The Full Wiki

Super GT: Map

Advertisements
  
  
  
  

Wikipedia article:

Map showing all locations mentioned on Wikipedia article:



The Super GT series, formerly known as the All-Japan Grand Touring Car Championship or JGTC (全日本GT選手権, Zen Nihon GT Sensyuken), is a grand touring car race series promoted by the GT-Association (GT-A). Though the JGTC was authorized by the Japan Automobile Federation and recognized by the FIA, the Super GT is authorized directly by FIA.

History

The JGTC Years

{ja:全日本GT選手権}The JGTC—established in 1993 by the JAF (Japanese Automobile Federation) via its subsidiary company the GT-A (GT Association)—replaced the defunct All Japan Sports Prototype Championship for Group C cars that was terminated by the end of 1994 and in the same year Japanese Touring Car Championship for Group A touring cars, which would adopt the supertouring formula which was used worldwide. Seeking to prevent the spiraling budgets and one-team/make domination of both series, JGTC imposed strict limits on power, and heavy weight penalties on race winners in an openly-stated objective to keep on-track action close with an emphasis on keeping the race goers happy.

In its first ever race, which was also an IMSA GT exhibition race, apart from the GTS and GTU cars from the U.S.marker series, as with the rest of the season, the grid consisted of mostly Japan Sport Sedan cars with the only genuine JGTC cars being two Nissan Skyline GT-Rs entered by NISMO, which were in fact modified Gr. A cars. The prototypes and European GT cars would only appear one race to be joined by the IMSA and Group N cars at the Suzuka 1000 km.

For the following season, the series would undergo a rules overhaul, class 1 for cars similar to that of the FIA's GT1 category and class 2 for cars that were the equivalent to the GT2 category. The JSS series would altogether dissolve into the latter category. What made the series more significant was compared to the series from other countries, JGTC teams had at the time the freedom to enter whichever cars they preferred, even if it was the JSS cars from the inaugural season and IMSA GTS spaceframe racers. The Group C prototypes, whilst easily showing dominant form, were banished at the end of the 1994 season.

By the end of the season, as the cost of attaining a FIA's GT1 cars shot through the roof dramatically, in order to keep costs down and determined not to go the same way as the JSPC series it replaced, the GT-A would go through another rules overhaul. This time was a change adoption of the newly formed GT500 and GT300 regulation which capped cars depending on weight and brake horsepower with an air restrictor. In 2002, the GT-A made another rule change, this time because the series had been intended to be a GT championship; this meant all competing cars must remain as two doors, while a special waiver was given to allow Cusco Racing to race their Subaru Impreza sedan.

The JGTC would first venture abroad with its first oversea race at Sepang International Circuitmarker, Malaysiamarker and after another successive year, the Malaysian race would become a regular championship fixture. After GT-A's abortive attempt at hosting a street race in Shanghai, the series would also venture into the United Statesmarker with an exhibition race to be run as a with the D1 Grand Prix exhibition event at California Speedwaymarker in Fontanamarker, held during the week before Christmas in December 2004, which was not shown to be a success, since then no exhibition event was held. The exhibition event will be revived in 2010 season in Suzuka Circuit.

Super GT

After years of successive rules changes, at the same time, the JGTC planned holding one more race outside of Japan, in Chinamarker (Shanghai), in addition to Malaysia (Sepang). However, holding the series in more than three countries violates from the definition of the "national championship" of FIA. Therefore, the series needed to be authorized directly by FIA and was not able to be named Japanese Championship because the series had to be parted from Japan Automobile Federation (JAF), the Authority Sport Nationale (ASN) of Japan.

On December 10, 2004, while the series had been mainly focused on Japanese domestic teams, sponsors and fans, with an ever-rising international fan following and TV coverage shown all over the world it was announced that JGTC would now be called Super GT with the goals of "challenge to the world", "challenge from the world", and "challenge to entertainment".

Now, because the plan of race in China was canceled and the series is held only in two countries (Japan and Malaysia), the series can return to be authorized by JAF to be called Japanese Championship. But the GT-Association selected FIA to keep independent management of the series.

Races

Races are held as part of a yearly series. Races take place on well known Japanese race tracks like Twin Ring Motegimarker, Fuji Speedwaymarker, and Suzuka Circuitmarker. The series was expanded to its first international venue in Malaysiamarker (2000), and an exhibition race at the California Speedwaymarker (2004). The Malaysian leg of the race, held at Sepang International Circuitmarker was made an official race from 2002 and counted in the points.

