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Old 10 Mar 2010, 18:30 (Ref:2649064)   #1
Bentley03
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GT2 - battle lines drawn - the ACO declares war............

DAILY SPORTSCAR describe it as 'the battle for hearts and minds'.................

This is the ACO's statement regarding the future of GT2 in ACO regs racing:

The LM-GT2 is a category of the future for endurance racing
Wednesday 10 March 2010 - 11h08
The Automobile Club de l’Ouest specifies that for the “24 Heures du Mans” and the Le Mans Series (in Europe, in the USA and in Asia), the LM-GT2 category, currently expanding rapidly, has a wonderful future beckoning for the coming years.

Indeed, the ACO had already taken 3 important decisions in 2009 concerning the future of the category:

• By listening to, and consulting with all the constructors of GT2, the ACO had supported their request to the FIA to ‘freeze’ the 2009 rules for 2010 and 2011.

• Within an objective of safety and balance of performances with the other categories (LMP and GT), the ACO had also decided to lower the performances of the LM-GT2s. This decision has made it possible to appreciably improve the reliability of the GT2s in the Le Mans races as well as in the “24 Heures” race.

• At the same time, the ACO also decided to open the LM-GT2s to new makes which were making the request to race in this category, in order to give this category a wider sports dimension. Out of the 26 requests that the ACO received in GT2 for the 2010 “24 Heures” in February, we have thus been able to count 7 different makes, including 3 new ones (BMW, Jaguar and Corvette).

• The stability of its rules, the opening to projects coming from different manufacturers, and the fact of mastering the level of performance of the cars make it possible today for the LM-GT2 category to group together exceptional line-ups where private and official competitors fight on equal terms for victory.

The ACO believes that the future will allow an even more important expansion of this GT category, notably with the arrival of new technologies on the ‘road’ versions of the manufacturers.



Sounds like a declaration of all out war on the FIA. The battle for supremacy in GT racing begins...........
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Old 10 Mar 2010, 18:41 (Ref:2649074)   #2
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It seems from that statement that this will indeed be the last year of GT-1 (sorta) as we know it, running in the ACO.




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Old 10 Mar 2010, 18:54 (Ref:2649084)   #3
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Putting the GT-2's as the star of the GT class will not bother me one bit!
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Old 10 Mar 2010, 18:57 (Ref:2649085)   #4
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Is too wonder if this is intended as a shot to Ratel, and eliminating his GT1 from ACO's future?
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Old 10 Mar 2010, 18:59 (Ref:2649088)   #5
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Me either, but reading that statement I saw nothing that indicates GT1 is going away. (But I wish it would)
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Old 10 Mar 2010, 19:06 (Ref:2649093)   #6
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i dont see why gt1 and aco cant run in seperate lines....just treat it as daytona prototypes and the ALMS
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Old 10 Mar 2010, 19:08 (Ref:2649095)   #7
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Maybe one should also look at this from another perspective: The end of the FIA-series poses a thread to the health of GT2 at large and the ACO is trying to reassource GT2 teams and manufacturers of the importance of the class.

After all, the market for GT2-cars has been shrinking for a while with most national series abandoning it, and now it is further collapsing with the end of the FIA-series. Less cars to sell means less money for the for profit programmes of Porsche and Ferrari and this will become a problem especially with the arrival of the full on factory teams.
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Old 10 Mar 2010, 19:23 (Ref:2649110)   #8
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If they are going to split further away from the FIA, then they need to drop the "2" from GT2... having a GT2 without a GT1 is just silly. It will be very interesting to see how the FIA GT1 cars do at LeMans this year...

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Old 10 Mar 2010, 19:29 (Ref:2649114)   #9
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• Within an objective of safety and balance of performances with the other categories (LMP and GT), the ACO had also decided to lower the performances of the LM-GT2s.
That doesn't sound like GT1 is going away to me.
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Old 10 Mar 2010, 19:37 (Ref:2649121)   #10
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Shots fired! This seems to be the battle for GT supremacy. GT-2 is healthy in ALMS, LMS, GT-Open and still in several National Championships. In the ALMS GTC looks as if it will be expanded somewhat towards GT-3. Also from this statement several other mfgs. seem interested in GT-2, maybe some of those would be the leading edge GT-3s (?). If so, integration of those to GT-2 could/would ease the margin between the 2 classes, thus stabilizing both and maybe make them the ACO GT classes.





