• 1000-kilometre race to close 2024 season on 21–23 November
• GT4 European Series Powered by RAFA Racing Club to join as support event
New ground will be broken in 2024 when Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS and the GT4 European Series Powered by RAFA Racing Club stage their respective season finales at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit in Saudi Arabia.
The Middle Eastern city will host both championships on 21–23 November next year, launching a new long-term partnership between Saudi Arabia and SRO Motorsports Group which will expand over the coming seasons.
Acknowledged as the global benchmark in GT3 racing, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS will run a 1,000-kilometre contest at the high-speed Formula 1 circuit, placing the event behind only the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa in terms of distance. The fiercely competitive GT4 European Series Powered by RAFA Racing Club will contest its usual pair of one-hour races on the 6.2 km track.
The new agreement was announced at Spa-Francorchamps during Stéphane Ratel’s annual press conference, which was attended by HRH Prince Khaled bin Sultan Al-Faisal, Chairman of the Saudi Motorsport Company (SMC) and the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation (SAMF).
“It is with great pleasure that we are able to announce our plans to compete in Saudi Arabia beginning in 2024,” said Stéphane Ratel, Founder and CEO SRO Motorsports Group. “Fanatec GT World Challenge Powered by AWS has already reached four continents, but we were missing something in the Middle East. By taking our two most successful series we will ensure the strongest possible start to what we anticipate being a long and fruitful partnership. I want to offer my personal thanks to HRH Prince Khaled bin Sultan Al-Faisal for his commitment to this project and for joining us today at Spa-Francorchamps. Thanks must also go to HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Faisal, the Saudi minister of sports, who enjoyed success with us for many years competing in the Blancpain GT Series.”
HRH Prince Khalid Bin Sultan Al Abdullah Al-Faisal, Chairman of the Saudi Motorsport Company (SMC) and Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation (SAMF), commented on today’s news: “We are thrilled to confirm the signing of a two-year agreement to host the closing rounds of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS and the GT4 European Series Powered by RAFA Racing Club at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit. It is a privilege to partner with SRO Motorsports Group and thank them for their hard work and dedication in making this exciting venture happen. The arrival of two more exhilarating racing series of global stature in Saudi Arabia from 2024 onwards further confirms the extent of the Kingdom’s transformation into the new home of motorsport in the region. In doing so, we continue to accelerate the rate of progress we are seeing as a result of hosting such major events. We look forward to working with SRO Motorsports and continuing to provide more opportunities to enrich the lives of all our residents.”
The trip to Jeddah will conclude a refreshed calendar for Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS. Following the traditional Prologue at Circuit Paul Ricard (5/6 March) the season will open with a three-hour Endurance Cup round at the same venue (6/7 April). The Sprint Cup will launch with familiar events at Brands Hatch (4/5 May) and Misano (17/19 May), followed by the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa Prologue (21/22 May).
The season’s marquee race follows on 27-30 June. This will be an especially significant edition of the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa, which is set to celebrate the centenary of its inaugural running. The season resumes with a German doubleheader at Hockenheim (Sprint, 19/21 July) and the Nürburgring (Endurance, 27/28 July) and then a return to Magny-Cours (Sprint, 23/25 August).
Monza shifts from its familiar season-opening date to September 21/22, followed by the Sprint Cup finale at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya (11/13 October) and the inaugural visit to Jeddah. The GT4 European Series Powered by RAFA Racing Club will stage all six of its events alongside Fanatec GT Europe, joining for the trips to Circuit Paul Ricard, Misano, Spa-Francorchamps, Hockenheim, Monza and Jeddah.