This 29-round international series is designed to reward the leading manufacturer in customer-based GT3 competition, where each manufacturer scores points based on the results of the cars running with their customer teams in the four continental Fanatec GT World Challenge series.
It all started in 2019, when Mercedes-AMG and Ferrari entered a close fight on three continents. In 2020, they were joined by Audi Sport and Lamborghini, and the battle continued despite the pandemic reducing the competition to two continents. For 2021, BMW M, McLaren and Porsche took up the Challenge, bringing the number of manufacturers to seven, while Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia joined the calendar. Finally, last year, Asia made a triumphant return to competition, resulting in a full season of seven manufacturers competing over four continents.
Reigning title-holders Mercedes had an excellent 2022 season, winning the overall Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe title including victory in the Endurance Cup and TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa to name but a few. Unbeaten so far, Mercedes-AMG has faced an increasingly close competition to retain its title, and 2023 looks to be the best yet.
The second of the original entrants, Ferrari, had a great year in 2022, including claiming the overall title in the Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia, the Silver Cup in the Sprint Cup Europe and victory in both Pro-Am and the Gold Cup categories in the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa, among others.
This will be Audi Sport’s fourth season; it finished second in 2022, having dominated both Pro-Am and Am in Australia, as well as overall victory in the Sprint Cup in Europe, and the Silver Cup in Endurance.
Lamborghini, also entering its fourth season, claimed victory in America in 2022 with the all-conquering K-Pax Racing. The team will be moving to Europe for 2023, where they will join new brand representatives Iron Lynx and the 2022 Gold Cup winners Iron Dames, as well as Italian team VSR, who will represent the Italian brand in the Sprint Cup, with the promise of an excellent season ahead.
McLaren also picked up a healthy score in 2022, especially in Europe, where inception racing claimed the inaugural Gold Cup in Endurance, and Garage 59’s drivers were victorious in the Pro-Am category in Sprint. Porsche was a consistent points-scorer last season, with highlights including second place in Pro-Am in America, and good results in Endurance Cup in Europe, including their Gold Cup victory at Imola. As for BMW, a first full-season entry in Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe with Team WRT should boost its scores in the year ahead.
Stephane Ratel, Founder and CEO of SRO Motorsports Group, is delighted with the new season : “The Fanatec GT World Challenge powered by AWS is looking strong for 2023, with grids at capacity in Europe and Asia, as well as strong growth in America and Australia. This is a remarkable global series, specifically designed for manufacturers involved in customer racing, where they can show their strength across the categories and around the world. We look forward to another year of top-class GT3 competition.”