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Old 10 Mar 2010, 22:25 (Ref:2649214)   #11
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JAG should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridJAG should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridJAG should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
I could see Audi and Mclaren entering GT2.

It would then just be a case of keeping costs in check.
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Old 10 Mar 2010, 22:31 (Ref:2649223)   #12
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That doesn't sound like GT1 is going away to me.
Disregard this post, I misread.
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Old 10 Mar 2010, 23:34 (Ref:2649263)   #13
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I reckon its good news .....
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Old 11 Mar 2010, 00:35 (Ref:2649291)   #14
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dj choc ice should be qualifying in the top 10 on the griddj choc ice should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
The ACO have drawn first blood then, wonder how Ratel and the SRO will respond to this, could get ugly. But i am in agreeance with the ACO more than the SRO, Ratel made his bed with the GT2 championship so he can lie in it quite frankly.
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Old 11 Mar 2010, 10:06 (Ref:2649471)   #15
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The problem with the FIA GT2 European Championship does not lie with the FIA as such, it is SRO that dropped the ball in the push for a World Championship series that could have been for either GT1 or GT2.

The Sales and Marketing people at all the manufacturers would like to claim to be the "World Champions" but equally love to advertise that they are the winners of LM which at the moment carries more prestige within their market. As things stand we have too much fragmentation and the only thing that binds GT racing together is the strength of the LM24 and the satelite series that guarantee an entry to what is in effect the "final" for the ACO based series each year.

In the past few seasons the winners of the FIA series in each class were also guaranteed an entry to the LM24, will this still apply to the FIA World Championship? One could argue that this would, in effect, show that winning that series only qualifies a team to enter the biggest race of all. On the other hand for the ACO not to invite the winners to the 24 would further split the two camps and if the ACO then dropped GT1 as a class the GT1 WC would become isolated and have to stand or fall on its own.

The proposal built into the ACO statement that new technologies have a place in GT2 is also significant given the new Porsche and others.

SRO can only respond by making a major success of its new championship and it is going to be interesting to see how this develops.

Does anyone know what the mandate is from the FIA to SRO to run "their" championships? Does it work like the deal with FOM for the FIA F1 World Championship and how does it compare with the FIA World Rally Championship or the WTCC?
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Old 11 Mar 2010, 10:32 (Ref:2649484)   #16
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"declaring war" - isn't that exaggerated? If I read that story it's more ACO's view on GT2.
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Old 11 Mar 2010, 12:59 (Ref:2649550)   #17
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"declaring war" - isn't that exaggerated? If I read that story it's more ACO's view on GT2.
Exaggerated? Maybe, but this statement signals a very significant change in the ACO's stance with regard to their willingness to work with the SRO. A period of 'supposed' collaboration with the SRO to adopt a parallel ruleset for the top GT classes has disintegrated and the ACO has clearly taken the decision to go it alone. For sure, there's an element of opportunism on their part, given the recent total collapse of the European FIAGT2 championship which has discredited Ratel and his SRO. In the wake of that collapse, the ACO have decided to capitalise on the opportunity that has presented itself by offering rules stability and the opportunity for manufacturers to present new technologies in a GT racing environment.

So, the ACO are now actively trying to lure teams and manufacturers away from the SRO organised and promoted championships. I think that's war.
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Old 11 Mar 2010, 16:19 (Ref:2649672)   #18
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The fight for manufacturers is on. Do they build GT1 vehicles for Ratel, or GT2 vehicles for ACO/LMS/ALMS...

Ratel, I think the game is over for you.
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Old 11 Mar 2010, 16:43 (Ref:2649690)   #19
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The GT1 championship makes me think of Trans-Am revivals in the last few years: it's all about finding a place to race old but still good cars. Now I'm not sure the others are going to enjoy losing to cars from the big 3 (AMR, Maseratitaphone, Corvette) that have been winning 24 hour races in the last 5 years. It can work if Porsche, Ferrari, BMW or Audi bring one of their cars to GT1. Or it can fail if entrants get tired of racing in a potentially costly world championship, racing races that are too short and pale in comparison to LMS races and LM, or if the performance balance means the old cars with all the development beat the newer ones and make it impossible for all but the usual suspects to win.
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Old 11 Mar 2010, 20:51 (Ref:2649853)   #20
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I really think Ratel's best option was to have a FIA GT World Championship with a GT1, GT2, and GT3 field.

