SRO Motorsports Group today unveiled the 2012 Blancpain Endurance Series, with races on five of Europe’s most prestigious circuits, with a sixth round to be announced. As in 2011 the Total 24 Hours of Spa will be the highlight of the Blancpain Endurance Series at the end of July, with 3-hour races at Monza, Silverstone, Paul Ricard and the Nürburgring.
The 2012 season kicks off in April, as it did last year, with a 3-hour race at the home of the Italian Grand Prix, Monza. Instead of hosting the season finale, Silverstone will host Round 2 and the 3-hour race will once again take place on the full Grand Prix track at the Home of British Motorsport.
The French round takes place in the magnificent surroundings of Paul Ricard in the South of France at the start of July. Paul Ricard will also host the official test in March.
The Total 24 Hours of Spa will be held on its traditional date of the last weekend in July for the 64th edition of the world’s premier round the clock event for GT cars.
Germany is a new addition to the Blancpain Endurance Series calendar, with a 3-hour race on the imposing Nürburgring Grand Prix circuit in September.
Official Test March 20th – 21st Paul Ricard, France
Round 1 April 14th – 15th Monza, Italy
Round 2 June 2nd – 3rd Silverstone, UK
Round 3 June 29th – July 1st Paul Ricard, France
Round 4 July 25th – 29th Total 24 Hours of Spa, Belgium
Round 5 September 22nd – 23rd Nürburgring, Germany
Round 6 October TBC
The Blancpain Endurance Series events will be known as Blancpain Race Weekends with a full support race programme and other entertainment for visitors to enjoy.
The Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo will be holding races at all rounds with this prestigious one make series providing two 50-minute races during the weekend.
The Blancpain Revival Series is a new series launched by the SRO Motorsports Group and will be held at five Blancpain Weekends - Monza, Silverstone, Paul Ricard, Nürburgring and one more race to be confimed. The Blancpain Revival Serieswill be a series reserved for GT cars which raced between 1994 and 2004.
Europe’s leading feeder formula for F1, the Cooper Tires British F3 International Series, will be joining the Blancpain Weekends in Monza, Paul Ricard and Spa, providing visitors the opportunity of seeing the Formula One stars of the future alongside a great weekend of sportscar action.
In addition to the racing action, supercar owners can also take part in the events with the introduction for the 2012 season of the SRO Supercar Club. As well as access to the events, VIP parking and lunch in the hospitality unit, Supercar Club members will also have the opportunity to take their cars on track and enjoy the Blancpain Weekend from a truly unique perspective.
“The Blancpain Race Weekends are all about enjoying racing,” said Stephane Ratel, CEO of the SRO Motorsports Group. “2011 was a hugely successful first year for the Blancpain Endurance Series. We’ve looked at what worked, changed some of the things that didn’t, and with new circuits, more cars and more racing we are confident that 2012 will be even better. We have also introduced the SRO Supercar Club which will allow members not only to come and see the event; they can be part of it as well.
“The choice of circuits for the 2012 calendar was crucial as the teams and drivers want to race on the best circuits. And they don’t get much better than Monza, Silverstone, Paul Ricard, Spa-Francorchamps and the Nürburgring.
“We’ve already received interest from over 70 cars for the 2012 Blancpain Endurance Series, so we will have larger grids at each of the events this year.
“I must take the opportunity to thank Marc A. Hayek and Blancpain for their continued support. Together Blancpain and SRO are building something very special and unique in the world of sportscar racing.”
Marc A. Hayek, CEO of Blancpain, said : “The participation of Blancpain as title sponsor and timekeeper of the Blancpain Endurance Series is a turning point in the history that links the Manufacture with motorsport. This Championship, launched in 2011, marks a return to the roots of endurance racing. Blancpain is proud to have taken part in this 2011 season and to continue its participation in 2012.
“The success of the first season shows that a championship like the Blancpain Endurance Series was missing in the GT Racing World. The teams’, the drivers’ and the public’s enthusiasm is the best proof of this success.
“This year promises spectacular races, on the most prestigious European racetracks. As a driver I am looking forward to being back on the grid in 2012. The new season is off to a good and exciting start!”