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Baku To Host 2013 FIA GT Series Season Finale

The worst-kept secret of the season is out: the FIA GT Series will finish the 2013 season in Baku, Azerbaijan on the weekend of 18-20 October. SRO CEO Stephane Ratel and event promoter Jean-Francois Chaumant announced the ‘Baku World Challenge’ today at Silverstone.

With the Baku World Challenge logos on the Boutsen Ginion cars for several races it was no surprise that the event was going to succeed the ill-fated City Challenge event held last year. However the newly announced season finale will not be held on the city centre street circuit, but on a newly designed 4 km long circuit in a different area of Baku, near the Baku Crystal Hall. 

Invitations for the Baku World Challenge will be limited to 30 cars. All cars taking part in the FIA GT Series rounds at Zandvoort, Slovakia Ring and Navarra will be invited to take part and two guest cars that are to be invited by the event promoter will join them. In order to guarantee a 30-car grid there will also be invitations for (in priority of order) the winning team from the Gentlemen Trophy in the Blancpain Endurance Series, the winning team from the Avon Tyres British GT Championship, the winning team from the Pro-Am class in the Blancpain Endurance Series and the winning team from the Pro class in the Blancpain Endurance Series.

In Azerbaijan the teams will fight for a big prize. The winners will receive EUR 100.000, the 2nd placed team will get EUR 50.000 and the 3rd placed team will get EUR 25.000. All invited teams will also get EUR 20.000 per entered car and will not have to worry about transportation costs, accommodation and catering. The cars will be going to Azerbaijan by air. Two Boeing  747s are chartered to fly the cars to Baku, where they will arrive the Sunday before the race and go back the Monday after the race.

Stephane Ratel: “Completing the first season of the FIA GT Series with such a spectacular event will be a well-deserved reward for our regular competitors. We are also pleased to offer winners from other SRO-promoted series the possibility to join our regular entrants at this new fixture. All the SRO team is enthusiastic to discover a fast-growing city like Baku."

Ratel also confirmed that the penultimate round of the 2013 FIA GT Series at the Navarra circuit will now take place on September 28-29. It was initially set to take place on October 12-13.

MtC (image: David Stephens)