Fanatec GT World Challenge Powered by AWS is an international championship organised by SRO Motorsports Group in which leading manufacturers compete through their continental customer racing programmes. The 2021 season will be its biggest to date, with sprint and endurance events taking place across Europe, North America, Asia and Australia.
First launched in 2019, the concept unites a quartet of established continental series to create a comprehensive global platform. While each retains its own identity, there is the added excitement of an elite manufacturers' contest.
Brands score points through their customer squads in each region, with the allocation differing depending on the event: 25 points are on offer at sprint races, up to 100 at the marquee Total Hours of Spa. Scores are multiplied by the number of cars competing in each class to produce the final total.
This year’s schedule will include 10 rounds staged under the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS banner. Launched in 2011, the category is the global leader in customer GT3 racing, featuring a calendar split equally between the long-distance Endurance Cup and the short-format Sprint Cup. The series has built its success around the Total 24 Hours of Spa, which is acknowledged as one of global motorsport's premier events.
Founded in 2017, Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia Powered by AWS has established itself as the continent's leading GT championship by placing emphasis on quality domestic entrants. After taking a one-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, racing will resume in 2021 with a calendar that includes events in Japan, China and Malaysia.
Fanatec GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS draws upon a considerable competitive history across the United States and Canada. A seven-round series is planned for 2021, including a high-profile season finale at Indianapolis Motor Speedway alongside Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli.
The global championship will add a fourth continent next year when Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS joins the line-up. SRO will work alongside Australian Racing Group (ARG) to jointly manage the established series, providing technical and sporting regulations and its industry-leading Balance of Performance (BOP) criteria.
Furthermore Fanatec will join SRO at the forefront of a pioneering initiative that unites real-world and virtual motorsport beginning with the 2021 Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup. On-site esports races will be staged at each event using Assetto Corsa Competizione. Entrants competing for overall honours and those in the Silver Cup class will nominate one driver to represent them in a virtual race, which will award teams' championship points.
This groundbreaking concept will see sim racing directly influence the outcome of a real-world championship, a first in global motorsport. In the coming seasons, there is potential to expand the model further afield to Asia, America and Australia.
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