GT1 world series in scramble for survival

FIA GT1 World Championship boss Stephane Ratel has vowed to keep fighting to save the series in the face of dwindling grids and race cancellations.

The two Chinese races, set for Beijing Goldenport and Ordos in September, were axed at the end of June. The reasons have not been fully disclosed but the fall in the entry to just 15 cars played a part.

Ratel has now decided to combine the GT1 World grid with that of his FIA GT3 European Championship in any remaining European fixtures. GT1 World entrants will then be invited to enter three rather than two cars each when the series visits the Buddh International Circuit in India in December.

Alternative races are also being sought so that this year’s world championship is fought out over nine rounds. Ratel said: “We have to ind a way of keeping the championship together and I will continue to do that because I believe it has a future.

“There is unanimous approval from the teams for a merged grid. If we go back to 26-28 cars, the grid will look good again.”

Ratel insisted that all eight teams racing in this year’s world championship have the intention to return in 2013. He needs 10 teams, each representing one manufacturer, to sign up by August 30 for the FIA to give the series the go-ahead.