The famous Circuit Paul Ricard near Marseille, France, will play host to a wide range of motorsport disciplines for the return of the FIA Motorsport Games in October this year.
Staged from October 26-30, the event features 17 different motorsport disciplines with individual FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) National Sporting Authorities (ASNs) from countries across the globe competing for gold, silver, and bronze medals.
The Circuit Paul Ricard venue will stage events on its road course (for Endurance, GT, GT Sprint, Touring Car, and Formula 4); slalom course (Auto Slalom and Karting Slalom); driving centre (Drifting), and karting venue (Karting Endurance, Karting Senior and Karting Junior). The circuit will also host the entire Esports competition.
The city of Marseille will host the Opening Ceremony on Wednesday, 26 October, and a spectacular display of every ASN and its team of drivers parading under their country’s flag near Vieux-Port at the Mucem in Marseille. The surrounding regions of Saint Baume and the Autocross Veynois, meanwhile, will also serve as host venues in the following three days of competition, providing a perfect platform on which the vastly expanded 2022 Games can unfold.
First opened in 1970, Circuit Paul Ricard has played host to 17 editions of the French Grand Prix. Sir Jackie Stewart won the first Paul Ricard F1 event in 1971, with Max Verstappen winning the most recent edition last year.
F1 Grand Prix racing returned to Le Castellet venue in 2018 after a 28-year absence. Famous winners of the French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard have included World Champions Stewart, James Hunt, Niki Lauda, Alan Jones, Mario Andretti, Alain Prost, Nelson Piquet, Nigel Mansell, and Lewis Hamilton.
But it is not just Formula 1 that has headlined major events at the venue over its 52-year history. Paul Ricard has been hosting national and international GT races since 1994, the most notable of them being the 1000km – part of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS, taking place each year in June.
The same GT3 cars that will compete this weekend in the 2022 Paul Ricard 1000km from June 3-5 will be eligible to compete in the GT, GT Sprint, and Endurance disciplines at the FIA Motorsport Games. Other major events staged there in the past have included annual visits by the European Le Mans Series and TCR Europe.
The venue is known for its distinctive run-off areas known as the “blue” and “red” zones. The blue runoff surface consists of a mixture of asphalt and tungsten. The second, deeper red zone run-off area has a more abrasive surface designed to maximise tyre grip to slow cars down.
The inaugural FIA Motorsport Games was staged at the Vallelunga circuit in Italy and headquartered in Rome in 2019. The debut event featured six core disciplines and attracted 49 nations and 192 drivers.
For the 2022 edition, the FIA and SRO Motorsport Group have expanded the event threefold to cover an array of disciplines from the grassroots to the highest echelons of the sport with the aim of increasing understanding and accessibility to the sport.
“Circuit Paul Ricard is an incredible circuit and venue,” said SRO Motorsports Group Founder and CEO, Stéphane Ratel. “We hosted the first ever BPR Endurance Series there in 1994, marking the revival of GT Racing in Europe and the 1000km race has been part of our series, most recently the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS, for more than 10 years. It will be fantastic to see everything from karting to GT Sprint and Endurance action all at the same place; it’s the ideal venue to host 12 of the 17 disciplines at this year’s FIA Motorsport Games.”
“We are thrilled to host the FIA Motorsport Games”, said Stéphane Clair, Circuit Paul Ricard CEO. “It will be interesting to watch all these competitions between worldwide countries and various motorsport categories in the same place. We look forward to working with Stéphane Ratel, his team and the FIA to organise such an incredible event in the South of France.”
More than a thousand amateur and professional drivers from ASNs across the globe and all levels of motorsport will compete at the 2022 Games – highlighting the values of respect, unity, and equal opportunity.