Races were planned for both Zhuhai International Circuitmarker in 2004 and Shanghai International Circuitmarker in 2005, but both events failed to materialize.

Races are held either as a single long endurance race of 300 km or greater such as 1000km Suzuka event.

The cars

The cars are divided into two groups: GT500 and GT300 (cars with no more than 500 and 300 horsepower (374 and 224 kW), respectively). These power outputs are capped via the use of intake restrictors although some heavier cars are given allowances to run larger restrictors to maintain parity.

In order to ensure maximum excitement, both GT500 and GT300 groups are run at the same time although points are awarded separately for each group.

GT500

The top class in Super GT, GT500, is dominated by the Big 3 Japanese automakers: Nissan (GT-R replacing 350Z), Honda (NSX) and Toyota (Lexus SC430 AKA Soarer replacing the Supra) with some privateer teams running European marques such as Aston Martin, Ferrarimarker, Lamborghini or McLaren.

Regulations in GT500 are considerably looser than most GT classifications, and teams are free to change engines with other models made by the manufacturer, change the alignment of the engine, or add forced-induction systems to models which do not normally have it. The chassis may also be heavily modified, with lightweight tube-frame "clips" being allowed forward and back of the main cockpit, although the car must overall look similar to its road-going variant. These regulations result in cars which are possibly the fastest GT racing cars in the world. The rationale for this was to allow manufacturers to field competitive cars without having to spend large amounts of money for homologation versions of the race car's road car counterparts (although some companies, notably Honda and Nissan, have still developed homologation specials).

In recent years however, rule changes in both GT500 and FIA GT1 have brought the cars closer to each other, although GT500 cars still have a notable advantage in terms of aerodynamics—a FIA GT1 spec Maserati MC12 entered (and later withdrawn) by Team Goh was losing at least 1 second in the corners during (2006) pre-season testing at the Suzuka Circuitmarker. An Aston Martin DBR9 is confirmed to enter the 2009 season, even they do not planned participate the entire series as the car was originally planned for the Le Mans series.

Electronic aids such as ABS, Traction Control and Stability control are not allowed even if fitted to the road going variant and carbon fiber brakes are prohibited. There are also restrictions regarding placement and size of aerodynamic aids such as wings and spoilers. The choice of tires is also varied with Bridgestone, Yokohama, Dunlop, Kumho, Michelin and Hankook (new for 2006) available to teams.

GT300

Few works teams participate in GT300, so the field tends to be much more varied in terms of types of cars entered; although here, as in many European and North American events, Porsche tends to dominate with its 911 GT3 model making up the bulk of the field. The big Japanese car makers also participate in this class, as well as more exotic cars from the likes of ASL, Mosler and Vemac (Lotus Elise tuner). Since 2006, European-style GT cars have chosen to concentrate in this series, with Lamborghini leading the move from the higher division with some success, including a class win in the opening round of the 2006 season at Suzuka. Since 2008, BMW also returned to the series by a private team since their exit from JGTC eras.

Along with the standard GT cars, the new Shiden (MC/RT-16), a Mooncraft/Riley Daytona Prototype car reviving the original 1977 Mooncraft Shiden 77 (紫電77) also exists in GT300 class since 2006, getting outstanding results (losing the title to RX-7 with tied points but fewer wins in 2006, and won the title in 2007). Until early 2000s when FWD cars were being permitted to be converted to RWD configuration, many of these such as Mitsubishi FTO and Toyota Corolla Levin AE101 competed in its original configuration, and did not win any championships. The conversion rule was abolished in 2006 and all cars can be driven in their original drivetrains, since then RWD car dominates the race until 2008, when an AWD Subaru Impreza developed by Cusco won in Sepang.

GT300 cars are much more regulated than their GT500 counterparts, and much more closely resemble road-going versions. Chassis clips and realignments are not allowed (except the latter in the case of front-wheel drive cars), which results in a much more affordable racing experience for privateers. While engine outputs and modifications are at a lower level than the GT500 cars, the GT300 cars still post competitive times and races are very competitive.

Currently, cars made by ASL (Garaiya), BMW (Z4), Ferrarimarker (F360 and F430), Lamborghini (Murcielago RG-1 and Gallardo RG-3), Mazda (RX-7), Mooncraft (Shiden), Nissan (350Z), Porsche (911 GT3 and Boxster), Subaru (Legacy),Toyota (Corolla Axio and Lexus IS350), and Vemac (RD series) are confirmed to enter the 2009 series.

