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Old 14 Jul 2010, 19:04 (Ref:2726687)   #16
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Originally Posted by RickP:Clio51 View Post
The entry fee is ludicrous for 2 * 40min races and as a result it's costing (as a team that runs seriously cheap) about £1 a second that the car is on track! That's the same we were paying to run a LMP2 car in 2004!!!! Given lack of decent billing (again as well highlighted above) and poor TV coverage we've pulled our car from the European GT4 this year purely because cost-wise to sponsors it makes no sense whatsoever.
Sounds like classic Ratel - nice idea, but with ridiculously poor execution!
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Old 14 Jul 2010, 21:25 (Ref:2726768)   #17
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Sounds like classic Ratel - nice idea, but with ridiculously poor execution!
Sounds about right, I will say the whole premise is a great idea. Look at the longevity of the Continental Tire Cup. In one form or another as I have mentioned, its been constantly well received by car owners and teams without much media coverage actually.

IMSA Firehawk was covered on Cable TV by Diamond P Sports which became TNN Sports later and now is Spike TV. About that time Speedvision stepped in and sponsored the series. Later Firestone (Bridgestone) did not renew its contract and brought in Toyo to supply tires to the series and funding.

Its still on Speed TV today so that would mean the series has been around since the mid 80's with the same basic rule package and spec tire supplier.

I would say GT4 alone its more expensive as well to a point. The Aston Martin Vantage N24 or whatever its called now is actually cheaper than Ford's Mustang Boss 302R! Both cars run around $100K US. Not sure how much RJN is charging to convert a 370Z into a GT4 spec racers.

Seems to me GT4 to work needs -

Constant and Consistent TV Coverage. Why its not on Motors TV, I don't quite understand. I believe Motors is following the Speedvision model so maybe they need to call it "The Motors TV GT4 Cup" presented by say Kumho Tires? Dunlop Tires? I dunno.

But the series needs to offset the cost of racing by putting in fixed cost for tires, maybe fuel as well.

If it can work in the States it can work in Europe and maybe to bolster car count add a Touring Class. Average entry for the Conti Challenge Cup is 50+ cars. This weekend at New Jersey the entry is 54 cars.

Races run about 200 miles or so, timed events 2 hours and 30 mins.

This is a proven, successful model, maybe SRO should adopt this?
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Old 15 Jul 2010, 07:21 (Ref:2726933)   #18
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Originally Posted by pez View Post
the British GT is not a good yard stick for GT4.
The European series has much better success with approx grid sizes of 15 cars and I understand some other national GT4 series have momentum such as the Dutch GT4.

The Asia series launched this yr has about 10 cars on the grid with supposedly a couple more to join later in the yr.
I'd hardly call 15 cars 'success'

There is some good racing in GT4 but not enough cars on the grid - That means that either the formula doesn't appeal to prospective racers or the costs don't stack up - see anbove for the response from an actual prospective competitor!
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Old 15 Jul 2010, 20:50 (Ref:2727269)   #19
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Originally Posted by Graham Goodwin View Post
I'd hardly call 15 cars 'success'

There is some good racing in GT4 but not enough cars on the grid - That means that either the formula doesn't appeal to prospective racers or the costs don't stack up - see anbove for the response from an actual prospective competitor!
I know Graham you have seen a Conti Cup event or when it was Motorola or Speevision. I think it ran with the ALMS in the early days.

50+ car grids are nothing to sneeze at and GS which is similar enough to GT4 that the same Mustang FR500 is raced in Europe without only minor changes has 27 cars.

They also have taped delayed TV Coverage. This weekends New Jersey race will be shown one week after it runs this Saturday.

I wouldn't call its fanbase large its basically an extension of those that follow Cup racing because many teams and drivers come directly from that environment.

Do you have Ratel's ear?

