Ferrari & Mercedes Commit To Full GT World Challenge

Ferrari Mercedes Blancpain GT World Challenge
Both Ferrari and Mercedes will contest the global Blancpain GT World Challenge this season. (SRO photo)

AUSTIN, Texas – SRO Motorsports Group has announced that Ferrari and Mercedes-AMG will compete for the inaugural Blancpain GT World Challenge title and will be represented at all 18 rounds this season.

The first round of the Blancpain GT World Challenge takes place at Circuit of the Americas this weekend.

“I’m delighted that Ferrari and Mercedes-AMG have confirmed their interest for the inaugural Blancpain GT World Challenge season,” said Stephane Ratel, Founder and CEO of SRO Motorsports Group. “I’m convinced that the exciting competition during the year will encourage more manufacturers to compete on all three markets in 2020.

“The promising development of the entry lists on the three continents give us great confidence for the future of this new global series.”

As previously announced, each manufacturer may nominate four drivers competing in each of the three continental Challenges, including the seven-round Blancpain GT World Challenge America, the six-round Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia and the five-round Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe.

That will create a team of 12 drivers who will score points towards each manufacturers’ score.

The four drivers competing for each brand on each continent, of whom three must hold a passport from those countries, must include at least one Bronze driver and a maximum of one Platinum driver.

The drivers may compete in any of the GT3 categories, either sharing cars or racing for separate teams. The points they score will be multiplied by the number of cars competing in their category, to give a representative total over the season.

For the 2019 Blancpain GT World Challenge America, Ferrari will be represented by Toni Vilander (Platinum, Finland), Jeff Segal (Gold, USA), Martin Fuentes (Silver, Mexico) and Christopher Cagnazzi (Bronze, USA).

Mercedes-AMG’s four drivers will be Maxi Buhk (Platinum, Germany), JC Perez (Silver, Colombia), David Askew (Bronze, USA) and George Kurtz (Bronze, USA).

The drivers for the other continents will be announced in due course.

“I believe that over the past few years, SRO has worked very well to create a world-class platform for the GT3 category, which is one of the key elements of Ferrari strategy,” said Antonello Coletta, Head of Ferrari Attività Sportive GT. “Ferrari has always been able to count on owners who race on all continents and it was therefore natural to involve some of them in the Blancpain GT World Challenge project. We are aware that we will be up against some very strong opposition, but we know we have customers, teams and drivers who are prepared to fight for the very best results.”

“I do like the idea to have Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing drivers from three continents to score points for the manufacturer‘s trophy a lot,” added Stefan Wendl, Head of Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing. “What can be more exciting than a fair and worldwide competition with an iconic brand like Ferrari?”