Wednesday, September 4, 2013

TRG to enter Aston Martin Vantage GT3 at Penultimate Grand Am race

 Looks like TRG-Aston Martin has entered their Vantage V12 GT3 at the Laguna Seca round as Darren Turner, factory Aston Martin driver is on the driver strength with recent World Challenge winner Brandon Davis.

  Entry List

 I am going to guess this is an opportunity to collect data vs the Grand Am spec cars that are basically going to rolled into GT-D next season.

 I'm a little bit skeptical because I really think FIA cars at Sonoma could have finished higher than they did but didn't want to interfere with the championship that is being fought between Sofronas and O'Connell.

 According to Brad Kettler of Audi North America Consumer Sports, the FIA spec car is 4 seconds faster a lap than the car Sofronas runs or the Fall-Line Audi (which are the same). 

 If Sofronas is on pace with the Caddy CTS-V cars and is not considered a Pro driver, what happens when Darren Turner a proven shoe, who's driven Laguna Seca before and owns a professional simulator; is somebody trying to tell me they have no chance to win?

 Will they run unclassifed because there is a tight championship battle in Rolex GT?

 I said to stay tuned because I would have a take on this after seeing the car and how it ran.  

They qualified 10th and finished 10th. With as many changes to the car just to run it to Rolex GT specs is astounding. I would post a picture of an FIA spec car, but with this car's dark color scheme its a bit hard to see without high res pictures.

 But I can tell you (also explained in the press release) that they changed the front fenders (less aggressive), front splitter and looks like the GT4 rear bumper. From the first laps turned in the car, Darren Turner and Brandon Davis both said the car lacked balance or a loose condition (oversteer). 

 This is the same problem that has plagued the Fall-Line Audi R8 LMS Grand Am since getting the car. Grand Am has allowed them to install the rear diffuser from the Ultra to help alleviate that problem and that gets back to my point of allowing pure FIA GT3 cars.

 Here's what I don't understand from a few fans pov. Some are adamant that the only Porsche allowed in GT-D next season is the Porsche (997) 911-GT3 Cup "America". I read the press release which I will not link to because frankly this is not the direction USCC should going in. From the announced specs, the America is basically a Super Cup Porsche with a NASCAR/Grand Am mandated rollcage thickness. The main difference between the cars running Rolex GT or ALMS GTC is the Super Cup car has ABS.

 I understand the reasoning  behind this is to save teams money. But as I keep saying, even spending $100K more for most racing teams is nothing, they will spend it somewhere else and they will spend it, they won't save it.

 There is some interest from some Audi GT3 teams in Europe to run at least Daytona and possibly the North American Endurance Championship (Daytona, Sebring, Watkins Glen, Petit Le Mans) and I know there interest in GT-D from Black Swan and others.

 This is not the time to force teams into making expensive changes to existing cars, blunting the impact of the FIA GT3 cars that I and other fans are clamoring for.

 Some are concerned about the overall lap speed of the FIA GT3 cars. Being the slowest class where they are now some 8-10 seconds slower than P2/LMPC/DP and 5-6 seconds GTLM; Again according to Brad Kettler of Audi Customer Sports USA the FIA GT3 spec Audi R8 Ultra is 4 seconds faster than the Grand Am/GTC spec car. In many championships GT3 cars run a spec tire as well.

 On a optimized tire they can lap very close to a GTLM car. But development has been halted by SRO and the FIA; Even then they are 2-3 seconds per lap slower. At a recent International GT Open race at Spa, the best lap time by a GTS (FIA GT3) car was 2:22.556 and the best lap by former F1 driver Montermini in his GT (GTE spec 2013) Ferrari F458 was 2.20.360.

 On tighter tracks and slippery surfaces, the GTS car may have a slight advantage over a GTLM car because they ABS and Traction Control, while the GTLM cars have just Traction Control.

 With the Pro-Am mandate for this class, at its fastest the car will be 2-3 seconds slower than GTLM and at least 4-6 seconds slower with the Am driver.

 This will make them 6-7 seconds slower than the fastest class which is plenty. 

 With the Pro-Am mandate removed from P2 in USCC competition, I don't see any difficulties with pro drivers being forced to make quality passes around Pro Am drivers, which is something they are used too, it doesn't matter if they don't quite blow away the slowest class as dramatically as they do now.

 Please join me in my push to make Elkins and USCC bring FIA GT3 cars into GT-D WITHOUT ANY CHANGES to the cars. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Recent Comments