MEDIA RELEASE/ARG – Photo: Velocity Magazine
- Motorsport Australia GT Championship and Motorsport Australia Endurance Championship to form part of GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS for 2021 and beyond
- Competing brands able to score points in fourth continental series
- GT World Challenge Powered by AWS now active in America, Asia, Europe, and Australia
A fourth continent will be added to the global GT World Challenge Powered by AWS platform in 2021 when Australia joins the international manufacturers’ championship.
This follows the announcement that SRO Motorsports Group will work alongside Australian Racing Group (ARG) to jointly manage the Motorsport Australia GT Championship and Motorsport Australia Endurance Championship, which will form part of the GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS.
This aligns the series with SRO’s established continental categories in Europe, America and Asia, ensuring an expanded global audience and providing a clear pathway for international teams to compete in Australia and vice versa.
GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS will adopt SRO’s technical and sporting regulations, while also making use of the industry-leading Balance of Performance (BOP) system that has proven highly successful in a wide variety of markets. What’s more, brands competing in Australia will be able to score points towards the global GT World Challenge Powered by AWS manufacturers’ championship.
ARG’s General Manager of Operations, Ken Collier, has been instated as the category manager for both the Motorsport Australia GT Championship and the Motorsport Australia Endurance Championship. He will need little introduction to the existing Australian GT competitor base, having served the same role for the championship from 2012-2019 under its previous ownership. He also has a long-standing connection to SRO and was the Australian representative on the FIA GT Commission.
GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS will join ARG’s suite of impressive racing categories and events, all of which will feature as part of the Seven Network’s live and free television coverage. The calendar for the newly branded category will be revealed soon, with five sprint events expected to make up the 2021 schedule, while a one-off race lasting three or four hours will award the 2021 Motorsport Australia Endurance Championship.
The popular GT Trophy Series for older specification GT3 cars and GT4 Series for SRO specification GT4 cars will continue as a part of GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS rounds, while the MA Manufacturers title and the Tourist Trophy for GT competitors will also be reintroduced.
Ken Collier, Category Manager, GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS
“The announcement of Motorsport Australia to grant SRO and ARG the joint management of GT racing in Australia is an incredible opportunity for the category to grow substantially,” said Collier.
“The alignment of our local category with the global experience of SRO will definitely see some changes to the way GT racing has been conducted in the past, however I cannot see any down side for the Australian GT teams.
“Having been a part of ARG for the past 18 months has proven to me that it is genuinely committed to the success of the categories and events that it manages. The level of engagement with all of the stakeholders in all of the ARG race categories is at the highest level I have experienced. Our determination to have the best events, supported by the absolute best media coverage including the Seven Network broadcasts will not let our customers down. If it wasn’t for the obvious challenges of 2020, all of our promises would have been met and the results proven. Everyone who knows me will understand how passionate I am about GT racing and my excitement for the partnership with SRO is difficult to contain!”
Stephane Ratel, Founder and CEO SRO Motorsports Group
“It is a great pleasure to present GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS and add a fourth continent to our global platform,” said Ratel.
“After being given the opportunity by Motorsport Australia to jointly manage the championship alongside ARG, it was a natural decision to align it with our series in Europe, Asia and America.
“By doing so I believe that we can take GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS to a global audience and offer a pathway for teams and drivers to compete internationally. The close ties between these customer racing series will also provide a great opportunity for manufacturers. This is an exciting time for SRO as we take a more active role in Australian GT racing, building upon our existing involvement with the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, and expand our global footprint. My thanks once again to ARG and Motorsport Australia for their close collaboration.”
MOTORSPORT AUSTRALIA Media Release
Exciting new era for Australian GT racing
Motorsport Australia is delighted to confirm SRO Motorsports Group and the Australian Racing Group will jointly manage the Motorsport Australia GT Championship and Motorsport Australia Endurance Championship in 2021 and beyond.
SRO and ARG have significant plans to take the two Championships to new heights in Australia.
SRO’s portfolio of highly regarded series includes continental GT World Challenge categories in Europe, America and Asia, which are combined to determine a global manufacturers’ champion, while the flagship Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli features events on five different continents.
ARG’s other categories include the TCR Australia Series, S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship, Touring Car Masters, V8 Touring Car Series and National Trans Am Series. ARG also manage the Bathurst 6 Hour and Bathurst International events.
Motorsport Australia CEO Eugene Arocca said the decision to work with the two organisations would allow the category to take major steps in the coming years and provide significant opportunities for GT racing for those in Australia and the Asia Pacific region.
“Both SRO Motorsports Group and the Australian Racing Group have extensive experience in managing world class categories and we are absolutely thrilled to announce them as joint Commercial Rights Agreement holders for GT racing in Australia,” Arocca said.
“SRO’s experience with GT racing around the world, coupled with ARG’s intimate knowledge of Australian motorsport, provides an exciting prospect for both the Motorsport Australia GT Championship and Motorsport Australia Endurance Championship events in 2021 and beyond.
“There is certainly a passionate competitor base and many teams who are keen to get racing in 2021 and we can’t wait to be part of that.
“We’d also like to thank all those who expressed their interest as part of this process, including previous category managers, Trofeo Motorsport.”
SRO founder and CEO Stephane Ratel said the opportunity to build GT racing in Australia was one they were eager to take on.
“We are honoured that Motorsport Australia has given us the opportunity to bring our experience of GT racing to its shores in 2021,” Ratel said.
“SRO already has strong ties to the Australian GT scene through our partnership with the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, which has been part of the Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli since its formation.
“We are excited to join forces with Matt Braid and the Australian Racing Group to grow the Motorsport Australia GT Championship further, providing a global audience and BOP management at the same level as the series directly managed by SRO. The 2021 season promises to be very exciting indeed and we will release more news concerning our plans shortly.”
ARG CEO Matt Braid was equally excited about the news, and further enhancing the categories racing under the ARG banner.
“The Australian Racing Group is thrilled to welcome the Australian GT and Endurance Championships into our suite of racing categories,” Braid said.
“We are pleased to be continuing our partnership with Motorsport Australia and also excited to be working closely with Stephane and his team at SRO Motorsports Group. The success of GT racing worldwide is a testament to SRO’s amazing vision and execution, and we already have some bold plans to reinvigorate the domestic scene.
“Australia has an incredible array of eligible GT race cars in the country as well as a passionate competitor base, and we feel with SRO’s stable rule set and high-quality events, including live and free broadcasting on the Seven Network, the recipe for success is right.”
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