When, in 2011, Swiss watch manufacturer Blancpain became the title sponsor of Stephane Ratel’s latest concept – an endurance series for GT3 cars, aimed at professional and amateur drivers alike – the Blancpain Endurance Series quickly became the reference in all matters of GT Racing. With starting grids filled with over 60 cars, representing the most prestigious car brands in the world, and with the best GT drivers in the world at the wheel, the races were soon to be found among the highlights of the international motor racing season.
In 2014 the existing FIA GT Sprint Series evolved into the sprint equivalent of the Blancpain Endurance Series, appropriately named the Blancpain Sprint Series. Both Series were united in the Blancpain GT Series a year later and this season will see a further rapprochement between the endurance and sprint races, creating the same high level of racing during all ten rounds.
2015 also saw the realisation of two new ideas: the Ultracar Sports Club and the GT Sports Club. The latter gave Bronze drivers the opportunity to take on his or her peers during sprint races on challenging circuits, as part of a stylish raceweekend. The Ultracar Sports Club frequently added to the prestige of those meetings, by bringing the most exclusive road cars in the world to their natural habitat: the racetrack. Both concepts perfectly fit the DNA of Blancpain such as passion and innovation, which is why the Swiss brand will now lend its name to both series.
Stephane Ratel (Founder and CEO of SRO Motorsports Group): “We are obviously extremely pleased that Blancpain is extending its collaboration with SRO. The Swiss watch manufacturer has been and still is one of the most loyal partners the SRO Motorsports Group has had in its 20 years of existence and we are happy that the people within Blancpain are willing to support us in our latest projects as well. It is further proof that together we can shape the future of GT racing.”
Marc A. Hayek (President and CEO of Blancpain): “After seven exciting years of collaboration with SRO, during which the name Blancpain has firmly established itself in GT racing, we are pleased to be extending our partnership to the Blancpain Sports Club. These competitions share several key values with Blancpain such as passion and excellence.”
Blancpain Sports Club Calendar
09th-10th April Misano (IT) – Blancpain GT Sports Club
07th-08th May Brands Hatch (GBR) – Blancpain GT Sports Club & Blancpain Ultracar Sports Club
25th-26th June Circuit Paul Ricard (FRA) – Blancpain GT Sports Club & Blancpain Ultracar Sports Club
29th-30th July Total 24 Hours of Spa (BEL) – Blancpain GT Sports Club
01st-02nd October Barcelona (ESP) – Blancpain GT Sports Club & Blancpain Ultracar Sports Club
Blancpain – Innovation is our Tradition
Founded in 1735 by Jehan-Jacques Blancpain, the watch brand bearing his name is the oldest in the world. Blancpain is currently engaged to the renewal of mechanical watchmaking and to passing on exceptional expertise from one generation to the next through constant investment in human resources, production facilities and research. This approach is its strength and the expression of our long-term vision, even though it goes against the tide of a certain tendency to seek immediate profit. From the creation of components through to watch design, Blancpain is distinguished by its ability to develop exceptional movements. Over the past ten years, the Manufacture has indeed developed no less than 35 new calibres.
Through its various models, Blancpain preserves its heritage of precision and elegance, while also displaying an innovative and occasionally provocative spirit. Its range encompasses the sportive L-evolution line, the legendary Fifty Fathoms diver’s watch, as well as the classic Villeret collection, the high complication from Le Brassus collection and the Women models.
Pirelli – Official Tyre Supplier
Pirelli is a tyre manufacturer and world leader in the automotive industry. It has an exclusive relationship with over 50 racing series worldwide, including Formula One.
Pirelli has a long and illustrious history in endurance racing, and has also claimed a huge variety of class wins in GT racing all over the world. The design of the new Pirelli GT tyres meets the needs of GT racing while maintaining the performance characteristics that endurance drivers have appreciated in the past.The slick tyres used for GT racing are branded Zero: just like the slicks that have become a central feature of Formula One. The name P Zero is used in the highest categories of motorsport such as GT racing.
SRO Motorsports Group – The architect of modern GT Racing
SRO Motorsports Group was founded by Stephane Ratel and has specialised in the promotion, support and organisation of many national and international motorsport series since 1995.
In 2016, SRO Motorsports Group will promote several championships and series, such as the Blancpain GT Series, including the iconic Total 24 hours of Spa, the British GT Championship, the Blancpain Sports Club with the Blancpain GT Sports Club and the Blancpain Ultracar Sports Club, the GT4 European Series and the Intercontinental GT Challenge.
SRO Motorsports Group runs also the SRO Race Centre by MMC – a high-level technical centre at the Paul Ricard Circuit in the south of France – and Curbstone, that provides ultimate track driving opportunities on world renowned race circuits in Western Europe for supercar owners, as well as test driving facilities for race car drivers.
SRO has offices in London, Paris and Liège.