GT calendar streamlined

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The FIA GT1 World Championship will be relaunched next season as a Europe-based series without an FIA title.

Series boss Stephane Ratel revealed in early July that his organisation was stepping down as series promoter . He subsequently announced that he planned to continue with a sprint championship for GT machinery next season.

Ratel blamed the economic climate for his decision. He added that the costs associated with running an FIA world championship were untenable. The move comes in the wake of falling grids and a string of race cancellations.

Ratel said: “We are not saying that we are not going to continue with the concept; what we are saying is that we cannot afford to operate as a world championship. “There are costs associated with that and they cannot be sustained at present. Even if we are a world championship, the money comes mostly from Europe and is not there any more.”

Ratel is planning to link his new sprint concept to the existing Blancpain Endurance Series. He has released a provisional calendar that would allow teams to do both championships with the same GT3-specification cars.

“We want seven sprint races and five Blancpain races, with at least two weeks between each,” he said. “My idea is that teams will only have to change the stickers.”

Ratel wants a grid in place for the Sprint Series by September and has raised the idea of world titles being awarded on the basis of points scored across both championships. This will be put to the FIA World Council in October.

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