Super GT Series Launch
The face of Australian motorsport is changing dramatically. Certainly with the impending demise of the Falcon and the Commodore, many believe the V8 Supercars series must morph into a clone of the German Touring Car Championships (DTM), where the tribal intensity of fans following Audi and Mercedes rivals that of our own Ford and Holden. Add to that the fact that more and more European racers are actively participating in V8 Supercars, as co-drivers, plus the reality that Mercedes and Volvo, along with Nissan are now fielding cars and teams and it doesn’t take much to imagine the starting grid at Bathurst sometime in the next three to four years, with not a Falcon or Holden in sight.
Of course, ex Commodore and Falcon V8 Supercars will race on for years to come in series such as the much loved Historic Touring Cars, while at the same time, the GT racing series, featuring the heavyweights of European GT sports cars, such as Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche and Aston Martin, is increasingly popular. Which segues into second and third tier motor racing, those enthusiasts with an ex V8 Supercar, or a race-speck European GT and the eternal tyranny of distance for enthusiast drivers based in Western Australia.
If they want to go racing on a regular basis against reasonably large fields of similar vehicles, they have to travel east and time is the enemy. Quite apart from the cost of transporting a race car, spares and crew over east, campaigning for six months simply isn’t possible for most drivers, in terms of other commitments.
A few months back, a group of dedicated West Australian drivers sat down to see if they could come up with a solution. They may well have hit the jackpot!
They realised the lap times of the European exotics and ex V8 Supercars were usually very similar, within two or three seconds of each other, often far less and most appealingly, individual driver skills were vital. Why not race European precision with Oz muscle?
They also knew they wanted a professionally run series for amateur and semi-pro drivers, where they could be sure of decent track time while keeping costs reasonable – well, nothing’s reasonable (read cheap!) in motor sport, but you get the gist. And so, the Super GT Series was born.
Ferrari enthusiast Claude Giorgi is ecstatic; he said; “I’m looking for what most casual drivers want, a no fuss, professionally organised series, where we don’t spend two valuable days away from our families and businesses to get maybe 8 laps in two races over a weekend. This series gives us a monthly one day event over six months, with no long travel and costs kept to a reasonable figure. I think it’s the perfect answer for enthusiasts like me and we’ve already got 24 entrants signed up to race.”
One of the driving forces behind the series, local businessman Ken Coppin, is the proud owner (and racer) of a very special ex V8 Supercar, the very first BF Falcon V8 Supercar built by FPV, Prototype 1, believed to have cost in excess of $1million to develop. The car, driven by Craig Lowndes and Glen Seaton, came second at Bathurst. He says the series is unique; “For $3,450.00 you get a professionally organised series of six events, plus an end-of-season endurance round, use of infield pit garages, race vehicle and pit signage, membership and access passes to the Super GT Series. But perhaps more importantly, we’re in a position to offer tuition and advice to novices and a welcome politic free camaraderie for drivers and their supporters to participate in a well organised, regular series. Everybody gets practice and qualifying sessions, plus two races of up to 25 laps all in one day! It’s a magic combination for amateur enthusiasts like me to follow our passion.”
If you’d like to become a Super GT Series driver, you’ll need a CAMS Drivers License and all competitors must comply with the Super GT Series 2014 Standing Regulations. The first round kicks off on March 22nd, other dates as follows:
Round 2: Autumn Classic 27th April
Round 3: TBC – V8 Supercar Support Event 15th – 18th May
Round 4: Winter Classic 7th June
Round 5: 96FM Races Perth 13th July
Round 6: Spring Meeting 31st August
Round 7: Spices Group 21st September
Also: Endurance Round, Wanneroo 300 25th October.
For further details, contact Ken Coppin
M: 0418 938 675
And for those who may not want to race, but feel the sort of people who love to race exotic European thoroughbreds and Oz muscle are their target market, while the series already has a number of sponsors, including Clipsal and Chellingworth Motors, they are looking for a naming rights sponsor.