28 October 2013

LARGE ENTRY ANNOUNCED FOR INAUGURAL BAKU WORLD CHALLENGE

• 30 cars revealed for first-ever Baku World Challenge by Aztexnika on 23-24 November
• 20 Pro category GT cars set for epic Baku street fight
• New teams join series regulars for spectacular season finale on streets of Azerbaijani capital
• Titles to be fought out in both Pro and Pro Am classes

In just under one month’s time the atmospheric streets of Baku, the historic capital of Azerbaijan, will host the inaugural Baku World Challenge by Aztexnika. Today, a stellar grid of 30 FIA GT Series cars is announced, featuring some of the best teams and drivers currently competing on the international GT stage.

With 20 cars entered in the Pro category and 30 in total, the Baku World Challenge by Aztexnika will display the one of the most competitive grids seen in GT sprint racing since the first season of the FIA GT1 World Championship in 2010.

The event on 23/24 November is set to be a fitting finale to the 2013 FIA GT Series season, as both the Pro and Pro-Am titles will be fought out on the brand new and specially designed 4.38-kilometre street circuit, which will race past some of Baku’s most iconic landmarks, including the famous Crystal Hall arena.

Revealed on the entry list are a bumper 30 entries representing the three categories in the FIA GT Series: Pro, Pro-Am and Gentlemen Trophy. 19 teams representing eight nations will race an incredible variety of GT supercars. Audi, BMW, Corvette, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Mercedes, McLaren and Porsche will all be seen in action on the challenging Baku circuit next month, giving the expected large crowd a thrilling racing spectacle over two days.

Existing FIA GT Series teams and drivers are joined by an array of new entries for the season climax. An impressive 8 new-to-the-series squads are joining the prestigious Baku World Challenge next month. 2013 Blancpain Endurance Series champions, Marc VDS Racing Team, will enter one of their BMW Z4 cars for Maxime Martin (BEL) and Nick Catsburg (NDL), aiming to finish their successful season off in style.

Also from Belgium and bringing two of the spectacular McLaren MP4-12C cars to the race are the renowned Boutsen Ginion team. They have a very strong looking driver line-up, which includes McLaren factory driver Alexander Sims (GBR), Stef Dusseldorp (NDL) and Frédéric Vervisch (BEL). The team has also drafted in highly promising young driver and McLaren Formula One aspirant Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) to join Vervisch in the #16 Boutsen Ginion McLaren.

Two of the UK’s most prominent racing teams are making the journey to the Baku World Challenge. 2013 British GT Champions, Trackspeed, bring a brace of Porsche 997 GT3 R challengers with experienced drivers Danny Watts (GBR) and Phil Keen (GBR) being joined in the team by Porsche factory driver – Nick Tandy (GBR). Austrian driver Martin Ragginger completes their strong line-up. As well as the Trackspeed Porsche cars, Fortec Motorsport will bring their Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 to make their FIA GT Series debut, entering an all-British driving team of Oli Webb and Benji Hetherington.

Making a surprise but very welcome appearance in Baku will be the rumbling Corvette Z06 GT3. Run under the famous Callaway moniker, the German squad brings wonderful GT variety and also a powerful driver line up of Jeroen Bleekemolen (NDL) and Daniel Keilwitz (DEU).
The remaining new teams to the FIA GT Series are Blancpain Endurance Series regulars Sport Garage (FRA) with two Ferrari 458 Italias, Germany’s Molitor Racing Systems with a pair of McLaren MP4-12Cs and the French TDS Racing team with their BMW Z4.

If that were not enough to whet the appetite for the grand finale of the FIA GT Series season at the Baku World Challenge by Aztexnika, then the confirmation of 2011 FIA GT1 World Champions Hexis Racing on the entry list with a McLaren MP4-12C will add even more spice to this highly anticipated event.

The title battles will be intense in Baku with two of the four Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8 LMS ultra cars fighting it out to be 2013 FIA GT Series Pro champions, while the HTP Gravity Charouz team will battle, as they have done all season, with the GRT Grasser Racing squad for Pro-Am honours.

Do not miss the Baku World Challenge on 23-23 November. With a stunning setting close to the Caspian Sea and the full grid of spectacular FIA GT Series cars racing close to the famous Crystal Hall and National flag square landmarks, the 2013 season is set to come to an unforgettable climax.


Quotes

Stephane Ratel, Founder & CEO of SRO Motorsports Group

“We are delighted to announce such a strong entry for the grand finale of the 2013 FIA GT Series at this very special Baku World Challenge by Aztexnika event. The additional entries that are joining the regular competitors in Azerbaijan will add much variety, colour and competition to the weekend, perfectly complementing and rewarding the hard work that everyone has put in to creating this unique racing spectacle.”

Jean-Francois Chaumont, Baku World Challenge by Aztexnika Promoter

“The Azerbaijani public is going to see some wonderful supercars driven by many of the greatest GT drivers in the world next month. The Baku World Challenge by Aztexnika will be a unique event that will perfectly reflect the diversity in the competitors on the track with the cultural and geographic diversity of Azerbaijan. The entry list announced today is the perfect beginning to ensure the fixture of the Baku World Challenge becomes a permanent one in the international motor sport calendar.”

Blancpain - Over 275 years of tradition in motion:

Founded in 1735 by Jehan-Jacques Blancpain, the watch brand bearing his name is the oldest in the world. Blancpain is currently engaged to the renewal of mechanical watchmaking and to passing on exceptional expertise from one generation to the next through constant investment in human resources, production facilities and research. This approach is its strength and the expression of our long-term vision, even though it goes against the tide of a certain tendency to seek immediate profit.

From the creation of components through to watch design, Blancpain is distinguished by its ability to develop exceptional movements. Over the past eight years, the Manufacture has indeed developed no less than 29 new calibres.

Through its various models, Blancpain preserves its heritage of precision and elegance, while also displaying an innovative and occasionally provocative spirit. Its range encompasses the sportive L-evolution line, the legendary Fifty Fathoms diver’s watch, as well as the classic Villeret collection, the high complication from Le Brassus collection and the Women models.

Pirelli – Official Tyre Supplier to the FIA GT Series

Pirelli is a tyre manufacturer and world leader in the automotive industry. It has an exclusive relationship with over 50 racing series worldwide, including Formula One.

Pirelli has a long and illustrious history in endurance racing, and has also claimed a huge variety of class wins in GT racing all over the world.

The design of the new Pirelli GT tyres meets the needs of the FIA GT Championship while maintaining the performance characteristics that endurance drivers have appreciated in the past.
The slick tyres used for GT racing are branded P Zero: just like the slicks that have become a central feature of Formula One. The name P Zero is used in the highest categories of motorsport such as GT racing.

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