“The FIA GT1 World Championship is among our favourites simply because it fields some of the most lust-worthy machinery in all of racingdom. Having been dominated in its inaugural seasons by the Maserati MC12 (for all intents and purposes the racing version of the Ferrari Enzo), the GT1 series has featured competition models of the McLaren MP4-12C, Nissan GT-R, Ford GT and Lamborghini Murcielago, to name just a few. But metal alone hasn’t been enough to make the series a success.
The sustainability of the GT1 World Championship has been in question pretty much ever since its start just a couple of years ago, and the FIA has now given its organizers an ultimatum: get ten teams together representing ten different automakers by the end of August or face extinction. The last race in Slovakia had eight (including McLaren, Ferrari, Porsche, Ford, BMW, Lamborghini, Audi and Mercedes-Benz), represented by privateer teams (each fielding two cars), with Aston Martin expected to make it nine in time for the July 8 race in Portugal before the series heads eastwards in China, Russia and India for the remainder of the season.
With the target so close, we hope the SRO Group that runs the series manages to attract (and retain) that vital tenth team. But we can’t help but wonder why the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council would want to shut it down. When it was launched, the GT1 championship was the FIA’s primary sports car racing series. Now that it has the World Endurance Championship and Le Mans under its umbrella, could the FIA be losing interest – or money – in the shorter-format racing series? See below for the full decision of the WMSC (relevant section in bold).”