GT Asia Series returns to Shanghai for finale

The last meeting for the year of the 2016 GT Asia Series was scheduled to take place at the new Zhejiang circuit in China but due to delays in the final stages of construction, the event will now take place at the Shanghai circuit on 21-23 October.

The GT Asia Series is an International Series sanctioned by the FIA and is recognised as the Region’s leading GT Championship.

Motorsport Asia Limited, the promoter of the GT Asia Series, elected to use the Shanghai circuit due to its popularity and the fact that it hosted the closest finish in GT Asia history on 20-21 August.

David Sonenscher, the CEO of Motorsport Asia, confirmed that Zhejiang could not host October’s season finale due to issues with the circuit construction ahead of our scheduled date and said they would use Shanghai instead.

“We had big plans for Zhejiang and were fully in support of their proposal to develop another great international venue in China, but sadly, despite assurances all year to the contrary, they’ve been unable to complete the circuit construction ahead of our scheduled date, so we had no other option but to find an alternate venue,” Sonenscher explained.

“It’s disappointing in many ways, not the least being that the industry needs to support the development of new venues in Asia and we felt we were at the forefront of providing that support, but for the sake of our competitors, we needed an alternative that was going to provide the best solution to the challenge we were facing, and a return to Shanghai delivered that solution.”

On the weekend of 20-21 August, Shanghai hosted of one of the best events in GT Asia Series history when, after a three-year absence, Mercedes-AMG made a return and was one of six marques that qualified less than one second from pole on the full-length Formula One circuit. In the opening race, after 60-minutes of intense door-to-door racing Ferrari, Bentley and Audi were only separated by just two-tenths of a second on the line.

“Our schedule will be slightly different this time around given the program we’re running to,” Sonenscher explained. “Qualifying will come on Friday afternoon, with the penultimate race of the season on Saturday morning ahead of the final race of the year on Sunday afternoon where we’ll crown the 2016 GT Asia Series champions.”

2016 GT Asia Series – calendar
Rnd#1/#2, 13-15 May – Korea International Circuit (South Korea)
Rnd#3/#4, 10-12 June – Buriram International Circuit (Thailand)
Rnd#5/#6, 1-3 July – Okayama International Circuit (Japan)
Rnd#7/#8, 15-17 July – Fuji International Speedway (Japan)
Rnd#9/#10, 19-21 August – Shanghai International Circuit (China)
Rnd#11/#12, 21-23 October – Shanghai International Circuit (China)