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Old 9 Jul 2010, 13:09 (Ref:2724014)   #1
pez
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GT4 - The future...?

Given the economic climate, is this the time for GT4?

We now have GT4 race series in UK, Europe & Asia and more GT4 homolgated cars.... so what's stopping it being from becoming an outright success?
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Old 9 Jul 2010, 14:33 (Ref:2724057)   #2
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GT4's problem is IMHO the permanent rules creep: When they started the class there were plans for BMW Z4, Audi TT and even Opel GT projects and the Mustangs were quite competitive. But in the last few years they have not only left the Mustang a good deal behind, even the original "no additional aero-parts" rule has been weakened to a point where it isn't really worth a lot anymore (cf. the current Maserati) and cars have become a good deal more expensive than initially planned.

If I was a rich gentleman driver, and had the choice between running a car in GT4 or in an open national series like Dutch Supercar or Britcar, I'd go for the latter, as I'd probably get a lot more bhp for my €...

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.

What they should have done with GT4 is to copy Copy Conti Challenge and make it into a European Endurance Championship for Production cars or something like that - kinda like a successor to the old 1960s-80s ETCC.

Last edited by Speed-King; 9 Jul 2010 at 14:39.
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Old 9 Jul 2010, 15:04 (Ref:2724072)   #3
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Originally Posted by Speed-King View Post
GT4's problem is IMHO the permanent rules creep: When they started the class there were plans for BMW Z4, Audi TT and even Opel GT projects and the Mustangs were quite competitive. But in the last few years they have not only left the Mustang a good deal behind, even the original "no additional aero-parts" rule has been weakened to a point where it isn't really worth a lot anymore (cf. the current Maserati) and cars have become a good deal more expensive than initially planned.

If I was a rich gentleman driver, and had the choice between running a car in GT4 or in an open national series like Dutch Supercar or Britcar, I'd go for the latter, as I'd probably get a lot more bhp for my €...

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.

What they should have done with GT4 is to copy Copy Conti Challenge and make it into a European Endurance Championship for Production cars or something like that - kinda like a successor to the old 1960s-80s ETCC.
Agreed Speed-King.

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. I think it could grow like 70's IMSA GT Racing.

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Old 16 Jul 2010, 15:39 (Ref:2727613)   #4
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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, 15:47 (Ref:2727617)   #5
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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 15:56.
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Old 16 Jul 2010, 19:05 (Ref:2727727)   #6
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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.


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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 19:11.
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Old 10 Jul 2010, 06:45 (Ref:2724301)   #7
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I never liked the GT4, its seems to be Gran Turismo or Forza Motorsport for the real life, even proper touring cars are much faster
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Old 10 Jul 2010, 08:17 (Ref:2724324)   #8
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I never liked the GT4, its seems to be Gran Turismo or Forza Motorsport for the real life, even proper touring cars are much faster
Nope, Super 2000 cars (are that real touring cars for you?) are about as fast as GT4 cars... S2000 lap record at Zandvoort is 1.47.XXX and it's about the same in the Dutch GT4 series. And you can't really compare WTCC with the GT4 European series, as the teams and drivers are at very different levels of quality. But when we compare the GT4 European series to ADAC-Procar, which is an amateur series for S2000 cars, we again see very similar times, with both doing 1.38s at Oschersleben.
GT4 cars of today, are in fact not much slower than the 996 Cup-Porsches of ten years ago, and if those were a legitimate addition to national GT series back then, GT4s are today.
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Old 12 Jul 2010, 00:48 (Ref:2725167)   #9
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If the regs allowed some basic aero additions I think it would improve the look of the cars and their performance on track.

+ there is a great mix of GT4 car out there now:
Porsche
BMW
Maserati
Aston
Ginetta
Nissan
Lotus
Corvette
Audi
Donkervoort
KTM
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Old 12 Jul 2010, 06:39 (Ref:2725242)   #10
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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.
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Old 12 Jul 2010, 20:58 (Ref:2725716)   #11
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Not sure what happen to the Euro series or and the UK series is dominated by Ginettas.

I would run a couple of Boss 302R's in Europe, I'm kinda surprised nobody has imported any. I know a Dutch or a Belgian team was suppose to run some Camaros.

The only part of Grand Am I can stand is Grand Am Cup and that's because it was never their idea... It was originally the IMSA Firestone Firehawk Series...
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Old 12 Jul 2010, 21:20 (Ref:2725732)   #12
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I know a Dutch or a Belgian team was suppose to run some Camaros.
Yes, Equipe Verschuur. One of their cars didn't meet the delivery, the second broke before round one and the third broke during round one. They've had problems ever since I believe.
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Old 12 Jul 2010, 21:28 (Ref:2725737)   #13
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The only part of Grand Am I can stand is Grand Am Cup and that's because it was never their idea... It was originally the IMSA Firestone Firehawk Series...
As if IMSA invented showroom stock racing... and just FYI, there's no direct lineage between the Firehawk series and Conti Challenge:

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The Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge is a racing series run by the Grand American Road Racing Association. Originating from the Canadian Motorola Cup, the series was taken over by Grand-Am in 2001 to become the Grand-Am Cup following the demise of rival IMSA's Firehawk series of similar rules in the US.
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Old 13 Jul 2010, 19:17 (Ref:2726248)   #14
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As if IMSA invented showroom stock racing... and just FYI, there's no direct lineage between the Firehawk series and Conti Challenge:
Ova here, Stockroom Stock was invented by the SCCA to replace a series of classes that in years past had Mustang GT350's and such in them. They slowly got replaced with tube chassis cars and the cost shot through the roof.

There is a direct lineage between the Firehawk series and Conti Challenge and he's how I know this.

IMSA's series was different than SCCA because IMSA allowed minor modifications (bolt-ons). In fact there is not a ton of difference between the Eagle Talon's that the Archer Brothers fielded and the Talon's they fielded in SCCA World Challenge T2.

SCCA Showroom Stock was stock until the Dodge Neon ACR started to dominate SSC that they allowed "Trunk Kits". Otherwise you had to race the cars as they came with bolt-in roll bars. The Neon had 1 way adjustable Koni struts (1997-99 MY) and they were sloted for vastly more camber adjustment than what was found on most cars in its class, I know I had one Plus all the engineers in Chrysler Small Car raced the things so they had custom flashed ECU's and blueprinted engines.... These things are fairly normal in Showroom Stock.

But anyway, the Firehawk series became the Speedvision Endurance series when Firestone ended its relationship and Toyo was brought in. When Speedvision, then Speed dropped direct sponsorship, what was left of it merged with the Canadian Motorola Cup and THAT became The Conti Challenge.

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Old 13 Jul 2010, 06:52 (Ref:2725890)   #15
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...and the UK series is dominated by Ginettas.
I wouldn't quite say that, the Lotus 2-11 has proven quick in the 3 races it has taken part in & would have won at Knockhill if it hadn't been rudely punted off & in to retirement by a Viper at a late re-start.
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