FIA GT1 World Championship front-runner Hexis Racing has decided against racing in the championship that will succeed it in 2013, the GT Sprint Series.
Team boss Philippe Dumas, whose squad won the GT1 World manufacturers' title with Aston Martin in 2011, explained that it was "99 percent sure" that the team would not race its McLaren MP4-12Cs in the GT Sprint Series, which will run to the same format of the GT1 World Championship.
Dumas said: "These are difficult economic times and there is less money from Hexis [the adhesives company that sponsors the team]. I am also less confident about the future of the GT Sprint Series; it won't be the same as the world championship, because it will have amateur as well as professional drivers."
Instead, Hexis Racing will return to the French GT Championship in 2013. Its two McLarens will be raced by former grand prix driver Olivier Panis and Eric Debard, who finished second in the 2012 championship driving an Auto Sport Promotion Ferrari, and Laurent Cazenave and Jean-Claude Police. The team is also exploring options in the Blancpain Endurance Series and the City Challenge for 2013.
Hexis won races in all three years of the FIA GT1 World Championship, first with Aston Martin DBR9s and then with the McLaren. This year, Frederic Makowiecki and Stef Dusseldorp finished second in the drivers' championship after scoring five victories.