March 3, 2010

FIA GT1: Manufacturer's World Championship

Seems hard to believe now but there was a time when sports car racing was more advanced and more popular than Formula 1. In the late 60s, early 70s, at the time of prototype racing, it was the epic war between Ferrari, Porsche and Ford that kept people riveted. Inevitably with the growing importance of television, endurance racing did not fit the bill and faded away.

Back to the future, for 2010 the FIA has recognized the GT1 series as a "world" championship and the format has been changed from endurance to sprints, albeit with a mandatory driver and tire change. Ford, Maserati, Nissan, Aston Martin, Lamborghini and GM will each field four cars in GT1. GT2 and GT3 will remain as "local" European championships with BMW, Porsche, Ferrari, Ascari, Audi continuing to slug it out there.

Here is the video from the official launch in Paris, I recognize Tiff Needell there, but was that Eric Clapton at the beginning?
At the end of the clip you can see the cars in action, testing at Paul Ricard.

end of post


  1. This is so Cool!! I hope it really succeeds. I personally prefer Sportscar racing to Open wheels, and Sprints is a MUCH better and exciting format, as it forces drivers to go 110% and take a lot more risks for the win (and less attrition which is typical from the more boring endurance races).

    Plus it brings to market a new whole generation of GT1 racecars that can be bought later by privateers to race

  2. This is great. What would be really awesome is if the different sports car series around the world consolidated their rules so the teams could run everywhere. One or two rounds of the local championships could be a part of the bigger World Championship.

    For example, the first round in the ALMS at Sebring would be attended by the regular US teams plus the big worldwide works teams. Afterwards, ALMS teams stay in America and the WC cars move on to the next "local" championship in Japan or GB or Italy. That way every smaller championship in the world would have one race where they could compare themselves to the big dogs. And maybe beat them.

    Then everybody could meet at LeMans and have a big party. Also, get rid of the open cockpit prototypes.

  3. I'm sure it it got the right marketing it could be very popular. There is a whole generation who don't identify with F1 but know all these cars from Gran Tourismo.

  4. I love it! GT racing is where it's at! See you there in a couple years! ;)

  5. GR88888888T

    quick question: where to watch it in the US?

  6. The internet when Axis scams some clips :)

  7. Where to watch in the U.S.? Well FIA GT (in it's old multi-class iteration) hasn't had a presence on TV here since ~2005 when SpeedTV carried it (in 1hr episodes - they were 3hr races then), over the winter break.

    Also, FIA GT sometimes has streams of the races so check the website. I'm not optimistic on this being showed during the season over here...assuming it get's picked up, I'd look for it from Late November to January on the winter schedule like DTM, BTCC, etc. alternative would be to email HDT and get them interested, they seem to have a focus on motorsport now (they've got in season 3 night coverage of the ongoing 2010 WRC).

  8. SpeedTV (Fox) shows FiA GT races ALL the time in Latin America. I watch it everytime I travel on business (plus WTCC, BTCCC, and all the real good stuff). Speed US content vs. Speed in LatAm only share like 10% of the content.

    So I bet it wouldn't take them much effort to show it too in the US. I just hope they dont have a veto or first right over others like HDT who are making a big effort to please our audience.

  9. Can we get Speed in LatAm here in the US as Speed 2 please! I just read World Challenge is not on Speed any longer since they are not the main sponsor. Now Versus is carrying the races with longer coverage. Might be old news but new to me.

  10. HD Theater / Discovery Channel. They are the ones who are showing the WRC this year.
    HD Theater homepage

  11. Based on last year's coverage of WC, I think we're better off with Versus providing you actually get the channel. Their IRL coverage was an improvement over years past...

    WC is taking a nosedive big time, SCCA has run that into the ground.


nRelate Posts Only