BPR Global Endurance Series 1994-1996 – The Return of GT Racing

Regular price $25

Saturday, Aug. 17, 4:30PM

Moderated by Justin Bell With Patrick Peter & Stephane Ratel

Endurance racing was in poor health in the mid-1990s, and few could imagine that three who barely knew each other when they started their business would start a revolution and sow the seeds of the customer-focused GT racing that continues today. Join BPR driver and Forum moderator Justin Bell as he and BPR series founders Patrick Peter (“P”) and Stephane Rate” (“R”) bring us back to that time in racing history.

Justin Bell - Moderator

Justin is a successful second-generation World Champion race car driver from England who has now made a vibrant transition to a second career as a TV and web host. In a racing career that spanned 25 years Justin won the 1997 FIA GT World Championship and the 1998 Le Mans 24 Hours, as well as numerous victories and podium finishes in many forms of the sport. Being in front of the camera was a natural development when Justin was looking for the next challenge. He has worked as a broadcaster for Speed, Fox, and NBC on IMSA and Le Mans races and various auction shows, but his real passion is in creating and hosting shows, such as Shut Up and Drive and Drives Unexpected. As a partner in Torque Media Group, one of the most in-demand production companies in the industry, Justin co-hosts the livestream for the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

Working with brands such as McLaren, Genesis, Ferrari, Jaguar Land Rover and others, he is the face of many branded content campaigns. He also has his own chat show, the podcast Life with Legends, where he sits down and shares great conversations with his heroes. Most recently, he has partnered with The Wynn in Las Vegas to host Drive to Wynn!, a weekly show all about Formula One.

Patrick Peter – Panelist

The BPR series was Patrick Peter’s incursion in the modern car world. In 1994, he co-created the series (he is the “P” in BPR), putting together the GT teams for the series as well as the cars that were racing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans (for Peter, the success of the series was always been closely linked with the 24 Hour race). The BPR series was short-lived, beginning in 1994 and ending in 1996 after which it became the FIA GT Championship. Convinced that the past has a future and building on the strength of automobile and our motor racing heritage, he created several major events for classic cars, such as the Tour Auto, the Series by Peter Auto, Chantilly Arts & Elegance Richard Mille, the Rallye des Légendes Richard Mille, and, in 2002, the Le Mans Classic, the retrospective of the greatest endurance race in the world. With 235,000 spectators in 2023, it is now the biggest classic car event in the world. The BPR and the Le Mans Classic are undeniably Patrick's greatest pride.

Stephane Ratal – Panelist

Now widely known as the founder and CEO of SRO Motorsports Group, Stéphane Ratel has been described as the architect of modern GT racing. Born in France in 1963, his first business success came while studying in California when he began shipping grey-market sports cars back to Europe. Upon returning to France, Stéphane organized a Cannonball Run-style trip across the country, which inspired his move into race organization. He began by organizing the popular Venturi one-make series, which contributed to the GT category’s Le Mans 24 Hours return. Then, in 1994, he was a founding partner (the “R”) of the BPR Global GT Series, which ignited the revival of GT racing. It was succeeded by the FIA GT Championship and the short lived but spectacular FIA GT1 World Championship. His best-known contribution to the sport is the creation of the ultra-successful GT3 and GT4 categories. Today, SRO Motorsports Group oversees the promotion of 16 championships and series, run across 50 events on four continents. They include the continental Fanatec GT World Challenge series, the FIA GT World Cup, and the flagship Intercontinental GT Challenge, which brings together some of the biggest endurance races in the world — most notably the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa.

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