Your Grand Tour of the Grand Tourers
The GT Category of racing has been around since the 1960s but what exactly is a ‘GT car’?
Think of a GT, or ‘Grand Tourer’, as a racing version of some of the worlds famous and luxurious Sports and Supercars! The likes of Ferrari and Porsche for example – they’ve made their names as brilliant Supercar manufacturers by making great GT category race cars!
As the racing world has fluctuated through different era’s, manufacturers have been and gone, each trying their hand at winning some of the biggest GT races in the world (most notably the Le Mans 24 Hour race).
Many cars have dominated and steeped their names in history over the years. From the fantastically sleek Martini liveried Porsche 911 RSRs to the incredibly expensive and hugely developed Mercedes CLK flying machines.
The category has since, in the last 20 years, been suppressed into sub categories (which makes things even more confusing!).
Firstly, there was GT1 – see exhibit B, the Maserati MC1.
The GT1 category, although produced incredible cars and even better racing, died a death after costs rose astronomically high, with a single car costing 2-3 million pounds. This left the GT2 category, which features slightly more sensible regulations which look after the cost per car somewhat.
In the modern era, GT2 was renamed GTE and is currently the pinnacle of GT racing categories – meaning the factory marks of Aston Martin, Porsche, BMW and Ferrari only choose the best drivers in the world to drive their machines!
You can watch these cars battling it out in the likes of the World Endurance Championship and more notably, the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Finally, we come to GT3 which was formed as an alternative to the increasingly expensive GT1 cars. The cheaper and easier to drive supercars in the GT3 regulations were an instant hit with manufacturers such as Ferrari, Audi, Porsche, Mercedes, McLaren and Aston Martin and were soon followed by the likes of Lamborghini, Nissan and more recently Bentley, BMW and Jaguar.
These cars are designed and built in the factories, and simply sold off the shelf. Costs can be from 400,000 to 600,000 (much cheaper than the GT1 cars) which makes the category much more approachable for gentleman/amateur drivers. Also, the driving assists allowed in GT3 racing such as ABS braking and Traction Control make the cars much easier to drive close to the limit, reducing the gap between the Pro’s and the… not so Pro’s!
For all the reasons above, and the fact the cars look incredible, we’ll be racing the GT3 category cars for our annual 24 Hour Charity Race on March 2nd/3rd. Entry can be made into either the PRO or AM classes and with any of our 11 GT3 class cars.
Click HERE for more details on the race and/or to browse the car selection!