Parity

Super GT is fairly unique in its open and blunt statement that it is committed to providing exciting racing first, at the expense of runaway investment by works teams. Cars are therefore very heavily tampered with by the governing body. At the start of the season, each car is fitted with an air intake restrictor to limit power to the stated class maximums, thus restricing excessing development to make a more powerful engine. Pitstops and driver changes during the race are done within mandatory windows, to prevent tactics from dominating a race. (In 2004, during the exhibition race at the California Speedway, a few teams were penalised after the race ended when race officials, a mix of SCCA and JAF officials (SCCA is a member of ACCUS/FIA, the American national governing body of the FIA; the JAF is the Japanese governing arm of the FIA) discovered their pit stop came one lap before the mandatory window had opened.) All regulations and adjustments to the regulations are publicly announced, in contrast to many other better-known racing promotions.

Success ballast

Perhaps the best-known handicap system in use in the Super GT is the 'success ballast' system, called "weight handicap" where weight penalties are assigned depending on a cars performance during the race weekend. While this system is also used in other series like the FIA GT and the BTCC, who pioneered the system, the Super GT's version of the system is notable in that weight penalties are meted out more aggressively. While other series mete out penalties based on final position at the end of the race, Super GT also adds ballast based on qualifying position and individual lap times, and even in specific modifications (with the penalty on fastest lap in final lifted in 2007). In the season 2007 (GT500), the Takata NSX achieved a record-breaking 5 pole positions in the first 7 races, but as such a system exists, they only won one race among them.

The drivers

Like the series, Super GT drivers are very popular in Japan with a huge international fan base. One of these drivers who has gained international appeal is Keiichi Tsuchiya who raced for the ARTA team before transferring to a managerial role. Other drivers who were famously associated with the series and still have active involvement through team ownership are Masahiro Hasemi, Kazuyoshi Hoshino, Aguri Suzuki, Kunimitsu Takahashi with the latter being President of the GT Association, who runs the series. The series also attracts drivers who see the series as a stepping stone to the Formula One championship (almost always parallel with their involvement with Formula Nippon) including Ralf Schumacher or Pedro de la Rosa, and drivers who are no longer in F1 but want to continue their career, most famously Érik Comas, who was the series' most successful driver until he stepped down from his position as a number one driver.

With very few professional GT300 drivers, many of them have a fan base for their car, but very few of them have a fan base as a driver, particularly Nobuteru Taniguchi (formerly driving the Wedsport/Bandoh Racing Project Celica and Direxiv but now with RE Amemiya) who is also well known as a D1GP competitor. The other well known driver in the category who is well known within Japan, is the TV presenter and singer Hiromi Kozono, who currently drives a Jim Gainer Ferrari 360 and Masahiko Kondo, also a pop star, actor and racer turned team owner who competes in the GT500 category. The only foreign driver in the GT300 class is ex-Formula 3000 driver Marco Apicella. Another popular GT300 driver is Tetsuya Yamano, who runs his own driving school in Japan and has been a winner in his class for 3 successive years at the Malaysian round. As of 2007, he is driving for Cusco.

Controversies

1998 JGTC Fuji incident

Japanese driver Tetsuya Ota is notable for surviving a fiery multi-car pileup he was involved in during a JGTC race at Fuji Speedwaymarker on May 3, 1998. The accident was initially caused by an oversaturated track. Tetsuya then hydroplaned and left the track which put him directly into an already crashed Porsche. At the time of the accident, the Ferrari Tetsuya was driving had a full cell of fuel which was ignited by the impact. Ota was severely injured due to 3rd degree burns on a good percentage of his body which may have been prevented if JGTC, at the time, had sufficiant emergency response. Ota filed a lawsuit against the racing club plus organizers for negligence and won a sum equivalent to $800,000 U.S. dollars.

