The FIA caught the Automobile Club de l’Ouest and SRO by surprise after announcing the launch of the FIA World Endurance Championship and changes to the FIA GT1 World Championship.
After the FIA World Motor Sport Council met in Barcelona today a press release was issued in which it was announced that the FIA in partnership with the ACO will creat the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2012. Even though no calendar has been confirmed, there will be at least six events including the Le Mans 24 Hours.
There will be a title for Constructors and Drivers, like in the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, while the GTE cars will be racing for the FIA GT Endurance World Cup.
The change to the FIA GT1 World Championship will be the creation of a new GT World Class. The new class will be open to 2011 specification GT1 and GT3 cars, as well as the 2009 GT2 cars. As a result the current spec GTE cars will not be allowed to race in the FIA GT World Championship, while current GT3 cars like the Audi R8 LMS, the Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 and the new McLaren MP4-12C GT3 could. The performance of the cars will be reviewed in order to create a level playing field and make it possible for more manufacturers to run their cars in the championship.
The FIA GT World Championship will remain a stand-alone championship with two one-hour sprint races.