Following two seasons that surpassed all expectations, Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia’s format and regulations – originally based around the British GT Championship’s - will remain largely unchanged in 2019, albeit with one key difference.
The series brings together a mix of GT3 and GT4 machinery, while GTC cars are also eligible to compete at the 12 hour-long races spread across six events and five countries that comprise 2019’s calendar.
Cars feature a maximum of two drivers, each of whom qualifies for and then starts one of the weekend’s two races. They must then swap places with their co-driver during the mandatory pitstop window, which lasts 10 minutes.
Two types of driver pairings compete for outright victories: the mix of a professional and amateur (Pro/Am) and two professionals graded no higher than Silver by the FIA (Silver Cup). The latter will be subject to performance adjustments and approval by SRO to ensure that both Pro/Am and Silver/Silver crews are capable of winning races outright.
Am/Am pairings can also fight for class honours within GT3, while only amateur drivers are eligible to compete in GT4.
SRO’s wish to develop local drivers has resulted in a new regulation that mandates at least one Asian driver per GT3 Pro/Am and Silver Cup pairing. Only drivers from Asia, Australia and New Zealand are eligible to contest GT3 Am and GT4.
Pitstop success penalties are applied at all races to prevent any single crew from dominating. In 2019 the top-three finishers from the previous race must respectively serve an additional 15, 10 or 5 seconds on top of the mandated minimum pitstop time.
Just like all SRO championships, Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia benefits from the organisation’s world-renowned Balance of Performance (BoP) regulations. These ensure that a car’s natural attributes or shortcomings are not the determining factors in overall results.
But SRO’s BoP is just the start. It’s expertise extends into Race Control, stewarding, scrutineering, management and regulatory matters, all of which combine to deliver an accountable and trustworthy GT racing environment.