• Sep 21, 2008


GT1-class racing is one of the most hotly contested in Europe, with cars like the Aston Martin DBR9 and Maserati MC12 competing among others for top honors in the Le Mans Series and FIA GT Championship. Here in the American Le Mans Series, however, officials are considering the possibility that they'll have to shut down the class altogether.

This season, the Corvettes have had the category all to themselves, which has made the class uninteresting, with predictable outcomes. Bell Motorsports announced their intention to run Aston Martins to compete with the Corvettes for GT1 victory, but that may be another case of too little too late. Itching for a good fight, GM is reportedly dropping down to the paradoxically more competitive GT2 series. Not anxious to run another season of an empty GT1 roster, ALMS could very well cut the class out altogether.

[Source: AutoWeek]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 20 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Apparently GT1 cars run about +100hp compared to LMP2. And since liberating power in the Le Mans Prototypes series is patently absurd (according to the FIA) the GT1 class faces extinction anyway.

      The first sentence is from Andy Wallace, the former Jaguar driver from 1988. I don't remember where the second comes from, but it seems sensible that relaxing restrictions at LMP2 level would never happen.
        • 6 Years Ago
        IMSA unleashed the LMP2s. It appears the ACO has decided to go the opposite way and slow the LMP1s. I wondered what this would mean vis-a-vis the GT1s, perhaps this is the answer.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I wouldn't call the Corvette only racing completely uninteresting. The 3 and 4 teams do beat on each other pretty good. It will be cool to see them racing Porsche and Ferrari though.
        • 6 Years Ago
        even though I understand your point, I still think its better to do this (I was hoping that the ALMS would do this), eh i still think they need to do this with lmp1,

        i love audi and their car but from a competitive standpoint, they shouldnt win championships b/c they're the only big manufacturer in lmp1.. i.e. bring more competition or consolidate, Grand-Am is awesome w/ only 2 classes. i mean the fight b/t lmp1 and lmp2 is really the only battle as well as gt2

        we'll see i guess...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Correction: Bell ran several races this season. Last season Corvette Racing ran uncontested, except for a couple of races with an MC12 in class, iirc.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think this is a real shame. The general idea for the division of classes is that LMP1 and GT1 should be factory teams while LMP2 and GT2 should be privateer teams. With this move it will meant that there are in essence factory efforts in both LMP2 and GT2. It will also mean that GT2 will become extremely crowded with the addition of BMW and the smaller teams will be unable to compete and forced out of the series. The ALMS needs GT1 and more distinction between classes.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I hope not, I love the DBR9.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Guys, I'm perfectly aware of the regulations in GT1 and 2. ALMS is practically the only racing series I still have an interest in, besides local vintage.

      My issue is with engine parity..I see a season of protests on the horizon. On another note, I had the opportunity to stand very close to a ALMS Corvette that was partially unassembled, thanks to a GM PR Dept friend. I have to tell you, there wasn't much Corvette there. GT1 cars are purpose built racers. How can they fairly equalize the chassis prep when the current GT2 cars are practically (but modified) factory platforms? Something has to give, one direction or the other. And going one direction is going to boost costs and put, as one poster noted, teams like Risi and the smaller ones, in trouble.

      • 6 Years Ago
      I love the ALMS series but have been disappointed the Corvette (a great team) has had no real competion and the out look is poor. I think going to GT2 is a great idea. Watch out Ferrari, Porcche. Some of the other high rent eye candy should dirty thier hands and race to. My only regret that some very good new aspiring teams will have a hard time in the more competative environment.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I hope they bring back the GT3 class, and have a class, essentially for cars like the 350Z, RX8, Camaro, Cayman, etc. that can be a lower rung class, yet still be very competitive and diverse.
      • 6 Years Ago
      GT1 in Europe also has incredibly low entrance numbers so idk wtf all that spout is
      • 6 Years Ago
      Yes, dump the GT1 class and rename GT2 simply "GT".
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is too bad, since GT1 was really the best class several years ago. I usually prefer production-based cars over one-offs, and that's what GT1 brought.

      But the problem is the werks teams spoiled GT1. As much as I like Corvette racing, I know I couldn't compete with them. And other teams know it too.

      With GT1 what it is today, it seems inevitable that it will shut down.
        • 6 Years Ago
        As production based as the GT1's appeared, they aren't close at all (coming from an avid Corvette and P&M fan). I spoke to one of the engineers that works on the car, and the basic floorplan, windshield, taillights, among other small things, are the only pieces common with the Z06. The engine is a structural member, the gearbox is a Hewland Sequential, leaf's aren't used, suspension pickups aren't the same, etc.

        The new cars for next year will be Z06/ZR1 chassis based, with decreased displacement LS7.R blocks, and much more production oriented hardware. The 2010 cars are to recieve a specific engine for the chassis, and be even smaller (LS3 based, I believe). Think Z06.R for a comparison.

        The GT1 class has essentially become what the GT1 class was about 10 years ago (with the CLK's, Porsche GT1's, Panoz GTR-1's, etc), and the cost of running, as well as the full factory support for select teams, killed the class. GT1 in Europe is stronger than it is over here (Maserati, Corvette privateers, Aston, and others participate on a regular basis). Having an Aston show up at random races doesn't make for a season long battle.

        To Rick (a few comments up): Both the C6.R and Z06 use a 7.0L V8. The GT3 Corvettes in Europe use the 7.0L as well. LG uses an LS3, I believe.
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