Reserved for cars confirming to GT3 regulations and using SRO Motorsports Group’s globally recognised Balance of Performance (BOP) criteria, the Blancpain GT Series has made rapid progress since its formation less than a decade ago.
Though a relative newcomer on the international scene, the series has built its success around one of the sport’s most enduring events: the Total 24 Hours of Spa. With the Belgian endurance classic as its centrepiece, the Blancpain GT Series has quickly forged a reputation for all-action racing between the sport’s leading drivers, teams and automotive brands.
The present day championship can trace its roots back to 2011, when SRO partnered with world-renowned Swiss watch manufacturer Blancpain to create the Blancpain Endurance Series. Staged over five events, including the Total 24 Hours of Spa, the new category placed equal emphasis on professional and amateur competitors while championing high standards both on and off the circuit.
As the Endurance Series developed further over the following years, grids continued to expand. Encouraged by this success, SRO and Blancpain partnered once again to create the Blancpain Sprint Series for 2014. Previously known as the FIA GT Series, the category adopted the same blueprint that had made the Endurance category a success while testing competitors in short-format races.
With individual championships for the Endurance and Sprint categories in place, 2014 also saw an overall Blancpain GT Series title awarded for the first time, recognising the most consistent performers across the season. In 2016, the series names were adjusted to the Endurance Cup and Sprint Cup.
The following seasons saw the Blancpain GT Series continue to grow, with increased grid numbers and ever-greater standards of competition. This was highlighted in 2018 when 13 brands contested the 70th edition Total 24 Hours of Spa, establishing a new record for the GT3 era.
Ahead of the 2019 campaign, the Sprint Cup was rechristened Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe, bringing it into step with the sprint-format championships promoted by SRO in America and Asia. The change also coincides with the creation of the global Blancpain GT World Challenge, which will allow manufacturers to measure the success of their customer international racing programmes.
Despite this, the fundamentals of the Blancpain GT Series remain the same. In 2019 there will once again be a total of 10 events, split evenly between the Endurance Cup and Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe. What’s more, the marquee Total 24 Hours of Spa remains as the season-defining race.
Titles will be awarded for the outright drivers’ and teams’ champions in the Endurance Cup, Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe, and the overall Blancpain GT Series. What’s more, class honours will be disputed between competitors in the Pro-Am, Silver Cup and Am Cup categories. For the 2019 season, all classes will awarded drivers’ and teams’ titles for the Endurance Cup, Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe and overall championships.