GT4 European Cup -/ Balance of performance test at Dijon-Prenois
GT4 European Cup -/ Balance of performance test at Dijon-Prenois
Four makes within four tenths of a second : looking good !
The inaugural races of the GT4 European Cup will take place at Silverstone, Great Britain on May 5th and 6th, along with a round of the FIA GT Championship, and SRO Motorsports Group is sparing no effort to ensure a successful debut for the new series.
Just like the FIA GT3 European Championship, a balancing of performance concept governs the series and the latest validation test took place at Dijon on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.
Following the activation of the process at Nogaro in early March, the Dijon-Prenois circuit saw four manufacturers take to the French track. "Incredibly, all cars were perfectly matched," said Pascal Witmeur, the GT4 European Cup series manager for SRO. "After running for two days in ideal and equal conditions, there was hardly anything between the Aston Martin Vantage N24, the Ford Mustang FR500GT, the Maserati Trofeo and the BMW Z4 Coupé.
They were all within the same half a second ! Kurt Mollekens, our test driver, carried out several runs of variable duration on new Pirelli tyres, and the performance between the cars was matched every time ! So we're now going to freeze the tech specs of the cars which all offer an approximate 3,5 kg/hp power-to-weight ratio. This is really proof of the GT4 concept and we're now ready to go racing !"
The enthusiasm for GT4 was ever-present during the two days of testing in the Burgundy region. Pascal Witmeur: "There's really a good atmosphere and many team members expressed their satisfaction with the series' format, especially with regard to running costs. Several teams also took advantage of the opportunity to establish contacts with drivers seeking to compete."
On the eve of the kick-off of GT4, scheduled for the prestigious Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy weekend at Silverstone, two additional cars will be submitted to the balancing of performance test. "It'll be a last minute process for the Porsche Cayman and the Nissan 350Z Evo," explained Witmeur.
"But SRO will enforce the GT4 philosophy and regulations for the sake of providing a level playing field. I really think we'll have a better overall view of things right before Oschersleben. For instance, Lotus is working on upgrading the Sport Exige. We're hopeful it will join the series for the second round."
With several other projects currently under review, like the Audi TT and Opel GT, the GT4 European Cup's future appears quite promising. "We really wanted to launch the series this year as there was a clear demand from teams and competitors for a series combining a cost effective format with upscale GT cars," says Stéphane Ratel, the Chairman of SRO Motorsports Group.
"The performance of the cars at Dijon testifies to the fact that the concept, based on GT3, is safe and sound. This first season will provide everyone with an opportunity to put things in motion and I believe we'll have an impressive grid of cars by the time we reach the last race of the series scheduled at Nogaro."
After Dijon, GT4 is now on the road to Silverstone. "I would really like to thank the teams that committed to GT4 from the outset," concluded Pascal Witmeur. "Hats off to G&A Motors, Performance 98, Multimatic (Ford USA's competition client branch), JMB racing and Aston-Martin. Thanks to them, the future of GT4 is bright !"
- Pascal Witmeur , SRO Belgium - photo: Jacques Létihon
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2007 FIA GT Championhsip Round 1 - ZHUHAI CHINA
1 Vitaphone Racing Team GER Michael Bartels GER Thomas Biagi ITA Maserati MC 12 GT1 GT1
2 Vitaphone Racing Team GER Miguel Ramos POR Christian Montanari RSM Maserati MC 12 GT1 GT1
4 GLPK Carsport BEL Anthony Kumpen BEL Bert Longin BEL Corvette C5R GT1
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Pos Car Class Car Thursday Friday Fastest
23 Aston Martin Racing BMSGT1 Aston Martin DBR9 1:46.622 1:45.504 1:45.504
33 Race Alliance GT1 Aston Martin DBR9 1:47.292 1:46.420 1:46.420
3 Phoenix GT1 Aston Martin DBR9 1:46.837 1:46.837
8 All-Inkl.com Racing GT1 Lamborghini Murciélago 1:47.802 1:47.802