GT Racing

Is GT1 dead (or dying)?


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    Stephane Ratel has said his company will no longer promote the GT1 World Championship series as of next year:

    Is this it for the series? Can anyone see a way back from here?


    Hm, not good news that. In contrast, it shows why people in the sport let Bernie do things his way, as clearly he has made it work for F1 (although the GP2/GP3 gigs work far less impressively)


    Unlikely that the series will be saved at this point. It was already an uphill fight to get enough teams signed up to do the whole ‘2 cars per manufacturer’ deal using what were basically GT3-spec cars. Credit where credit is due cos Ratel’s fought tooth and nail to keep it going over the past few years, but it just reached the point where it’s no longer a sustainable series.

    Prisoner Monkeys

    Hm, not good news that.

    I’d say it’s quite the opposite – Ratel has totally mismanaged it.


    It would be a shame to see it go. It’s always been a good watch, especially this year with the GT3-esque specification cars. the racing is more often than not very close for the duration of the hour-long races. I wonder how this news will effect the Blancpain Endurance championship too? I’m sure SRO run that as well, do they not? It’s a similar set of cars, be a shame to see that go as well.

    The thing I don’t understand is how the GT requlations have become so dispersed throughout the world and across all the series. When I was a kid, growing up watching F1 and slowly learning about GT racing, you had the GT1 cars that were the super hyper sports cars, and then GT2 for the more normal, less steroidy ones. Since then you’d be struggling to use only your fingers and toes to count how many different GT classes there are world wide.

    GT racing is obviously a big part of endurance racing, and Le Mans and the Le Mans series especially, but I don’t feel it gets the credit it deserves and is so overshadowed by the LMP cars they share the track with.

    I think they all need to get together and have a proper world-wide GT championship encompassing the teams that run in the WEC/ELMS/ALMS, and maybe those in the GT1/3, set out some proper decent, sustainable and long-lived regulations, and visit the world’s almost best tracks (not F1, but as @prisoner-monkeys suggested a while back, those almost-best or classic-and-now-underused tracks) that would give a bit of variety and uniqueness to the series. And then maybe at a handful of events each year race alongside the LMP cars so that we still get the LMP/GT format, but the whole GT class isn’t lost in the hype built up around the LMP’s.


    I watched the 2010 season, it was nice i liked, but since the maseratis left the 2011 season wasnt able to beat the 2010 and now with the GT3 cars pratically replacing the GT1 in 2012, the champ has changed far too much, yes it is interesting to watch Mclaren vs Ferrari but i dont fancy watching BMW vs Mercedes vs Audi, too many road car brands, adn finally to make matters worse Ben Edwards left Watson. In my opinion the racing and the incapability of selling the champ has killed GT1, commercially the presence of the normal road car companys will ensure the champ stays alive, it’s called GT1 but this cars are much more tamed than the GT1 we were used to, the champ will probably act more like WTCC being sponsored by the own companies that race instead of a team based sport.


    That’s too bad. I’ve seen a few races on SPEED and it was pretty good. It was cool watching GTR’s, Ford GT’s, Lambo’s, and other supercars race each other so closely.

    Prisoner Monkeys

    Ratel has announced his plans for reviving the GT1 championship:

    The short version is that he wants to bring the GT1 championship and the Blancpain Endurance Seires – which SRO also manage – under the banner of the “GT World Series”. They will be run as two separate championships, with teams and cars elegible to enter both. BES will pretty much remain as is, featuring longer races, while GT1 will be reconfigured to have shorter races (possibly with only the one driver competing). In the same way that Indycar used to award trophies to the best road circuit racer and the best oval circuit racer, there will be trophies for the GT endurance and sprint series, though the drivers’ championship will be abolished. It appears Ratel wants to encourage teams to strategically choose their drivers from race to race.


    Just watched the Championship Race from Moscow. Seems as if they’ve merged the GT1 and GT3 fields. I’m assuming they’ve done this because the entry numbers have dropped so low? There were only 11 GT1 starters from what I counted. SunRed still only have a single Ford GT, there was no return of the Russian Aston Martin team, despite it being their home race. The Chinese Porsches were once again missing, and Reiter’s Lambos seem to have gone AWOL.

    It’s such a shame as GT racing can be exciting, is very road-relevant, and deserves a proper year-long worldwide championship. If only they started merging all these series together… GT1, GT3, Blancpain Endurance… even the Le Mans/WEC GT classes. All into one championship with massive fields, a mix of endurance and sprint races. It would be brilliant.

    But with the look of the Russian field, it really doesn’t seem like GT1 will be around next year.

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