Autosport Awards: GT lynchpin Ratel awarded Gregor Grant trophy

Stephane Ratel's enormous contribution to the last quarter-century of GT sportscar racing was recognised with a Gregor Grant Award at the 2018 Autosport Awards.

Autosport Awards: GT lynchpin Ratel awarded Gregor Grant trophy

Stephane Ratel's enormous contribution to the last quarter-century of GT sportscar racing was recognised with a Gregor Grant Award at the 2018 Autosport Awards.

The Stephane Ratel Organisation promotes the Blancpain GT Series, Intercontinental GT Challenge and British GT Championship among other series, and co-organises the US-based Pirelli World Challenge.

SRO currently focuses on the burgeoning GT3 and GT4 categories, pitching its range of championships to offer options for both professional and amateur drivers while also keeping a close eye on manufacturer involvement and always being willing to tweak formats and ideas to adapt to changes in the market.

His achievement in becoming the dominant worldwide organiser of GT racing earned Ratel one of the annual special Awards named in honour of Autosport's founder.

"I thought I would be a lot older when I got this!" said Ratel. "It's been a very busy time this season, it started in the first weekend of February for the first round of continental GT Challenge and finished last night with inaugural GT Nations Cup in Bahrain. Along the way we have covered 12 championships and series, 49 events in 20 countries and four continents."

The SRO boss also added that he believed the Nations Cup would become an increasingly popular concept after Turkey won its first event. 

Ratel's first experience of race promotion came with the Venturi-based Gentleman Drivers Trophy in 1992.

He was then part of the organisation behind the BPR Endurance Series that grew into the FIA GT Championship in the mid-1990s, before branching out on his own to establish the forerunners of what became the current Blancpain GT package of championships.

Ratel added: "I think I started like every good race promoter, I started dealing cars and I had a passion for the exotics and brought to back to racing because GT Racing stopped in the late 1970s and early '80s and there was not GT racing. 

"It became the FIA championship and evolved into the Blancpain GT Series. It's been a long story and we have created lots of categories: GT3, GT4 and soon GT2, and it has worked in many categories and series."

His award was presented by McLaren Formula 1 team boss and Motorsport Network executive chairman Zak Brown.

shares
comments
Autosport Awards: Mercedes W09 voted Racing Car of the Year

Previous article

Autosport Awards: Mercedes W09 voted Racing Car of the Year

Next article

Autosport Awards: Leclerc is Rookie of the Year

Autosport Awards: Leclerc is Rookie of the Year
Load comments
The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under Prime

The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under

Joey Mawson made waves in the middle of the last decade, beating future Haas Formula 1 driver Mick Schumacher - among other highly-rated talents - to the 2016 German F4 title. A run in F1's feeder GP3 category only caused his career to stall, but now back in Australia Mawson's S5000 title success has set that to rights

General
May 20, 2021
Why Todt’s FIA successor could be cut from the same cloth Prime

Why Todt’s FIA successor could be cut from the same cloth

Jean Todt has signalled that he will not stand for re-election as FIA president. Mark Gallagher analyses the strong credentials of one potential successor…

General
May 2, 2021
The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing Prime

The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing

OPINION: The greed-driven push for a European Super League that threatened to tear football apart is collapsing at the seams. Motor racing's equivalent, the football-themed Superleague Formula series of 2008-11, was everything that the proposed ESL never could be.

General
Apr 21, 2021
The real-life racing rogues stranger than fiction Prime

The real-life racing rogues stranger than fiction

The forthcoming Netflix film linking the world of underworld crime and motorsport plays on a theme that isn't exactly new. Over the years, several shady figures have attempted to make it in racing before their dubious dealings caught up with them.

General
Jan 31, 2021
The cherished curios kept by motorsport's professionals at home Prime

The cherished curios kept by motorsport's professionals at home

Keeping trophies and momentos of key triumphs is par for the course for motorsport professionals, but what are the most cherished souvenirs picked up by the drivers and engineers who have seen and done it all?

General
Dec 26, 2020
Why motorsport should consider a mid-week future Prime

Why motorsport should consider a mid-week future

International motorsport has been the preserve of weekends, but the pandemic forced Formula E to get creative with its Berlin season finale as four races were held mid-week. Should FE and other series break with tradition and repeat the experiment?

General
Oct 5, 2020
How pragmatic principles made Ron Tauranac a design legend Prime

How pragmatic principles made Ron Tauranac a design legend

Jack Brabham's 1966 world championship campaign in his eponymous car was also a defining moment in the career of designer Ron Tauranac, who would apply the same ethos to his ultra-successful production racing car business, Ralt.

General
Jul 23, 2020
The ingrained failure motorsport must fix to avoid 'turf wars' Prime

The ingrained failure motorsport must fix to avoid 'turf wars'

OPINION: The FIA has warned that the major motorsport championships must not get engaged in 'turf wars' when it comes to the urgent need to re-organising the 2020 calendars, but there are tedious past problems that must be addressed to satisfy all.

General
May 3, 2020