SRO Motorsports Group – organiser and owner of the GT World Championship – has expanded its agreement with Fanatec.

Fanatec initially partnered with SRO for last year’s esports GT Series, but the agreement has now been expanded to include its real world events.

Under the terms of the agreement, the German sim racing equipment manufacturer has been named as the title sponsor of the GT World Challenge as well as the GT2 European Series.

The company will benefit from branded advertising throughout the five rounds of the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup, including the 24 Hours of Spa

Other aspects of the agreement include on-site esports content in cooperation with AK Informatica, an Italian gaming company.

The contest will be held at every event using GT World Challenge’s official game, Assetto Corsa Competizione. Competitors in Silver Cup class races or racing to win overall honours will be able to nominate one driver to represent them in a virtual race, which will award teams championship points.

“I am excited by the initiatives that our collaboration can produce, particularly by integrating real-world racing and simulation,” said SRO Motorsports Group’s Founder and Chief Executive, Stephane Ratel.

“Having pioneered the introduction of Balance of Performance and driver categorisation, SRO has earned a reputation for breaking new ground within the sport. Now, we are proud to be at the forefront of another revolutionary moment as the first championship to merge virtual and real racing.”

This marks the first time sim racing will directly influence the outcome of a real world championship, and SRO has further stated that the concept could be introduced to its American, Australian and Asian tournaments.

Ratel added: “It is clear that GT racing is immensely popular within the esports community, which speaks to its potential globally. As a leader in its field of expertise, Fanatec can play a crucial role in the project.

“This is also a tremendous boost for the Fanatec GT2 European Series, which I am very excited to see launch at Monza in April. Everything is now in place to ensure a strong maiden season for our new category.”

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