With the FIA GT1 category entering its third season, new rules have been introduced to exclude existing GT1 cars but allow GT3 cars to be modified to comply with the regulations. These changes will include a power increase, inclusion of carbon brakes, but ABS won’t be permitted.
Each manufacturer is only allowed to support one private two-car team, rather than two teams as in the past. This has attracted new cars such as the Ferrari 458 Italia and Lamborghini Gallardo LP 600+ to race against Aston Martin, etc. All teams will now use Pirelli as the official tire, and new venues include the Buddh international circuit in India.
Two new Audi R8 LMS ultra cars have been nominated, entered by the Belgian WRT team with an international driver line-up including former DTM racer Frank Stippler and Audi factory driver Oliver Jarvis. They will join former Le Mans winner Stéphane Ortelli and Belgian junior Laurens Vanthoor.
The calendar encompasses ten races in nine countries in Asia, Europe and South America. "Both in terms of the sport and logistics, this is the biggest challenge our young team has tackled," said WRT Team Director Vincent Vosse.
After a single factory race for Audi in 2011, Vosse clinched the first 24-hour victory for the R8 LMS at Spa-Francorchamps. The private team then won the 2011 Blancpain Endurance Series with driver Greg Franchi.
Testing with the new cars and drivers will begin at the end of March in preparation for a long, challenging season that concludes in India on December 2.
2012 FIA GT1 World Championship Calendar
April 8 Nogaro (F)
April 22 Zolder (B)
May 27 Navarra (E)
July 8 Algarve (P)
Aug 26 Beijing (CN)
Sep 2 Ordos (CN)
Sep 16 Moscow (RUS)
Oct 7 Zandvoort (NL)
Nov 4 San Luis (ARG)
Dec 2 New Delhi (IND)