It would showcase all the forms of GT racing and most importantly allow for many entries. GT2 and GT3 especially are loaded with variety of all types which is what makes sports car racing.

The old GT1 MC12s (which Ratel says have to leave in 2 years because they are supercars, not GT cars) are cars that make the current GT1 class. Yes they are old, but they are fast enough to matter and imo bring the fans. I like to see a C6R fight an MC12. When we lose them, that's a good list of GT1s that will go away. It feels the Nissan GTR and new Ford GT are the only real new things to GT1. Ratel is really putting himself in a poor position.

It's hard to see how Ratel's formula has any chance for success because as someone said earlier. Le Mans is sportscar racing and without contesting it, your sports car racing program doesn't matter.
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Old 11 Mar 2010, 21:33 (Ref:2649889)   #21
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Motominded, FIA GT3 teams can't afford travelling that much, and FIA GT2 teams complained each time they were forced to leave Europe.

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the ACO had supported their request to the FIA to ‘freeze’ the 2009 rules for 2010 and 2011
Supporting FIA's opinions sounds like collaborating to me, not declaring war.

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The ACO believes that the future will allow an even more important expansion of this GT category, notably with the arrival of new technologies on the ‘road’ versions of the manufacturers.
Since GT1 is the weaker class, it's it the one which should be used for experimenting hybrid powertrain stuff. GT2 should be protected from costly technology races. If only Ratel had made the World Championship with the GT2 class...
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Old 11 Mar 2010, 22:03 (Ref:2649914)   #22
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Supporting FIA's opinions sounds like collaborating to me, not declaring war.

This was not supporting SRO or FIA! It was in support of the mfgs. request to FIA.


Since GT1 is the weaker class, it's it the one which should be used for experimenting hybrid powertrain stuff. GT2 should be protected from costly technology races. If only Ratel had made the World Championship with the GT2 class...
GT-1 no longer exists! GT-2 having hybrid technologies being utilized could still be kept in check if the ACO choose, so far in P-1 they have kept hybrid powertrains from running amok!




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Old 11 Mar 2010, 22:12 (Ref:2649920)   #23
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Besides, Motominded, how many tracks, outside of Europe, are you going to find that can handle a GT field of that size? You mostly just have the F1 circuits in Asia. Elsewhere, Africa doesn't have anything permanent on that scale at present, and Philip Island would be busy if you could get a reasonably full field down to Oz. For North America, it's pretty much Road America, Watkins Glen, or Sebring. For South America, Interlagos might work, and then there's Potrero de los Funes.

I'll be honest, NBU38, I don't find that the GT2 cars 'grab me" like the GT1s do; so a GT World Championship should have GT1 in my book. And I know, people have shown me comparison photos of GT1s, GT2s, and GT3s to try and convince me there is no real difference. However, unless someone is spoon-feeding it to me, which is a complete killjoy, I DO see and feel a difference between GT1 and the other classes. When I watch the races for myself, based on my own perceptions, the cars seem bigger, meaner, more purposeful, and just more attractive than the GT2s or GT3s. And several years of people trying to give me "practical" arguments against GT1s have failed to dissuade me from deciding and choosing what I have found on my own that I prefer.
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Old 11 Mar 2010, 22:40 (Ref:2649938)   #24
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And you have the right to choose by feelings, Purist. The closest I've been to watching racing GTs besides YouTube was a parade at the 2007 Punta del Este Grand Prix, so I can't comment on those feelings.
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Old 11 Mar 2010, 23:47 (Ref:2649973)   #25
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Before we get back on topic, I hope you get the opportunity to make it to Potrero de los Funes come Autumn, or Spring in your case in the Southern Hemisphere. I got my first live taste of GTs (other than SCCA cars) with the ALMS race at Road America in 2007. I even got to see the Lista Maserati MC12 up close.

I'm not sure if official lines were being drawn or not, and it will be hard to know for sure until time has allowed things to pan out a bit more. I think that for the future, perhaps a situation like the WSC/LMP/GT1 set-up might be a decent idea. GT2 could be opened up a bit more. Make the GT1s oeverall contenders by giving them more aero freedom, a bit more power than the LMP1s, and less weight than the normal GTs carry. However, they should have a reasonable silhouette resemblance to a manufacturer's top-end road model(s). Chassis constructors could still build thoroughbred LMPs as coupes or spyders, but I do think the manufacturers would like their top-line racers to have a strong visual tie to their road-going kit.
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