Last edited by dj4monie; 15 Jul 2010 at 21:15.
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Old 15 Jul 2010, 20:59 (Ref:2727278)   #20
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Originally Posted by Graham Goodwin View Post
I'd hardly call 15 cars 'success'

There is some good racing in GT4 but not enough cars on the grid - That means that either the formula doesn't appeal to prospective racers or the costs don't stack up - see anbove for the response from an actual prospective competitor!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iF7RAmG1gwQ&hd=1

GS Start from Mid Ohio

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WnVJfI8dj8&hd=1

ST Start from Mid Ohio

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K93SgdIdoRA

More ST Coverage

This is something Manufactures can embrace from top to bottom.
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Old 16 Jul 2010, 05:04 (Ref:2727397)   #21
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As a part time competitor in the grand am conti series here in the US i've looked at competing in europe in GT4..over the years it started out being a good series with mustangs and bmw z4 and such and competing at great tracks..now it seems its high end cars, other than ginettas, at low profile tracks..also its gone with two drivers in an endurance format (2 hr races)to share the costs. Maybe GT open would look to add a conti like series to their weekend?
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Old 16 Jul 2010, 08:26 (Ref:2727424)   #22
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RickP:Clio51 should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridRickP:Clio51 should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Poor execution is right, it IS a good concept but there is this constant lack of finances at SRO which means they are prepared to sell out all the current teams to get 1 or 2 more cars in, regardless of whether they fit the rules. And of course Maserati support the GT1 white elephant so they can do exactly what they like in GT4.

The balancing is done wrongly, it should be success ballast, but that's what's done in the WTCC and of course Mr Ratel can't be seen to copy Mr Lotti... because we have the situation in British GT's where the tyres don't cope with the weight of the cars very well, so while on a 1 lap we could get close to the Ginetta's, by the end of the race the tyres had gone off 4-5 secs/lap on the heavy cars, but not on the light ones. Performance balancing takes no account for this, nor the preferences of the chosen driver who 2 years ago couldn't drive a RHD car, nor would he spend any time in the Ginetta as he considered it a death trap!

Costs for the cars on here is pretty wrong, if I recall the Maser is over Euro 150k and you need one of those if you are going to win since it's the only car with a proper aero package (for obvious reasons).

Don't forget that the original N24 Astons are non-competitive, only the Mallock car (which is strictly illegal as it's an N24 with a later engine package in it I understand) is competitive of the older cars.

To be honest, I think GT4 should just abandon the SRO and go and join a proper organiser like Dick Van Elk and the Dutch Super Cars. Good length races, sensible entry fees with hospitality included, cheap, long lasting tyres (I mean, we're all on the same, so why not use tyres that can do more than 1 qually lap???) and good TV coverage???

The day I realised finally that there was no saving the SRO was when they took the whole circus to Adria. If there is a worse circuit for GT's in the World I have yet to find it.... but of course, no cost to the SRO to rent the circuit, local tourist authority actually HELPS them with costs to go there apparently... total sell-out of morals.
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Old 16 Jul 2010, 16:39 (Ref:2727613)   #23
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Originally Posted by Speed-King View Post
I really like the concept of GT4 - and especially its American cousin, the Continental Tire Challenge - but truth is that it shouldn't be a GT-series, but be regarded as one for touring cars since classical touring car tracks like Zolder are where these cars really shine, while they get spread out and boring at places like Spa or the Nürburgring.
Why would two-door coupés with two or 2+2 seats be called "touring cars"? They are stock GTs, so use that name.

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From a fantasy stand-point, I'd love to see Grand-Am champion the Conti Challenge concept more and allow them in the Rolex 24. I think if European teams were given the opportunity to come and run in the Rolex 24 with a Conti-spec 'GT4' car, that could be huge.Chris
Keeping with the fanstasy thing, if IMSA took over Grand-Am, I would believe that the 24 Hours of Daytona would drop prototurtles and switch to Grand-Am Challenge privateer stock GTs.

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I think they've suffered with image a bit as they are always on the same bill as the same model of car but in a higher class that looks sexier and is much faster. If they were on their own as a GT race with a mix of s/seaters and saloon cars making up the program, they'd probably be the most popular on the bill.
But if they keep racing together with meaner GTs but are cheaper enough, it could work perfectly.
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Old 16 Jul 2010, 16:47 (Ref:2727617)   #24
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Why would two-door coupés with two or 2+2 seats be called "touring cars"? They are stock GTs, so use that name.
There are four door cars in the Continental series like the Audi S4 and the Subaru WRX. And then Camaros and Mustangs have a long history of competing in touring car racing in Europe, as has the BMW M3.

