Blancpain GT Series
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 benchmark in GT3 racing.
Blancpain GT Series 2016 : new and improved
New and important circuits on the calendar
The 2016 calendar of the biggest GT series in the world will include ten rounds : five Endurance weekends and five Sprint weekends. This should allow for a greater integration of the two series into a single Blancpain GT Series.
The calendar of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup remains largely unchanged, with the highlight of the season – the Total 24 Hours of Spa – retaining its slot at the end of July, 30th – 31st of July to be exact.
Meanwhile, a revised Sprint calendar now favours major circuits. Newcomers on the agenda are the Circuit of Catalunya near Barcelona, the Hungaroring near Budapest and the Nürburgring, as part of the immensely popular Truck Grand Prix-meeting.
As has been the case for the last few years, a good part of the Blancpain GT Series meetings will continue to enjoy the company of our high-level support series. The Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo and the Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup will again be part of the Blancpain Endurance Series events in 2016.
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, and the Blancpain Silver Cup for Drivers.
To improve the integration of both Endurance and Sprint into a single Blancpain GT Series a redefinition of the three classes was needed. The categories have been harmonised over Sprint and Endurance as Pro, Pro-Am and Am, but the overall classification will apply for the podium ceremony, series classification and distribution of prize money, as already is the case in the Sprint Series today.
The Pro-Am Cup will undergo a revamp, with amendments to reduce the level of the driver line-ups. For the Total 24 Hours of Spa, the maximum line-up is now one Platinum, two Silver and one Bronze driver.
In the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup the Pro-Am Cup is for pairings with one Bronze driver. The Silver Cup is for Pro cars with two Silver drivers, with no age limit.
Increased prize money
On the ten events of the 2016 Blancpain GT Series the prize money per event will be increased to 150.000 euro per event, which will be distributed to more cars (11 instead of six previously).
These is how the prize money will be distributed at each of the ten rounds:
Overall classification: 30.000 euro for the 1st, 25.000 for 2nd, then 20.000, 15.000, 10.000 and 5.000 euro for the car in sixth.
Pro-Am Cup: 15.000 euro for the winner, then 10.000 and 5.000 for the cars in 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Am Cup: 10.000 euro for the winner, 5.000 for the runner-up.
The prize money can only be collected by full season entrants in the Blancpain GT Series and is not payable to factory-supported cars (i.e. cars of which the majority of the budget is covered by a manufacturer). 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.
Rules adjustments and technical evolutions
To be eligible for the Pro category of the Blancpain GT Series, including the Total 24 Hours of Spa, at least two cars of each model must be entered at all rounds of the Blancpain GT Series (Sprint and Endurance, with at least one of them in the Pro category).
There will also be the introduction of a Bronze/Silver test in the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup, for which an extra set of tyres may be used. Therefore, the first free practice of the Sprint meetings will be shortened.
On the technical side, the total weight of the car will now include the weight of the drivers, which will be calculated according to the average weight of those drivers. As far as the tyres are concerned, the 2015 Pirelli Endurance tyres will be used during all ten events of the Blancpain GT Series. During the races of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup a minimum pitstop time will be introduced, as well as a mandatory repair time for brake changes at the Total 24 Hours of Spa.
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, RS Simulation and Hexis.
13 March 2017
1 April 2017
22 April 2017
6 May 2017
13 May 2017
2 June 2017
23 June 2017
4 July 2017
27 July 2017
25 August 2017
15 September 2017
30 September 2017
- Patricia Kiefer
Chief Operating Officer
- Laurent Gaudin
Endurance Cup & GT4 European Series Southern Cup Manager
- Jacquie Groom
- Claude Surmont
- Mike Scott
Head of Television
- Sophie Peyrat
Team Relations Manager
- Anthony Comas
Marketing & Business Development Manager
- Elsa Camillieri
Team Relations & Event Assistant
- Gert Vermersch