Sunday, July 10, 2011

Bitching about FIA World GT1 Championship

As honorable Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said "Everybody is entitled to their own opinion but not his/her own facts"

Does this championship reflect poorly on Sports Car Racing? No and how in the hell should you know anyway? Because five of your friends agree with you, that's now fact??? They have no evidence of this and should state up front that this is OPINION, not FACT.

It seems Marc VDS is bent out of shape because Roush Engines didn't send them their order of replacement engines until after the 4th of July weekend. Okay so basically Belgian Holidays are more important than American one's? In the United States Independence Day is a Federal Holiday meaning most things are closed. Even if they were ready to ship, nobody was shipping on July 4th even if it was a Monday.

So these two issues combine to give people that never liked the series to start with fodder to kill it in the court of public opinion.

While I might agree that going with outdated GT1 cars MIGHT have been short-sighted, the concept of sprint races is just fine. It leads to hard racing, risky maneuvers and pushing on every lap. That makes the racing exciting and generally good.

With the recent announcement of the realignment of Sports Car and GT racing by the FIA, the types of cars allowed in the GT World Championship might expand. What I find interesting is only 2011 GT3 cars and 2009 GT2 cars will be allowed to run with the current GT1 cars.

Speaking of Marc VDS, they recently announced they will run what I believe is one of BMW Z4's currently ran by Shubert Engineering who fields Z4's in the European GT3 Championship. They have entered cars into the Spa 24hr race later this month. Marc VDS will also enter the Ford GT they normally use in GT3 competition and the updated Ford Mustang GT3 which showed promise last time it was seen during qualifying last season. They have stated they are investigating the GT3 version of the Z4 not only for this race but also the because of the recently announced changes in 2012 as they may drop the Ford GT and the rest of their Ford hardware. It would be a shame as they are the only Ford team left in International Competition besides the Roberston Racing Ford's currently in ALMS GT2 and the occasional RPM Ford GT that appears in some GT Open and Brit GP races.

When Matech's founder died suddenly, most of Ford development on the GT1 Ford GT's stopped. The Mustang program was taken over by Marc VDS last season. The car is built by Larry Holt and company at Multimatic in Canada with Ford's blessing.

Anyway, the point is the series is not bad for sports car racing (1) and (2) will be expanding. As long as they continue to have close competitive racing, people will watch, fans will show up and more fans will find out about the series.

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