Monday 17 January 2011

A Russian First for FIA GT3 in 2011.


17 January 2011

A Russian First for FIA GT3 in 2011

Later this year the FIA GT3 European Championship will set another landmark in its 6-year history as Europe’s most successful sportscar championship, when it becomes the first series to stage an international car race in Russia on the 20/21 August 2011.

Situated 300km west of Moscow near the border with Belarus, the 3.362 km/1.9 mile Smolenskring will host Rounds 9 & 10 of the 2011 FIA GT3 European Championship in August, the first races on the 2011 calendar where the series will be the main event. The 15-metre wide, 13 corner race track was designed by Formula 1 circuit architect Hermann Tilke and opened with a round of the European Truck Racing Championship on the 7th August 2010. The circuit layout makes good use of the terrain, with ample overtaking opportunities for sportscars around the 3.3km length which should provide plenty of entertainment for drivers and spectators alike.

Stephane Ratel, Chairman of the SRO Motorsports Group, said: “We are extremely pleased that the FIA GT3 European Championship will be the first international series for cars to compete in Russia and this represents another important step for the Championship and for SRO. Smolenskring is brand new; having only opened last August and the circuit certainly looks like it will present some excellent opportunities for good, close racing. The opportunity to race in Russia, one of the most important markets in the world for luxury and sports brands, was very welcome indeed. The GT3 races in August are just the first step in the relationship we have with the Russian promoters, with plans to take the GT1 World Championship to Russia in 2012.”

Oleg Petrikov, CEO Smolenskring: “We are very pleased that Smolenskring will host the FIA GT3 European Championship in 2011 and for the first time Russian spectators can watch an international race of such high level live. We hope that teams and drivers will like our circuit and layout of the track and all guests and spectators receive unforgettable emotions. It’ll be a good prize for all people involved in the building of the circuit. It’s not always easy to be the first and we have huge volume of organization work ahead, but we and our partners from SRO are sure that everything will be done well and together we will create a good platform for the GT1 World Championship in 2012.”

The 2011 FIA GT3 European Championship will take place over six double header events across Europe starting in Portugal on the 7/8 May at the Autodromo do Algarve. The first four events will be with the FIA GT1 World Championship before finishing the season as the headline series with two events at the Smolenskring in Russia and finishing at Zandvoort in The Netherlands in October. As well as competing against some of the best up and coming sportscar drivers in the world, the overall champions will join a very elite group of European title holders, with Michelin also providing a €150,000 award to move up to the FIA GT1 World Championship in 2012.

2011 FIA GT3 European Championship
7/8 May Portugal Algarve
4/5 June Great Britain Silverstone
2/3 July Spain Navarra
16/17 July France Paul Ricard
20/21 August Russia Smolensk Ring
15/16 October Netherlands Zandvoort

Info and Foto: FIA GT3 Press.

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