Some of the biggest names in international motor racing descended on London last week (24 November) for the season-ending SRO Motorsports Group Awards.
The gala evening was staged at Old Billingsgate, a spacious venue on the north bank of the River Thames that was originally constructed in 1875 as an arcaded market hall. Once a bustling centre of commerce, the Grade II-listed building retains an important place in London's commercial and architectural history.
Now reimagined as a chic events space, it was the ideal setting in which to celebrate the star performers of 2023. Champions from around the globe were recognised during a busy evening, with Mercedes-AMG collecting the global Fanatec GT World Challenge Powered by AWS title for a fifth year in succession.
The champions from Fanatec GT Europe and Fanatec GT Asia made their way on to the stage to be presented with trophies, while representatives from Fanatec GT America were in London to join the festivities. The fourth continental series, Fanatec GT Australia, concluded its season over the weekend at Adelaide.
There was recognition for the Fanatec GT2 European Series and GT4 European Series Powered by RAFA Racing Club champions, as well as those from the FFSA French GT Championship, FFSA TC France, and the Intelligent Money British GT Championship. In the latter series, Dan Harper received the Allan Simonsen Award, while commentator David Addison was presented with a special trophy in recognition of his work with the championship.
Esports played its part in proceedings, too, with awards handed out for SRO's real-world and virtual series. Sustainability was also an important inclusion, with awards for Team WRT and Barwell Motorsport in recognition of their work towards carbon neutral racing. Kenny Habul received the Philippe Charriol Award, which recognises an outstanding gentleman driver in honour of the late French competitor.
While Friday evening’s festivities celebrated the stars of 2023, the current campaign is not quite finished. Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli will bring the curtain down on its season with the Gulf 12 Hours, which runs on December 8-10 at Yas Marina. BMW will face off against Mercedes-AMG in the final battle for the manufacturers' crown, while the leading candidates for the drivers' title are Jules Gounon, Philipp Eng and Dries Vanthoor.
Once the chequered flag falls in Abu Dhabi, the winter break is relatively short. The 2024 season will launch in style with the Bathurst 12 Hour, which takes place at Mount Panorama on 16-18 February. The iconic Aussie enduro will mark the opening round of both Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli and Fanatec GT Australia, kicking off another packed calendar for SRO.