Enduro races for British GTs

Series boss Stephane Ratel, who took over British GTs for this year, has earmarked two rounds on next year's provisional calendar as long-distance events. The move follows criticism of his decision to ditch the enduros introduced last year in favour of a pair of one-hour races at each meeting.

Enduro races for British GTs

Ratel, who also runs the FIA GT Championship and co-organises the Le Mans Endurance Series, said: "Many teams and drivers like our present format, but some had said that they also liked endurance races. That is why there will be two longer events next year. I always listen to what my competitors want."

The plan is for one two-hour race and one three-hour event in 2005. Ratel refused to disclose at which circuits these would take place. The three-hour event could be an overseas race, possibly at Magny-Cours. There is a draft plan for British GTs to link up with the FIA GT Championship round scheduled for the French track in April. This would result in the top-class, or N-GT, cars from Britain joining the FIA grid, while the Cup class would likely have their own race at a separate venue, most likely at Croft.

The re-introduction of endurance races has been welcomed by British GT entrants. Rollcentre boss Martin Short, who led the push for longer races, said: "I'm surprised but delighted. This will take some of the bang and crash element out and return it to a truer sportscar format."

The British GT calendar is expected to be made up of the one overseas race and a further seven dates, none of which will be at Jonathan Palmer's Motor Sport Vision tracks. The Stephane Ratel Organisation has failed to reach agreement with MSV to run at Brands Hatch, Oulton Park or Snetterton.

Next year's calender is likely to feature two races at Silverstone - one on the International and one on the GP track - and a return to Knockhill.

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