British GT3 and GT4 teams and drivers will have another opportunity to race further afield at the end of 2018 after the championship’s organiser, SRO Motorsports Group, along with the FIA and Bahrain International Circuit, launched the Bahrain GT Festival.
Taking place over the weekend of 30 November/1 December, the event features two new standalone races: the FIA GT Nations Cup for GT3 cars, and SRO GT4 World Final.
Further on-track action is provided by the Porsche GT3 Challenge Middle East and Patrick Peter’s Classic Endurance Racing Series for 1960s sportscars.
The event is designed to complement the existing, albeit manufacturer-led, FIA GT World Cup in Macau, which takes place two weeks earlier than Bahrain on November 16-18.
The FIA GT Nations Cup provides the headline act, with drivers from across the globe descending on the Bahrain International Circuit to fight for national glory. Each crew will comprise one Silver and one Bronze-graded driver representing their home nation, with a maximum of one car entered per country. Cars can be entered by any team, regardless of nationality, while the same team can also enter cars for multiple nations.
Two qualifying sessions will set the grid for a pair of 60-minute qualifying races – the first on Friday, the second on Saturday – which in turn decide how drivers will line up for a 60-minute main race on Saturday afternoon. When the chequered flag falls, the winning drivers and their country will be crowned as champions.
Meanwhile, the GT4 class is also set to take centre stage in Bahrain thanks to a standalone event featuring the category’s best competitors from all four corners of the globe.
The GT4 World Final will be open to line-ups competing for Pro-Am (Gold-Bronze), Silver Cup (Silver-Silver) and Am (Bronze-Bronze), with the format of two 60-minute qualifying races followed by a main 60-minute event mirroring that used by the FIA GT Nations Cup.
Entry is open to competitors from the 12 series either directly promoted by SRO, such as British GT, or organised through franchise agreements around the world. The cost of sea freight to the event will be met by the promoter, ensuring a truly global mix of teams and drivers descends on Bahrain at the end of the season.