GT International Open – the roots
In 2019, the international GT Open will run its 14th season, confirming itself as one of the top pro-am racing platforms in Europe.
It was back in 2006 that GT Sport and former sportscar driver Jesús Pareja launched the series, following the introduction of GT Sport’s single-seater series, today’s Euroformula Open. Since then, the International GT Open has enjoyed constant expansion and a growing success – today, the International GT Open renews its formula to further assert its position among GT series in Europe. But what exactly are these GT series?
The GT classes – an overview
The GT classes of sports car racing offer some of the most exciting and diverse forms of Motorsport, with many road-based cars of different specifications often sharing the track at the same time. This leads to great racing, but understanding the differences between them can be difficult – so below find a short overview on the classes that currently exist.
GTE is currently the highest level of GT racing, and is further split into two levels, Pro and Am. GTE-Pro is largely defined by manufacturers and factory backed teams, and GTE-Am is for privateers. GTE-Am cars are required to be at least one year old or made to the previous year’s specification. This category was called GT2 before 2011, and is called GTLM in the United SportsCar Championship.
The car is not required to use the engine it is offered with (although it usually is), but it is required to be a production engine used in a road car. Carbon fiber, titanium and magnesium cannot be used outside of parts like spoilers and wheels, unless the road car has a carbon cockpit. All cars are rear-wheel-drive, and engine-based traction control is allowed. Also, in an interesting nod to the Le Mans era of old, every GTE car is required to have 150 cubic decimeters of luggage space.
GT3 was initially launched in 2005 by the FIA, and was designed to fit under the GT2 specification. This category was designed to be much simpler and easier to drive than the GT1 and GT2 classes, so that amateurs and younger drivers could work their way up into higher levels of GT racing. This class has become the most popular class of GT racing in the world as it is present in most regional racing series all over the globe. In the United SportsCar Championship, GT3 cars are run in the GTD class with a different spec- rear wing.
GT3 cars have no limit on engine sizes and configurations, chassis construction, or layout, but they must be based on road cars that are in mass production, and a large variety of cars have been homologated. Occasionally you will see privateers run older GT3 cars, even if they are not in production anymore.
The GT4 class was created to support the GT3 class with a true low tech amateur sports car series. The GT4 class consists of cars that are much closer to the road cars they are based on over than the other classes featured here. GT4 cars are often referred to as “Track Day” cars, as they are at price points that make them very accessible to gentleman drivers who want racing experience. The GT4 class is often seen accompanying GT3 classes in series around the globe. You’ll also see GT4 class cars compete in single make series.
Cars are adjusted to have an almost identical performance level so that driver skill is highlighted, and once a car has been homologated it cannot be modified. This prevents a war of developmental cost increases, allowing the series to keep it a true amateur series.
International GT Open – that is „WHY“!
One of the best platforms for Pro and Am GT racing in the world
- The highest level of performance for GT3 cars
- Unbeatable cost/return ratio
- First series to adopt time handicap system to level performances, instead of complex and costly technical measures
- Best calendar in the world, in terms of circuits visited (all legendary and F.1-graded venues)
Standard Event Format
- Friday: 2 free practice sessions (60’)
- Saturday: 2 qualifying sessions (40’)
- Race 1 : 70’
- Sunday: Race 2 : 50’
- (whenever entry level allows it, Race 2 is split into two separate Super GT and GTS races)
Further Information: http://www.gtopen.net