Stéphane Ratel announces return of Suzuka 1000km during CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa press conference

Stéphane Ratel announces return of Suzuka 1000km during CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa press conference

• Iconic event returns after six-year hiatus as part of Intercontinental GT Challenge calendar 
• Further 2025 schedules revealed during annual media gathering at Spa-Francorchamps 
• CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa set to begin centenary edition at 16:30 on Saturday
2025 global presentation and calendars

A return to the Suzuka 1000km and a range of 2025 calendars were among the topics discussed by Stéphane Ratel during his CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa press conference.

The annual media gathering took place on the eve of the race's centenary edition, which represents the biggest event ever organised by SRO Motorsports Group. Tens of thousands of fans are expected at Spa-Francorchamps over the weekend of 29/30 June, building up to the start at 16:30 on Saturday. 

Last run in 2019, the revived Suzuka 1000km will rejoin Intercontinental GT Challenge next September, ensuring that the globe-trotting GT3 series returns to a five-round calendar. The remainder of the schedule is unchanged, with the Bathurst 12 Hour, ADAC Ravenol 24h Nürburgring, CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa and Indianapolis 8 Hour Presented by AWS all confirmed for 2025. Notably, the 77th running of the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa is set for 25–29 June.

As ever, the Belgian endurance classic will also represent the marquee round for Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS, which welcomes back two familiar circuits – Zandvoort and Valencia – as part of its 2025 calendar. The Fanatec GT2 European Series Powered by Pirelli and the GT4 European Series Powered by RAFA Racing Club also see minor changes but are largely consistent with 2024.

There will be a significant addition in Fanatec GT Asia, with news that Pertamina Mandalika International Circuit will join its schedule for the first time. Opened in late 2021, the 4.3km Indonesian venue will welcome Asia's premier GT series over the weekend of 25–27 April. The full calendar is taking shape, with Malaysia, Thailand, China and Japan also set to stage races, while the Japan Cup schedule is set to be finalised at a later date. 

There are no changes to the Fanatec GT America schedule, with plans announced to stage events at the same seven circuits as in 2024. Consistent dates have proven a success for the series, with its events at COTA, Indianapolis and Sonoma recording significant ticket sale increases this year. There is further stability in GT America Powered by AWS and Pirelli GT4 America. 

The Fanatec GT Australia calendar is taking shape, with a first visit to the Hampton Downs circuit in New Zealand set to close the campaign in early November. This will mark the first time that the series has raced outside Australia since SRO began its involvement in 2020. Launched this year, Monochrome GT4 Australia will join the GT3 series at each event.

Calendars were also confirmed for the FFSA French GT Championship and British GT. In addition to their domestic events, both will continue to contest Spa Speedweek, which runs one week before the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa on 20–22 June, where they will be rejoined by Fanatec GT2 Europe. Further details of each championship's calendar can be found on the corresponding championship website. 

The recent news that SRO has achieved 100 percent carbon neutrality in 2024 was also discussed. This important milestone has required considerable effort and marks the latest staging post in a long-term sustainability drive. 

In addition to backing environmental projects, SRO has incorporated a variety of positive actions into its operations, including carbon neutral competitor fleets, sustainable trophies, and utilising local suppliers. Its efforts have extended to the track, with Excellium Racing 100 – a 100 percent certified sustainable fuel from TotalEnergies – used in Fanatec GT Europe and Asia. 

There was also focus on events still to come this season. Notably, the third edition of the FIA Motorsport Games will take place on 23–27 October. Valencia will act as host city, with Circuit Ricardo Tormo and the surrounding area staging a significantly increased line-up of 27 categories. Covering grassroots competition up to the elite level, they include circuit racing, rallying, karting and esports. 

Following today’s press conference attention will return to the track with Superpole taking place at 15:45. This will be followed by a 30-minute Warm-Up, which gets underway at 20:10 and is open to the full field, while tomorrow’s race gets underway at 16:30. Live coverage will air in English, French, Dutch, German, Italian, Portuguese and Chinese on the GTWorld YouTube channel.