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Old 3 Aug 2017, 06:42 (Ref:3757128)   #1
Mike Bell
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GpC reduced calendar next year

GpC, now running at Peter Auto meetings in mainland Europe, plus the Silverstone Classic, have struggled to get decent grids this year.

It has been reported in Motorsport News that next year they will only have 4 outings, which includes Le Mans Classic, where in 2016 they attracted over 40 entries. So is there one particular reason for the low turnouts this year (incl Silverstone last w/end), or are there several factors involved?

It also feels like the UK STCT (SuperTourer) series grid sizes have dropped, although I haven't researched to confirm or deny, so apologies if it isn't the case! There was a healthy turnout at The Classic, at least. These cars, like GpC, are virtually all original championship survivors, so extremely valuable and almost impossible to replicate. Could that have a bearing on how often they are raced now?
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Old 3 Aug 2017, 07:40 (Ref:3757140)   #2
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As you say the Group C cars are unique so I'm not surprised they get small grids. Another point made by Peter Baker was the timing for the race at the Classic. It ran late in the day and maybe the drivers/owners felt that they'd rather be relaxing at that time of the day. Hence fewer entries.

The Supertourers were always going to struggle due to the complexity of the cars. This was when touring cars moved from "showroom spec" to higher levels of technology. It must take some effort to run these cars compared to a Group A, Group 2 or Group 1 car. Perhaps Jason M can enlighten us?

Hence the mixed grid made up of the other categories. That said, I'm told the race was entertaining.
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Old 3 Aug 2017, 11:27 (Ref:3757186)   #3
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As you say the Group C cars are unique so I'm not surprised they get small grids. Another point made by Peter Baker was the timing for the race at the Classic. It ran late in the day and maybe the drivers/owners felt that they'd rather be relaxing at that time of the day. Hence fewer entries.

The Supertourers were always going to struggle due to the complexity of the cars. This was when touring cars moved from "showroom spec" to higher levels of technology. It must take some effort to run these cars compared to a Group A, Group 2 or Group 1 car. Perhaps Jason M can enlighten us?

Hence the mixed grid made up of the other categories. That said, I'm told the race was entertaining.
Being the last race of the day, there is always the risk of it being shortened (or even cancelled) due to the programme running late, so as you and other Peter say, not the most appealing schedule for Silverstone, and could have been a factor. I guess the organisers like the 'endurance cars into the dusk' idea..... However, at PA events, timing of the races isn't usually an issue, and the grids have shrunk.

I just wonder if the owners of such complex and expensive to run beasts want to race them at 7 or 8 events a year?

SuperTouring cars were reasonably cheap to buy a few years ago, when the idea of a race series for them was first mooted. But, as you say, very complex underneath and no doubt expensive to run competitively. So maybe buying the car was the easy bit, but finding funds to run one has proven more difficult?
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Old 3 Aug 2017, 16:56 (Ref:3757226)   #4
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Mike I dont see funds as an issue for the people hosting those grids. May be some found that there's a huge gap between driving sideways a TR4 and a Spice, feeling clearly the difference between fun and danger.
Back to the idea of a super licence for historic too?
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Old 5 Aug 2017, 04:24 (Ref:3757529)   #5
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I also think it could be a combo of cost and complexity.
These cars are beasts and need to be driven properly to get the best out of them 'reliably'
If a not so wealthy amateur owner damages the mechanicals because they can't pedal it in the right way it's going to be garaged for a while.
The major hysteric series do go in cycles a bit though.
The F1 grids went down a bit but have been stronger. Maybe GrpC will be bigger again in a couple of years?

With the supertouring wasn't it the case thst people got put off entering by the antics of some lunatics crashing into each other?
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Old 5 Aug 2017, 06:17 (Ref:3757531)   #6
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Aren't the Super Tourers also difficult to drive and run? FWD is hard to get the best out of and not great VFM in the driving satisfaction stakes. Or so I heard.

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Old 5 Aug 2017, 16:08 (Ref:3757582)   #7
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I think the FWD SuperTourers present a different driving challenge- but they aren't all driven from that end. Yes, there was some 'BTCC' driving in the odd race, but that seems to have been brought under control now. As said above, the cars were much more sophisticated than their repmobile bodies would suggest, and run by big teams, so not easy for an individual to run now.

Hopefully GpC will see grids increase with a less busy calendar, and maybe at circuits / events that the drivers really want to race at? Some cars are no doubt more expensive to run than others (more sophisticated engines / gearboxes / electrics), and it would be sad if we only get to see the simpler, more durable cars racing.
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Old 7 Aug 2017, 08:08 (Ref:3757933)   #8
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I expect the later cars like the Pug and that Flat 12 Sauber Merc that was in the Paddock last weekend must cost a fortune to run and not sure how easy it would be to get engine parts compared to cosworth engined stuff.
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Old 8 Aug 2017, 17:50 (Ref:3758237)   #9
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Gerard C should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Right James, not forgetting some material used in period now forbidden (was it baryum or beryllium?). I had a talk with a Lancia Ferrari owner who knew his stock of new engines won't last forever…
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Old 10 Aug 2017, 09:52 (Ref:3758571)   #10
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Right James, not forgetting some material used in period now forbidden (was it baryum or beryllium?). I had a talk with a Lancia Ferrari owner who knew his stock of new engines won't last forever…
Exotic!!
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