The only proper GT-cars in the series are actually the Porsches and there aren't even all that many of them.

Bear in mind that I am not talking about the current European series, but about what could have been if they had followed the example of the Americans. You're absolutely right, the current European series is a GT-series, but it should have been a touring car series!

They should have also added a second division for pocket-rocket cars like the Vokswagen GTI, Mazdaspeed 3, Honda Civic and smaller BMWs like it is the case in the American series.

Last edited by Speed-King; 16 Jul 2010 at 16:56.
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Old 16 Jul 2010, 20:05 (Ref:2727727)   #25
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Originally Posted by RickP:Clio51 View Post
Poor execution is right, it IS a good concept but there is this constant lack of finances at SRO which means they are prepared to sell out all the current teams to get 1 or 2 more cars in, regardless of whether they fit the rules. And of course Maserati support the GT1 white elephant so they can do exactly what they like in GT4.

The balancing is done wrongly, it should be success ballast, but that's what's done in the WTCC and of course Mr Ratel can't be seen to copy Mr Lotti... because we have the situation in British GT's where the tyres don't cope with the weight of the cars very well, so while on a 1 lap we could get close to the Ginetta's, by the end of the race the tyres had gone off 4-5 secs/lap on the heavy cars, but not on the light ones. Performance balancing takes no account for this, nor the preferences of the chosen driver who 2 years ago couldn't drive a RHD car, nor would he spend any time in the Ginetta as he considered it a death trap!

Costs for the cars on here is pretty wrong, if I recall the Maser is over Euro 150k and you need one of those if you are going to win since it's the only car with a proper aero package (for obvious reasons).

Don't forget that the original N24 Astons are non-competitive, only the Mallock car (which is strictly illegal as it's an N24 with a later engine package in it I understand) is competitive of the older cars.

To be honest, I think GT4 should just abandon the SRO and go and join a proper organiser like Dick Van Elk and the Dutch Super Cars. Good length races, sensible entry fees with hospitality included, cheap, long lasting tyres (I mean, we're all on the same, so why not use tyres that can do more than 1 qually lap???) and good TV coverage???

The day I realised finally that there was no saving the SRO was when they took the whole circus to Adria. If there is a worse circuit for GT's in the World I have yet to find it.... but of course, no cost to the SRO to rent the circuit, local tourist authority actually HELPS them with costs to go there apparently... total sell-out of morals.
I couldn't agree more. Conti Challenge Races are 2:30 with a mandatory pit stop. You can opt not to change tires, but wear at some tracks is an issue so most of the powerful RWD cars will change tires during the driver change and refueling. Most of the big engined cars need a splash-and-go if there are no caution/safety car periods (RARE!).

With the Endurance Format you can have two drivers share the cost, its a win-win for everybody. GT3 works better because of this but I think its a bit contrived to have people make a mandatory 70 second pit stop for a driver change and tires. Let teams have the option of changing tires or not. You can still limit the sets per weekend, but every team should have at least one new set of tires for the race either to start on or to change to.

TV Coverage is essential to sponsorship. Conti Challenge is taped delayed its not live. That's no different than GT4's previously, it was never shown live, but it went from tape delayed to highlights only to nothing at all.

I say do what IMSA did years ago and it works - Tie it to a Tire Deal. Look for a tire company looking for larger market share. I would say those are Japanese and Korean Tire companies, why not Hankook, Falken or Kumho?

All three companies have experience supporting spec tire series.

When the Conti Challenge was called the Koni Challenge, guess who was the sole supplier of shocks and struts? Doesn't KW supply all the WTCC teams?

There are ways to give incentives and reduce cost. But they need to add a lower class like the VLN has but not so extreme. I don't see why a European series (Not a National Series) with grids of 50+ cars can't be exciting, profitable and fun for everybody involved.

If you listen to the last Ratel interview (on Facebook) it seems he's a bit of a snob when it comes to cars. He has always been into high end sports cars.

For GT4 that simply doesn't work, it just cost too much! You need to give people options! I think he tried that by allowing the Xbow, but those things are too expensive! I know there's a culture of "Track Day" extreme cars in Europe (Atom, Xbow, Radical, etc) but most of the major companies make an affordable racing Hot Hatch, instead of having large spec series, race them all together!