Championship winners

Year Category Drivers' Championship Teams' Championship
Driver(s) Car Team Car
All-Japan Grand Touring Car Championship (JGTC)
1993 GT Masahiko Kageyama Nissan Skyline GT-R R32 not awarded
1994 GT1 Masahiko Kageyama Nissan Skyline GT-R R32 Calsonic Hoshino Racing Nissan Skyline GT-R R32
GT2 Sakae Obata Porsche 964 Carrera RS Kegani Racing Porsche 964 Carrera RS
1995 GT1 Masahiko Kageyama Nissan Skyline GT-R R33 Calsonic Hoshino Racing Nissan Skyline GT-R R33
GT2 Kaoru Hoshino
Yoshimi Ishibashi
Nissan Skyline GTS-R Calsonic Impul Nissan Skyline GTS-R
1996 GT500 David Brabham
John Nielsen
McLaren F1 GTR Team Lark McLaren F1 GTR
GT300 Keiichi Suzuki
Morio Nitta
Porsche Carrera RSR Team Taisan Jr. Porsche 964 Carrera RSR
1997 GT500 Pedro de la Rosa
Michael Krumm
Masami Kageyama

Toyota Supra Toyota Castrol Team TOM'S Toyota Supra
GT300 Manabu Orido
Hideo Fukuyama
Nissan SIlvia S14 RS-R Racing Team with Bandoh Nissan Silvia S14
1998 GT500 Érik Comas
Masami Kageyama
Nissan Skyline GT-R R33 Pennzoil NISMO Nissan Skyline GT-R R33
GT300 Keiichi Suzuki
Shingo Tachi
Toyota MR2 Team Taisan Jr. with Tsuchiya Toyota MR2
1999 GT500 Érik Comas Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 Pennzoil NISMO Nissan Skyline GT-R R34
GT300 Morio Nitta Toyota MR2 Momocorse Racing with Tsuchiya Toyota MR2
2000 GT500 Ryo Michigami Honda NSX Castrol Dome Mugen Project Honda NSX
GT300 Hideo Fukuyama Porsche 996 GT3R Team Taisan Advan Porsche 996 GT3R
2001 GT500 Hironori Takeuchi
Yuji Tachikawa
Toyota Supra Nismo Hiroto/Xanavi Nissan Skyline GT-R R34
GT300 Nobuyuki Oyagi
Takayuki Aoki
Nissan Silvia S15 Team Taisan Advan Porsche 911 GT3R
2002 GT500 Juichi Wakisaka
Akira Iida
Toyota Supra Esso Ultraflo Team LeMans Toyota Supra
GT300 Morio Nitta
Shinichi Takagi
Toyota MR-S Team Taisan Advan Porsche 911 GT3R
2003 GT500 Satoshi Motoyama
Michael Krumm
Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 Xanavi Nismo Nissan Skyline GT-R R34
GT300 Mitsuhiro Kinoshita
Masataka Yanagida
Nissan Fairlady Z Z33 Team Taisan Advan Chrysler Viper GTS-R

Porsche 911 GT3R
2004 GT500 Satoshi Motoyama
Richard Lyons
Nissan Fairlady Z Z33 Nismo Xanavi/Motul Pitwork Nissan Fairlady Z Z33
GT300 Tetsuya Yamano
Hiroyuki Yagi
Honda NSX M-TEC Honda NSX
Super GT TV
2005 GT500 Yuji Tachikawa
Toranosuke Takagi
Toyota Supra Nismo Xanavi/Motul Pitwork Nissan Fairlady Z Z33
GT300 Kota Sasaki
Tetsuya Yamano
Toyota MR-S Team Reckless Toyota MR-S
2006 GT500 Juichi Wakisaka
André Lotterer
Lexus SC430 Open Interface Toyota Team TOM'S Lexus SC430
GT300 Tetsuya Yamano
Hiroyuki Iiri
Mazda RX-7 RE Amemiya Racing Asparadrink Mazda RX-7 FD3S
2007 GT500 Daisuke Ito
Ralph Firman
Honda NSX Autobacs Racing Team Aguri Honda NSX
GT300 Kazuya Oshima
Hiroaki Ishiura
Toyota MR-S Cars Tokai Dream 28
Privée Kenzo Asset
Mooncraft/Riley Shiden MC/RT-16.
2008 GT500 Satoshi Motoyama
Benoît Tréluyer
Nissan GT-R Petronas Toyota Team TOM'S Lexus SC430
GT300 Kazuki Hoshino
Hironobu Yasuda
Nissan 350Z MOLA Nissan 350Z
2009 GT500 Juichi Wakisaka
André Lotterer
Lexus SC430 Lexus Team Petronas TOM'S Lexus SC430
GT300 Manabu Orido
Tatsuya Kataoka
Lexus IS350 Racing Project Bandoh Lexus IS350
2010 GT500
GT300


See also



References



External links



Footnotes


Embed code:
Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message