The Australian GT Championship and Endurance championship will be jointly managed by the Australian Racing Group and GT racing powerhouse SRO from 2021.
SRO’s portfolio covers almost all of the world’s major GT3 championships under their GT World Challenge and Intercontinental Challenge championships. Their events include the likes of the Bathurst 12 Hour and the Spa 24 Hour.
From next year, SRO will rebrand the Australian GT championship as GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS.
It’s the fourth series to join the GT World Challenge scene, joining efforts in America, Asia and Europe.
Motorsport Australia CEO Eugene Arocca says the take over will help take GT racing in Australia to new heights.
Given Australia’s proximity and the growing interest of GT racing in New Zealand, the GT World Challenge Australia offers viable opportunities for Kiwi racers to battle it out on a global stage.
“Both SRO Motorsports Group and the Australian Racing Group have extensive experience in managing world class categories and we are absolutely thrilled to announce them as joint Commercial Rights Agreement holders for GT racing in Australia,” Arocca said.
“SRO’s experience with GT racing around the world, coupled with ARG’s intimate knowledge of Australian motorsport, provides an exciting prospect for both the Motorsport Australia GT Championship and Motorsport Australia Endurance Championship events in 2021 and beyond.
“There is certainly a passionate competitor base and many teams who are keen to get racing in 2021, and we can’t wait to be part of that.
“We’d also like to thank all those who expressed their interest as part of this process, including previous category managers, Trofeo Motorsport.”
Six events are earmarked to be on the 2021 schedule: five sprint rounds and a longer three- or four-hour race to determine the endurance champion.
Competitors will comply with the SRO technical and sporting regulations, including its Balance of Performance system designed to encourage closer racing and more unpredictable results. Teams will also be eligible to earn points towards the GT World Challenge manufacturer championship.
Older-spec GT3 cars will also be accommodated at all GT World Challenge Australia rounds as will GT4 models.
“We are honoured that Motorsport Australia has given us the opportunity to bring our experience of GT racing to its shores in 2021,” said SRO founder and CEO Stephane Ratel.
“SRO already has strong ties to the Australian GT scene through our partnership with the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, which has been part of the Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli since its formation.
“We are excited to join forces with Matt Braid and the Australian Racing Group to grow the Motorsport Australia GT Championship further, providing a global audience and BOP management at the same level as the series directly managed by SRO. The 2021 season promises to be very exciting indeed and we will release more news concerning our plans shortly.”