Ratel expects big future for Baku FIA GT round

Stephane Ratel believes that the FIA GT Sprint finale in Azerbaijan can become an end-of-season festival attracting the winners of all the major series run for GT3 machinery around Europe

Ratel expects big future for Baku FIA GT round

Ratel made the claim on the announcement of capacity 30-car entry for this year's event on the streets of Baku on November 23/24, which includes 20 cars in the Pro category.

"I am very happy with the quantity and the quality," he said. "I think this is the most competitive GT sprint field since the 2011 FIA GT1 World Championship.

"In addition to our regular entrants, we have teams from the Blancpain Endurance Series, from French GTs and I am very happy to have the winners of the ADAC GT Masters in Callaway Competition.

"The idea is to have 24 of our sprint series competitors and extra six who have won major championships around Europe. That would be the dream scenario in the future."

Ratel explained that his only disappointment with this year's entry was the absence of British GT Championship winner, the Beachdean Aston Martin squad.

Callaway has entered a solo Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3 for ADAC co-champion Daniel Keilwitz and sportscar star Jeroen Bleekemolen, who contested two German series rounds with the team this season.

The British Fortec Motorsport squad is taking in the event at the end of its maiden season of sportscar racing with a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG.

The Mercedes will be shared by Fortec Formula Renault 3.5 driver Oli Webb and Benji Hetherington, who have both raced the car in 2013.

Series frontrunner WRT is fielding a fourth Audi R8 LMS ultra for Audi DTM driver Fillipe Albuquerque and British and French GT regular Gregoire Demoustier.

The Baku event has already been boosted by the announcement of cars from Blancpain teams' champion Marc VDS, former GT1 World frontrunner Hexis Racing and Boutsen Ginion Racing with a line-up including McLaren Formula 1 development squad member Stoffel Vandoorne.

shares
comments
Stoffel Vandoorne to race McLaren in FIA GT finale in Baku
Previous article

Stoffel Vandoorne to race McLaren in FIA GT finale in Baku

Next article

World Endurance Championship's GTE Am rules tweaked for 2014

World Endurance Championship's GTE Am rules tweaked for 2014
How to get the best out of amateur racers Plus

How to get the best out of amateur racers

Pro-Am GT racing is booming. But how should drivers approach working with an amateur? Autosport sought out a panel of experts to explain the pitfalls amateur drivers should avoid and how professionals can help them to achieve their goals

GT
Apr 3, 2022
The remarkable career of a 'classy' champion who rejected politics Plus

The remarkable career of a 'classy' champion who rejected politics

Over two decades as a factory driver with Audi and BMW, Martin Tomczyk earned the respect of team-mates and rivals as a hard but fair racer. After calling time on his racing career, the 2011 DTM champion sat down with Autosport to look back

GT
Mar 5, 2022
The ex-IndyCar racer in "uncharted territory" of British GT team ownership Plus

The ex-IndyCar racer in "uncharted territory" of British GT team ownership

This weekend’s British GT finale will be a tense title showdown for some but, for those not in the championship fight, it’s a chance to end a challenging year on a high. In the latter camp is Paddock Motorsport's team owner Martin Plowman, whose 2021 season has been a rollercoaster ride of non-stop learning

National
Oct 15, 2021
The unpopular BMW stalwart built for the big occasion Plus

The unpopular BMW stalwart built for the big occasion

It has won most of the big prizes in endurance racing across its six years in service, but the BMW M6 GT3's key weaknesses meant only a devoted few teams persisted with running it. As it prepares to bow out at season's end, the teams and drivers involved in its story share the secrets of an unpopular winner

GT
Oct 7, 2021
The unwanted GT car that changed sportscar racing forever Plus

The unwanted GT car that changed sportscar racing forever

Had FIA GT boss Stephane Ratel had his way, the Maserati MC12 would never have been allowed to set foot in his series. It duly proved the class of the field that most had expected, but the Balance of Performance that its superiority spawned would keep GT1 battles tight and bring long-term benefits that sportscar racing enjoys today

GT
Sep 21, 2021
Why Britain's greatest sportscar was eclipsed on the world stage Plus

Why Britain's greatest sportscar was eclipsed on the world stage

The E-Type may be the most famous of all road-going Jaguars, but that didn't always translate into success on the track. After winning on its competition debut in 1961, motorsport success seemed an inevitability, but things didn’t turn out to be quite that straightforward

GT
Aug 6, 2021
Why the Jaguar E-type remains special at 60 Plus

Why the Jaguar E-type remains special at 60

It’s 60 years since the Jaguar E-type arrived and caused a sensation. As our resident racer Ben Anderson discovered when he got behind the wheel of two special racing versions at Brands Hatch, the thrill of driving them hasn't diminished over time

GT
Jul 31, 2021
The rise of a GT squad responsible for a unique 24-hour racing feat Plus

The rise of a GT squad responsible for a unique 24-hour racing feat

It's a significant achievement to win one 24-hour race in a year, let alone two, and with different manufacturers, but that's exactly what ROWE Racing did in 2020 at the Nurburgring and Spa. This weekend's German classic offers the DTM newcomer a chance of another unique double to add to its growing collection of accolades

GT
Jun 3, 2021