SRO Motorsports Group
With nearly three decades’ experience at the forefront of a continuously evolving industry, SRO Motorsports Group is the established global leader in GT racing. The company is chaired by its founder and CEO, Stephane Ratel, who ranks among the leading decision-makers in international motorsport. With offices in London, Paris, Liège, USA and Hong Kong, SRO’s work is facilitated by a dedicated global team of full-time and freelance staff.
A Brief History
1995: SRO Ltd is created to organise the Lamborghini Supertrophy.
1997: SRO becomes the promoter of the new FIA GT Championship.
1998: SV Organisation (Later SRO Paris) is created and takes over the promotion of the FFSA French GT Championship.
2000: SRO co-ordinates the two European rounds of the American Le Mans Series, which take place at Silverstone and the Nürburgring. It also runs the Lamborghini Supertrophy, French GT Championship and FIA GT Championship.
2001: With the support of TV broadcaster Eurosport, the FIA GT Championship joins forces with the FIA European Touring Car Championship and Formula Renault Eurocup to run as the Eurosport Super Racing Weekend.
2002: The multi-platform series becomes the LG Super Racing Weekend. The French Supertouring Championship is added to the list of SRO-organised series, while the company also agrees takes over the running of the FIA Sportscar Championship for the 2003 season.
2003: As part of the LG Super Racing Weekend, the FIA GT Championship enjoys its most successful year since its late-nineties heyday. Stéphane Ratel works on building links between the FIA and the ACO, forming the Le Mans Endurance Series for 2004.
2004: SRO London takes over the promotion of the British F3 and GT Championships. SRO runs the FFSA Super Série, bringing together the major French national series.
2005: British F3 is renamed the British F3 International Series and joins the Le Mans Endurance Series at four rounds. SRO works on the launch of the FIA GT3 European Championship.
2006: The FIA GT Championship breaks away from Eurosport and sets up its own calendar. The new FIA GT3 European Championship proves a huge success, with grids of more than 40 cars and eight manufacturers represented during its inaugural season.
2007: The World Motor Sport Council announces that the FIA GT1 World Championship will be launched in 2010, with new technical regulations for GT1 and GT2 cars.
2008: SRO completes its first franchise agreement with the Dutch GT4 Championship. Belcar becomes the Belgian GT Championship.
2009: An agreement is reached to launch the FIA GT1 World Championship in 2010. The first GT4 franchise, the Dutch GT Championship, gets underway with great success.
2010: A new chapter in GT racing is written with the launch of the FIA GT1 World Championship. Six prestigious brands – Aston Martin, Corvette, Ford, Lamborghini, Maserati, and Nissan – are each represented by two teams fielding two cars, forming an impressive grid of 24 GT1 machines. Among the competitors are seven past FIA GT champions and nine former F1 drivers. 10 meetings across three continents, each with a pair of one-hour sprint races, produce action-packed competition across the globe. Elsewhere, the GT4 Asia Cup expands the GT4 franchise beyond Europe for the first time.
2011: With the new FIA GT1 World Championship using a sprint-race format, there is clear need for an international GT endurance championship. The Blancpain Endurance Series is launched and meets instant success, with a healthy entry for its inaugural five-race series centred around the Total 24 Hours of Spa. Meanwhile, the Mercedes-Benz Grand Challenge is launched in Brazil, while SRO becomes the promoter of the Formula Renault Championship and the Air Asia Renault Clio Cup in the UK.
2012: The FIA GT1 World Championship and FIA GT3 European Championship compete at Moscow Raceway, marking the first time that an FIA World Championship event is held in Russia. The Blancpain Endurance Series concludes a successful second season, with the Total 24 Hours of Spa attracting a field of 66 cars, the most since the event became a GT race more than a decade earlier.
2013: The new-look FIA GT Series is announced in January, while the Blancpain Endurance Series and British GT Championship grow to record levels.
2014: Encouraged by the success of the Blancpain Endurance Series, Blancpain and SRO Motorsports Group agree to enhance their partnership by creating a Sprint Series. By extension, this offers teams and drivers the opportunity to compete for an overall Blancpain GT Series title for the first time.
2015: With the inaugural season of the Blancpain GT Series proving a success, SRO continues to expand the category. New venues such as Misano and Moscow Raceway are included on the calendar and significant prize money is introduced for the Blancpain Endurance Series. SRO continues its development with a number of new programmes, such as GT Sports Club for amateur drivers; the Ultracar Sports Club for the most spectacular machines; the SRO Race Centre at Paul Ricard, in association with Michel Mhitarian; and a new partnership with Sepang International Circuit for the Sepang 12 Hours.
2016: The Intercontinental GT Challenge is created, forming a new global competition aimed at GT3 manufacturers. The inaugural season is made up of three iconic events: the Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour; the Total 24 Hours of Spa; and the Sepang 12 Hours. Spa also remains part of the Blancpain GT Series, which continues to enjoy record grids for its 10-round championship
2017: The Intercontinental GT Challenge continues its development, with increased participation from leading drivers and brands. Laguna Seca replaces Sepang as the deciding round, with the California 8 Hours taking the series to the United States for the first time.
2018: The Total 24 Hours of Spa celebrates its 70th edition in style, with 13 competing brands setting a new record for the GT3 era. The Intercontinental GT Challenge expands to four events, with legendary Japanese circuit Suzuka hosting a 10-hour race. Away from the track, SRO takes a controlling stake in WC Vision, the producers of the Pirelli World Challenge, to establish SRO Motorsports Group as a full-time presence on the American continent.
2019: The Blancpain GT World Challenge concept is launched, encompassing regional series in Europe, Asia and America as well as an overall championship for manufacturers. The Intercontinental GT Challenge expands to five events on as many continents thanks to the addition of South African venue Kyalami, while the Total 24 Hours of Spa sets a new record for the GT era by attracting a 72-car grid. At the season's end, SRO partners with the FIA to organise the FIA Motorsport Games, a new multi-disciplinary event that sees drivers compete for their home nation.
2020: A new partnership with Amazon Web Services sees the continental series in Europe, Asia and America adopt the GT World Challenge Powered by AWS name, while Swiss watchmaker Rebellion joins as official timekeeper. Faced with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the season nevertheless proves to be a success. The Total 24 Hours of Spa celebrates its 20th edition as a GT race with a one-off autumn edition, while Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli competes at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the first time. The year concludes with the announcement that GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS will join the global programme in 2021, adding a fourth continent to the expanding manufacturers' championship.
2021: The season ahead has a more familiar outlook, with the return of established events and a number of new developments. Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia Powered by AWS will resume following a one-year hiatus, while the addition of Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS promises further action for the global championship. What’s more, a groundbreaking new initiative for 2021 will see virtual racing come together with the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS Endurance Cup, where a series of e-sports contests will count towards the real championship. The FIA Motorsport Games will expand from six disciplines to 18 for its second edition at Circuit Paul Ricard, while the new FFSA TC France category will enhance SRO's growing involvement with touring car racing. Significant emphasis will also be placed on amateur competitors in 2021, with the relaunched GT Sports Club concept providing competitive options for GT2 and GT3 machinery.