Stephane Ratel has proposed a number of changes to the FIA because he believes the current structure threatens the future of his GT World Challenge Europe series, as do some of his other championships.
Ratel wants to eliminate the distinction between the platinum and gold classes as it is today and give every young driver who has already raced in single-seaters the gold status to leave the silver classification to true amateurs.
“Tell me the difference between a platium and a gold. There are people like Jules Gounon and Dries Vanthoor, factory drivers who are gold,” Ratel told Motorsport.com.
“The vast majority of gold drivers today must be platinum and all ‘super-silver’ with gold single-seater experience. The problem now is that the real silver do not stand a chance against the ‘super-silver’, the young riders who have raced. in single-seaters but who do not have the results to be classified as gold “.
This problem, he explained, has a ripple effect, due to the number of silver drivers who ask for and obtain the so-called exemptions to race in the Pro-Am class, which in the GTWCE Endurance Cup provides formations with two bronzes and a platinum or a gold. .
# 163 Emil Frey Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo: Albert Costa, Norbert Siedler, Giacomo Altoè
Photo by: SRO
Ratel explained that this situation has had the effect of destabilizing the Pro-Am class which caters to true gentlemen riders and believes that the rider categorization system, as it stands, is out of step with the demands of his series. .
“We have fire in our paddock: if we don’t do something we will lose a lot of cars. We have already lost our Am class. [riservata ai dilettanti] and by the time we lose the Pro-Am it will be over. We don’t want to race with only 30 Pro cars in Endurance. It’s not our business model. “
Ratel explained that there is broad support in the paddock for his proposals: “Everyone I spoke to agrees with me: if I asked for unanimity I think everyone would sign.”
WRT boss Vincent Vosse said he agreed with Ratel’s ideas and highlighted the qualities of Rolf Ieichen, the 43-year-old Swiss who races in the GTWCE Silver Cup for team Emil Frey Lamborghini this year.
“He is a very strong driver, but he is over 40 years old and has to deal with guys who have just come out of the single-seaters.”
The proposals have been submitted to the FIA and should all or some of Ratel’s proposals be adopted, this could have far-reaching implications for endurance racing because his driver categorization system is used around the world.
Ratel is also planning to ban two-platinum lineups for the GTWCE’s Sprint Cup segment next year.