GT racing boss proposes Paris to Berlin rally for alt-fuel racers

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Stephane Ratel heads the SRO Motorsports Group that organizes a whole bunch of GT racing events like the 24 Hours of Spa and the Intercontinental GT Challenge. Aiming to open another front for alt-fuel racing like Formula E has done for electric single-seaters and Extreme E has done for electric off-roaders, Autosport reports that Ratel is trying to put together a GTX World Tour starting with a revived Paris to Berlin event in 2023. The X in GTX stands for experimental, Ratel hoping to attract manufacturers and gentleman racers who want to show off or enjoy "the most technologically advanced cars powered by alternative energies to petroleum;" everything from the Porsche Mission R to hi-po roadgoing EVs like the Pininfarina Battista.

Realizing that battery technology isn't up to the length of a standard GT race, Ratel's reboot of the 1901 Paris to Berlin road race would combine tourist-draw locations in France and Germany with two competitive events per day in each host city. In locales such as Paris, Reims, Strasbourg, Prague, and Dresden, drivers try to win short jousts like acceleration runs, track racing, and hill climbs. After completing these, vehicles would then be graded on their efficiency as they make their way from host city to host city in order to assess the day's final ranking — although we're not sure how concept vehicles could contest this part of the action. A fleet of trucks with fast-charging equipment follow the circus to keep everyone topped up.

On the way to the inaugural seven-day event in 2023, Ratel plans a pilot, non-competitive event next summer starting in Geneva, Switzerland and ending in the principality of Monaco. He was coy on the chances of automaker involvement, but told Autosport, "We have presented our ideas to a good number of manufacturers and everyone has listened politely, and there seems to be a potential interest."

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