FIA GT WIN

I was back at Silverstone again this weekend because the FIA GT circus was in town. It’s an event that I always enjoy, even if the time of year that it’s held often leads to some pretty unpleasant weather…

Look, look! Sunshine AND overtaking!

Amazingly, the weather held all day bar a few spots mid afternoon, even the ambient temperature was quite pleasant. I gather it was far more typical on the sunday though. I could only make the Saturday this year, but fortunately, thanks to the event’s  multi-race format, we all still got to see some top class GT racing. The format has changed quite a bit these days. The GT1 World Championship now features two 1 hour races, each with a mandatory driver change. Now, an hour long race isn’t exactly in the spirit of ‘Grand Touring’ is it? That said, it does mean that the field is closer together for more of the race, so you get to see more overtaking than you would with a multi-hour race like before. I’m in favour of this, if I want strung out battles of attrition I’ll watch some Le Mans Series instead. It somehow seems right that these supercars get to have a right good dust up, they sound aggressive and muscular and just what the racing is like.

I'm totally smitten with with Sumo Power GTRs

SRO (the event promoters) have done a bloody good job in rejuvenating the GT1 class. We were down a car due to the qualifying accident in Dubai involving one of the Matech Ford GTs. However the grid still consisted of Aston Martins DBR9s, Ford GTs, Lamborghini Murcielagos, Maserati MC12s, Nissan GTRs and Chevrolet Corvette C6.Rs. The series is in rude health, great news given the recent financial climate and international level GT racing ain’t exactly cheap. I must also mention the GT3 class. This year it’s offering an enormous variety of machinery (even with the Ford Mustangs having to sit it out due to homologation issues). It’s another sign than international motorsport is putting the last 18 months behind it and really getting in to its stride again.

The All-Inkl Lambos did this all day. Brilliant.

I spent most of my time at the new Arena section of the revitalised Silverstone Grand Prix circuit. The response to the new layout was mixed, some in favour, some not. Though racing drivers moaning isn’t exactly news, there are some sizeable bumps on the way through the now super-fast Abbey right hander. These will need to be smoothed over before the F1 boys get here or Mr Ecclescake won’t be a happy chappy.

Abbey corner, a hell of a quick place to bin it now.

The tight new bends ‘Village’ and ‘The Loop’ provided some good overtaking throughout the day, so that’s a positive move for the circuit. If huge GT cars can have a tussle through them, smaller, nimbler cars should have a field day.

One of the Vitaphone MC12s engages reheat.

Most importantly of all, the racing was very good. I normally go to watch GT racing for the shear spectacle of the cars themselves. For my money, GT racing offers THE BEST noise you can possibly get from motor racing so that fact that the racing was close and exciting really made it a brilliant day all round.

Some GT3 love to finish:

*Hi-Res versions at my Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/38587975@N00/sets/72157623859122903/

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