The Stephane Ratel Organisation promotes the Blancpain GT Series, Intercontinental GT Challenge and British GT Championship among other series, and co-organises the US-based Pirelli World Challenge.

SRO currently focuses on the burgeoning GT3 and GT4 categories, pitching its range of championships to offer options for both professional and amateur drivers while also keeping a close eye on manufacturer involvement and always being willing to tweak formats and ideas to adapt to changes in the market.

His achievement in becoming the dominant worldwide organiser of GT racing earned Ratel one of the annual special Awards named in honour of Autosport's founder.

"I thought I would be a lot older when I got this!" said Ratel.

"It's been a very busy time this season, it started in the first weekend of February for the first round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge and finished last night with inaugural GT Nations Cup in Bahrain.

"Along the way we have covered 12 championships and series, 49 events in 20 countries and four continents."

The SRO boss also added that he believed the Nations Cup would become an increasingly popular concept after Turkey won its first event.

Ratel's first experience of race promotion came with the Venturi-based Gentleman Drivers Trophy in 1992.

He was then part of the organisation behind the BPR Endurance Series that grew into the FIA GT Championship in the mid-1990s, before branching out on his own to establish the forerunners of what became the current Blancpain GT package of championships.

Ratel added: "I think I started like every good race promoter: I started dealing cars and I had a passion for the exotics and brought them to back to racing because GT racing stopped in the late 1970s and early '80s and there was no GT racing.

"It became the FIA championship and evolved into the Blancpain GT Series. It's been a long story and we have created lots of categories: GT3, GT4 and soon GT2, and it has worked in many categories and series."

His award was presented by McLaren Formula 1 team boss and Motorsport Network executive chairman Zak Brown.

shares
comments
Autosport Awards 2018: Mercedes F1 wins Racing Car of the Year

Previous article

Autosport Awards 2018: Mercedes F1 wins Racing Car of the Year

Next article

Autosport Awards 2018: Sebastien Ogier is Rally Driver of the Year

Autosport Awards 2018: Sebastien Ogier is Rally Driver of the Year
Load comments

About this article

Series General
Author Matt Beer
The F1 and Indy 'nearly man' that found contentment in Japan Plus

The F1 and Indy 'nearly man' that found contentment in Japan

Having had the door to F1 slammed in his face and come within three laps of winning the Indianapolis 500, the collapse of a Peugeot LMP1 shot meant Japan was Bertrand Baguette's last chance of a career. But it's one which he has grasped with both hands

General
Feb 27, 2021
The female all-rounder who arrived "too early" Plus

The female all-rounder who arrived "too early"

From Formula 3 to truck racing, Dakar and EuroNASCAR via a winning stint in the DTM, there's not much Ellen Lohr hasn't seen in a stellar racing career that highlights the merit in being a generalist. But she believes her career came too early...

General
Feb 17, 2021
How Radical's latest machines fare on track Plus

How Radical's latest machines fare on track

The lightweight sportscar manufacturer has not rewritten the rulebook with its latest machines, but the new SR3 XX and SR10 still provide a step forward on its previous successful models

General
Feb 8, 2021
The real-life racing rogues stranger than fiction Plus

The real-life racing rogues stranger than fiction

The forthcoming Netflix film linking the world of underworld crime and motorsport plays on a theme that isn't exactly new. Over the years, several shady figures have attempted to make it in racing before their dubious dealings caught up with them

General
Jan 31, 2021
How a GP is thriving in a COVID-free territory Plus

How a GP is thriving in a COVID-free territory

The New Zealand Grand Prix's mix of rising talent and big-name stars thrilled the crowds (yes, remember crowds?) assembled for the Toyota Racing Series meeting at Hampton Downs last weekend and left distant observers craving a repeat

General
Jan 26, 2021
How a much-changed Macau GP kept the party going Plus

How a much-changed Macau GP kept the party going

OPINION: The 67th edition of the Macau Grand Prix might have been a largely muted affair to the outside world without its international influx and star line-ups, another victim to the COVID-19 pandemic, but organisers deserve huge credit for keeping the party going

General
Nov 24, 2020
Engineer's view: Motorsport's revolutionary braking tool Plus

Engineer's view: Motorsport's revolutionary braking tool

Although brake pressure and temperature logging is commonplace, measuring and understanding braking performance hasn't been so straightforward. But that's about to change following the introduction of a groundbreaking new sensor

General
Oct 1, 2020
The high-tech materials helping Renault in its F1 rise Plus

The high-tech materials helping Renault in its F1 rise

The Renault F1 team is at the vanguard of innovative solutions pushing development of the V6 turbo hybrid engine rules, embracing the full potential of material science in its bid to get back to the top

General
Sep 29, 2020