SRO confirms Motul Sepang 12 Hours format
* 18th edition features continuity and evolution
* Motul extends title sponsorship deal
* Pirelli confirmed as official tyre supplier
* Intercontinental GT Challenge finale scheduled for December 7-10
This year’s Motul Sepang 12 Hours - the final round of 2017’s Intercontinental GT Challenge - will feature a mix of continuity and evolution on December 7-10.
SRO Motorsports Group’s 25 years of experience has been evident at the event since the company took over its organisation in 2015. And that same expertise will help ensure this season’s Intercontinental GT Challenge finale is even more inclusive for teams, manufacturers and drivers competing across the GT3 and GT4 spectrums.
Following its first season as the event’s title sponsor in 2016, and an additional agreement for Blancpain GT Series Asia’s inaugural campaign, performance oil specialist Motul has extended its Sepang 12 Hours deal into a second year.
Claire Lim, Chief Marketing Officer, High-Tech Lubricants AP Pte Ltd: “The spirit of endurance racing has always been synonymous with our values at Motul - to constantly push ourselves to the limits and discover what we’re truly capable of. In addition to our collaborations with several endurance racing teams and competitions around the world, renewing our partnership with SRO into 2017 for the Sepang 12 Hours reinforces our commitment to endurance racing.”
Another prominent name joining this season’s Motul Sepang 12 Hours is Pirelli, which has become a cornerstone of SRO’s global GT racing activities in recent years. Pirelli tyres provide a vital known parameter within SRO’s trusted GT3 and GT4 Balance of Performance (BoP) regulations, allowing cars of all shapes and sizes to compete on equal terms.
Teams racing in SRO-governed championships around the world, including across Asia for the first time this season, can also take advantage of their own Pirelli data rather than having to potentially play catch-up over the course of Sepang’s race weekend, while all four rounds of the Intercontinental GT Challenge will be exclusively run on P ZERO rubber for the first time.
Matteo Braga, Pirelli Circuit Activity Manager: “It's a pleasure for us to equip all the cars for Sepang, as this means - for the first time - that we will be supplying the entire Intercontinental series, showcasing our product together with the most prestigious car manufacturers in the world throughout a variety of different territories and conditions. Despite this, in keeping with our philosophy applied to the Blancpain GT Series, we supply exactly the same tyre. As has been proved from our previous GT experience, this enables drivers and cars of all types to maximise their potential; even in the famously harsh weather and track conditions of Sepang.”
GT3 and GT4 specification cars are the backbone of customer GT racing around the world and will again feature prominently at Sepang. However, encouraging local teams and drivers to compete is also an important part of the event and its history, hence the inclusion of one-make GTs, Sports and Touring Production machines, TCR models and MARC Cars. Examples falling outside of these classes will also be considered on an Invitation basis.
It’s a similar story with driver line-ups. While the Intercontinental GT Challenge encourages manufacturers to enter factory crews, SRO also recognises the important role played by amateur drivers. As such, this year’s Motul Sepang 12 Hours will continue to feature overall, GT3 Pro/Am and GT3 Am Cup podiums, as well as overall GTC, GT4/Sports Production and Touring Production rostrums.
Track action begins on Thursday 7 December with four two-hour practice sessions. Qualifying, including a top-15 shootout, takes place on Friday before Saturday’s 12-hour race starts at midday and runs into darkness.
Stephane Ratel, SRO Motorsports Group Founder and CEO: “The Asian motorsport market continues to develop at great pace so we feel now is the right time to bring the Motul Sepang 12 Hours fully in-line with SRO’s other GT racing activities. Certainly the teams competing in Blancpain GT Series Asia now have the same cars, BoP experience and Pirelli tyre data at their disposal as those already committed to the Intercontinental GT Challenge. It’s this - as well as the opportunity to test themselves against the world’s best - that will hopefully encourage more to enter Asia’s biggest endurance race, one that offers a first step towards global competition.
“Welcoming Motul back for a second season as the event’s title sponsor is also very important to SRO. They have been a wonderful supporter of our championships in Europe and Asia, but extending their agreement further emphasises the race’s status as one of the continent’s blue riband motorsport events.”