Imagine: Ford Focus ST, Renault Clio 200 Cup, Opel OPC Astra, VW Golf Turbo, Peugeot 207 Sport, Mini Cooper JCW, Honda Civic Type R, etc.

Since road racing is more ingrained than drag racing small cars like here in the States, you have a natural fan base with cars JUST LIKE THE ONES THEY OWN racing.

This is in fact - Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday

The series should be sold that way, the manufactures will support it because even a short run of limited edition cars they can sell not only to competitors but fans, they still makes them money.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Speed-King View Post
There are four door cars in the Continental series like the Audi S4 and the Subaru WRX. And then Camaros and Mustangs have a long history of competing in touring car racing in Europe, as has the BMW M3.

The only proper GT-cars in the series are actually the Porsches and there aren't even all that many of them.

Bear in mind that I am not talking about the current European series, but about what could have been if they had followed the example of the Americans. You're absolutely right, the current European series is a GT-series, but it should have been a touring car series!

They should have also added a second division for pocket-rocket cars like the Vokswagen GTI, Mazdaspeed 3, Honda Civic and smaller BMWs like it is the case in the American series.
Well the Challenge series has always been about Bronze rated drivers with maybe a few real professionals in it like Boris Said. I don't think you wanna go overboard, but let's be honest; if Porsche really wanted to win Continental Challenge they would put Porsche Jr drivers in the cars and have one of the respected Porsche teams (Alex Job, TRG, Flying Lizard) run the operation.

Porsche is fine with letting their customers race the cars without much factory help and developing young local (North American) drivers.

I wholehearted agree, listening to Americans - Blasphemy!

Since we know the (Conti) series so well Speed, how about me and you pitch it to all the GT4 teams? lol

Last edited by dj4monie; 16 Jul 2010 at 20:11.
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Old 16 Jul 2010, 20:29 (Ref:2727744)   #26
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As a part time competitor in the grand am conti series here in the US i've looked at competing in europe in GT4..over the years it started out being a good series with mustangs and bmw z4 and such and competing at great tracks..now it seems its high end cars, other than ginettas, at low profile tracks..also its gone with two drivers in an endurance format (2 hr races)to share the costs. Maybe GT open would look to add a conti like series to their weekend?
International GT Open (Spanish GT) has two classes already (GT2 and GT3-ish).

Average entry looks like 30-35 cars. Its also a spec tire series as well (Dunlop)

GT4 would work much better if it looked like the Conti Challenge and was its own stand alone series. Keep it in Continental Europe and run to a 2-3 hour format. Run it as a support series to GT3 or GP3 when possible but run a couple of races as a headliner to other spec series. Running it as a Round of the other GT4 series in Europe would give you automatic entries as a replacement for teams that don't have the budget to travel say to Netherlands or Germany.

Adding a Touring or Hot Hatch class would bolster grids and you can use off the shelf race cars at a reduced cost to teams.
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Old 18 Dec 2011, 06:00 (Ref:3001447)   #27
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Has anyone some more news about the 2012 FIA-GT4-calender?
I know DSC posted it in their subscribers section but I haven´t found anything else - even on the official site.
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Old 18 Dec 2011, 10:53 (Ref:3001503)   #28
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GT4 European Cup 2012

20-22 April BEL Zolder
08-10 June BEL Francorchamps
22-24 June ITA Franciacorta
17-19 August SVN Slovakiaring
31-02 September FRA Albi**
12-14 October Zandvoort NLD
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Old 18 Dec 2011, 14:44 (Ref:3001544)   #29
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GT4 European Cup 2012

20-22 April BEL Zolder
08-10 June BEL Francorchamps
22-24 June ITA Franciacorta
17-19 August SVN Slovakiaring
31-02 September FRA Albi**
12-14 October Zandvoort NLD
WHAT? world GT can't run in spa and this champ does?
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Old 19 Dec 2011, 04:58 (Ref:3001732)   #30
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Thanks, Fire

Hmpf - still no british and no german round - despite a bunch of british and german teams running and manufacturers building such machines.

From a "European Cup" I would expect a more clever marketing approach.

(But maybe not from the current organisators)
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