Glittering finale brings anniversary celebrations to a close SRO Motorsports Group ready for the next 25 years
The SRO’s ’25 Years of GT Racing’ anniversary event came to an end at the Palais Brongniart in Paris with a spectacular gala evening, an emotional and impressive celebration of the highlights of the past quarter of a century of GT racing.
The setting at the Palais Brongniart was impressive to say the least. The original Parisian Stock Exchange was transformed into a true tribute to 25 Years of GT Racing, with over a dozen iconic racing machines forming a guard of honour in front of the red carpet. From the Venturi 400 through the monstrous FIA GT and GT1 machines, to the current GT3 and GT4 racing cars, they were all there. « This car is a part of our history, we’re so proud of its success and the 2011 series is something I’ll never forget », said JRM Group’s James Rumsey, who had brought the 2011 GT1 drivers’ title-winning Nissan GT-R GT1. « I’d like to extend my thanks to Stephane for displaying JRM’s car at the SRO Awards so that it can be admired once again. »
After unveiling the immediate future of GT racing at a press conference in the morning and celebrating the latest champions at the SRO Awards 2017 in the afternoon, it was time to take a closer look at the glorious past of GT Racing and the SRO Motorsports Group during a glamorous gala event in the evening.
In front of more than 800 guests, SRO’s founder and CEO Stephane Ratel opened the event with a heart-felt speech on how his love for cars evolved into a passion for organising events and championships which now rank among the very best in the world of motorsports. In a video message FIA President Jean Todt congratulated Stephane Ratel and SRO on the accomplishments of the past decades.
The evening brought plenty of entertainment, even including a genuine French Can Can act, various major figures from the rich history of GT Racing were called to the stage to reminisce on the events of the past 25 years. They included renowned auctioneer Hervé Poulain, who in 1992 was one of the competitors in the Venturi Gentlemen Drivers’ Trophy, the very first racing series organised by Stephane Ratel.
“Stephane had the charisma and the power to convince that would befit a general from the French Empire, and he enrolled businessmen and European aristocratic youth to return to the spirit of motorsports in its earliest days