Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup entry grows to 38 cars for 2016

The entry for this year's Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup has almost doubled with 38 cars set to take part in the opening round in Misano

Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup entry grows to 38 cars for 2016

It compares with the 21 cars announced ahead of last season and the 16 cars that finished last season's Blancpain Sprint Series at Zandvoort in October.

A total of 31 of the cars are in the pro class and nine manufacturers are represented on the entry.

The list includes 11 Audis, six cars each from Lamborghini and Mercedes, and five Ferraris.

BMW has three cars on the entry, while Bentley, McLaren and Nissan each have two. Porsche has one car.

Series boss Stephane Ratel said that his objective had been to increase the Sprint Cup grid to 26 or 28 cars and the tally of "exceeded my wildest expectations".

He said the reduction in the number of sprints from seven to five to create a 10-round series with a greater focus on the overall title was a significant factor.

"A total of 12 races [seven in the BSS and five in the sister Blancpain Endurance Series] was too much," he said.

"A 10-race series is nothing new. We are back to where we were with the FIA GT Championship from 2002 until 2009."

Ratel said a rule demanding a team must race in the Sprint and Endurance Cups to compete for the €150,000-per-race prize fund and another that demands that a manufacturer must have at least one car in both branches of the BGTS to qualify to race at the Spa 24 Hours in July also had a significant impact.

He added "exotic" races such as the planned Moscow street circuit, which was replaced by a race at the Russian city's permanent track last summer, had created uncertainty around the series.

Ratel explained a number of cars would not be present at Brands Hatch in April because their drivers were committed to the clashing World Endurance Championship race at Spa.

However, he is expecting the 34 cars that can be accommodated in the pits of the British track to attend.

The BGTS Endurance Cup entry has held firm with 57 full-season entries.

The number of pro class cars has risen with 28 cars this season compared to last season's 23.

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