Encouraged by the success of the Blancpain Endurance Series, which after its creation in 2011 quickly became the global reference for GT racing, world-renowned Swiss watch manufacture Blancpain and the SRO Motorsports Group decide at the end of 2013 to extend their partnership to the Blancpain Sprint Series, offering teams and drivers the opportunity to compete for an overall Blancpain GT Series title as well. Harbouring the Blancpain Endurance Series and Blancpain Sprint Series under the same banner proved to be a success. Varied grids were the result, with a host of respected GT teams and drivers at the start of each race. The Blancpain GT Series also saw the influx of young and talented drivers, making the Series a worldwide benchmark in GT3 racing.
Blancpain GT Series 2018: a continued success story
New rules restore Pro-Am identity of the series
To make the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup more appealing for non-professional drivers the maximum number of cars with a full Pro line-up will be limited to 26 in 2018. Exceptions will be made for the Total 24 Hours of Spa, not only a round of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup but also of the Intercontinental GT Challenge.
Driver pairings in the Pro-Am Cup of the endurance races will be solely made out of two Bronze and one professional driver, with possible derogations for two-driver line-ups. The pairing rules for the Am Cup will remain identical, with three Bronze drivers.
Modernisation of the format
In order for each driver to be guaranteed to play a role in qualifying for the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup races, the starting grid will be determined by a combination of the times of all three drivers, except for Spa where the Intercontinental GT Challenge rules will apply. In the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup, a more traditional GT3 format will be adopted, with two qualifying sessions, each setting the grid for a race, both scoring equal points.
Silver Cup extended to endurance races
The series comprises the title of the Blancpain GT Series Winner for Drivers and one title of Blancpain GT Series Winner for Teams, which will be awarded as well as in the Pro-Am and Am categories. It also includes Cups: the Blancpain Sprint Overall, Pro-Am and Am Cups for Teams and Drivers, the Blancpain Endurance Overall, Pro-Am and Am Cups for Teams and Drivers. The Silver Cup, reserved for cars with full Silver driver line-ups, will be extended to Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup.
Calendar holds major European circuits
As has been the case for a couple of years now, the 2018 calendar of the most important GT series in the world will include ten rounds: five Endurance weekends and five Sprint weekends. The calendar of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup remains largely unchanged, with the Circuit Paul Ricard 1000 moving forward to the beginning of June. The highlight of the season – the Total 24 Hours of Spa – retains its slot at the end of July, July 28th-29th to be exact. The Sprint calendar keeps the same circuits as well, although in a different order. The Belgian track of Zolder has the honour to open the season, with Misano moving to a fitting summer slot at the end of June.
Considerable prize money
Over the ten events of the 2018 Blancpain GT Series the prize money per event will be maintained at 150.000 euro per event, which will potentially be distributed to eleven cars. In addition to the prize money, Blancpain GT Series partners Blancpain (our title sponsor since 2011) awards watches to the Endurance and Sprint Drivers Champions and Pirelli 84 sets of tyres.
The series takes its name after its main sponsor, the iconic Swiss watch manufacturer Blancpain that has been at its side since its creation. The Blancpain GT Series is also supported by Pirelli, Elf, Total, Audi, Autosport Insurance, TM Performance and Hexis.