FIA GT Series secures Azerbaijan street race for 2013 season finale

The FIA GT Series will climax with a race on the streets of the Azerbaijan capital Baku in October

FIA GT Series secures Azerbaijan street race for 2013 season finale

The fixture, scheduled for October 19-20, takes the final slot on the six-event calendar, which had originally been earmarked for the Middle East in November.

The move follows an approach by the city authorities in Baku, which last year hosted a non-championship GT race under the City Challenge banner, to FIA GT boss Stephane Ratel and Spa 24 Hours promoter Jean-Francois Chaumont, who will run the new event.

Ratel said: "Even though we are no longer a world championship, I was always keen to keep an important event outside Europe.

"We had a number of conversations, but one objective was to ensure the maximum possible support for any flyaway race for the teams."

A €175,000 prize fund has been announced for the FIA GT round, plus start money of €20,000 per car. Airfreight will also be paid for by the race promoter.

The event will take place on a new street circuit, measuring approximately four kilometres or 2.5 miles, near the Big Globe venue, which hosted last year's Eurovision Song Contest. This replaces a shorter, city-centre layout used in 2012.

GUESTS TO BOOST GRID

The FIA GT grid will be boosted by cars from other championships organised by Ratel and his organisation.

Ratel is working on taking 24 cars from FIA GTs, while the winners of the teams' title in the British GT Championship and the three classes in the Blancpain Endurance Series will receive entries for the event.

There also be a further two entries to be awarded at the discretion of the event promoter.

To incorporate the Baku event on the calendar, the penultimate round of the championship at Navarra has been moved forward from October 12-13 to September 28-29.

The organiser of last year's City Challenge event, Hartmut Beyer, is not involved in the plans.

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