Four continents. Seven manufacturers. Twelve countries. 29 circuits. 52 races. And a total of 99 hours of racing.
This 29-round international series is designed to reward the leading manufacturer in customer-based GT3 competition, where each manufacturer scores points based on the results of the cars running with their customer teams in the four continental Fanatec GT World Challenge series.
It all started in 2019, when Mercedes-AMG and Ferrari entered a close fight on three continents. In 2020, they were joined by Audi Sport and Lamborghini, and the battle continued despite the pandemic reducing the competition to two continents. For 2021, BMW M, McLaren and Porsche took up the Challenge, bringing the number of manufacturers to seven, while Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia joined the calendar. Finally, last year, Asia made a triumphant return to competition, resulting in a full season of seven manufacturers competing over four continents.
Reigning title-holders Mercedes had an excellent 2022 season, winning the overall Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe title including victory in the Endurance Cup and TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa to name but a few. Unbeaten so far, Mercedes-AMG has faced an increasingly close competition to retain its title, and 2023 looks to be the best yet.
The second of the original entrants, Ferrari, had a great year in 2022, including claiming the overall title in the Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia, the Silver Cup in the Sprint Cup Europe and victory in both Pro-Am and the Gold Cup categories in the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa, among others.
This will be Audi Sport’s fourth season; it finished second in 2022, having dominated both Pro-Am and Am in Australia, as well as overall victory in the Sprint Cup in Europe, and the Silver Cup in Endurance.
Lamborghini, also entering its fourth season, claimed victory in America in 2022 with the all-conquering K-Pax Racing. The team will be moving to Europe for 2023, where they will join new brand representatives Iron Lynx and the 2022 Gold Cup winners Iron Dames, as well as Italian team VSR, who will represent the Italian brand in the Sprint Cup, with the promise of an excellent season ahead.
McLaren also picked up a healthy score in 2022, especially in Europe, where inception racing claimed the inaugural Gold Cup in Endurance, and Garage 59’s drivers were victorious in the Pro-Am category in Sprint.
Porsche was a consistent points-scorer last season, with highlights including second place in Pro-Am in America, and good results in Endurance Cup in Europe, including their Gold Cup victory at Imola. As for BMW, a first full-season entry in Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe with Team WRT should boost its scores in the year ahead.
Stephane Ratel, Founder and CEO of SRO Motorsports Group, is delighted with the new season : “The Fanatec GT World Challenge powered by AWS is looking strong for 2023, with grids at capacity in Europe and Asia, as well as strong growth in America and Australia. This is a remarkable global series, specifically designed for manufacturers involved in customer racing, where they can show their strength across the categories and around the world. We look forward to another year of top-class GT3 competition.”
About Fanatec GT World Challenge powered by AWS
The races range from 60-minute sprints in Asia, Australia and Europe, through the 90-minute races in America, three-hour and six-hour races in Europe, the mighty Indianapolis 8 Hour Presented by AWS race in America and the season highlight of the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa.
Each manufacturer scores points based on the best result of their GT3 cars entered in each category. The points scored – based on the standard 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1 scale, independent of the points actually attributed in the series – are multiplied by the number of cars competing in that category. The points scored in each category are added up to give the total for the event. Endurance events see points multiplied by two. For the 24-hour race at Spa, they are multiplied by four. The score is based on the actual position in which the leading car per brand finishes, with no cars being removed from the classification, even if those from brands not competing in the Fanatec GT World Challenge powered by AWS.
Due to this method of points scoring, every car entered has the same possibility to score points for their manufacturer, independent of the category in which they are competing, ranging from the most professional factory entries to a full Bronze-driver line-up.
The 2023 season of this unique series starts on April 1st at Sonoma (USA), where six of the seven manufacturers will be in contention. The second round will take place at Bathurst in Australia a week later. The Challenge will then head to Italy for the first European round, a three-hour race at Monza on April 23rd.