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2013 FIA GT Series Set To Kick Off In France
Nogaro Replaces Abu Dhabi As Season Opener

We’re expecting a formal confirmation by SRO today at the Autosport International Show in Birmingham, but we've been told that the new SRO Sprint Series will definitely take place in 2013. Based on the regulations of the FIA GT1 World Championship the new series is set to be named FIA GT Series and will start in France.

Initially the season was set to kick off at the Abu Dhabi circuit in February, but as we already tweeted several days ago, that round has been dropped, a decision made by SRO after consulting the teams at a meeting at the end of last year. The FIA GT Series will now kick off its season at the French Nogaro circuit on April 1. Five races are to be held in Europe and the sixth and final round of the 2013 season will be held in the Middle East. Abu Dhabi could be rescheduled in November, but a race in Qatar is also a possibility.

On the first provisional 2013 calendar Zolder was shown as round 3 on April 28, but the Belgian circuit and the organisers of the support series have already confirmed that date will be brought forward by a week. This will put the Zolder event one week after the current date for the opening round of the Blancpain Endurance Series at Monza. 

We have also been informed that the Zandvoort and Slovakia Ring rounds will stay on the calendar with their original dates. The proposed Nürburgring round during the Nürburgring 24 Hours weekend is, however, more than likely not going to happen. The fifth and final European round will take place at Navarra on October 13 instead, the FIA GT Series will be joined by the SPEED EuroSeries in Spain.

Only weeks ago the Campeonato Brasileiro de Gran Turismo announced its 2013 calendar, with the December 7-8 date shown as a joint weekend with the FIA GT World Series. The information we've been given today doesn't include a Brazilian race though... 

The calendar for the 2013 FIA GT Series should be:
April 1 - Nogaro
April 21 - Zolder
July 14 - Zandvoort
August 18 - Slovakia Ring
October 13 - Navarra
November ?? - Middle East (circuit TBA)

SRO aims to have a grid of 24 cars for the 2013 FIA GT Series and even though Hexis Racing and All-Inkl.com Münnich Motorsports will not return for another full season of FIA GT, several other teams from the 2012 FIA GT1 World Championship, at least four teams according to our sources, and FIA GT3 European Championship are likely to compete in the FIA GT Series. France’s Sebastien Loeb Racing has already confirmed its full-season entry with McLaren, several other teams from other (international) series are said to have shown interest, but we'll leave it to SRO to confirm their names. Our sources also tell us there is a chance of seeing race-by-race entries on some, if not all, of the 2013 rounds.

Expect several announcements in the coming weeks from SRO, before the publication of the final entry list, which could happen as early as February 1st.

MtC