New format, security… Super GT 2024 presentation 

As pre-season testing draws to a close, Super GT is preparing for a year of many changes both on track and behind the scenes.

Published on 29/03/2024 à 14:21

Tetsuya Tsuzuki

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New format, security… Super GT 2024 presentation

©Super GT

The official Super GT tests, which took place over these two weekends, are over. There Toyota GR Supra showed its speed on the wet tracks in Okayama and Fuji to set the best times. In the dry at Fuji, it was the new Honda Civic Type R-GT which stood out as the fastest. Note that the latter is the first 4-door car participating in the GT500 category. Masaaki Bandoh, Chairman of GTA, promoter of the Super GT series said that he welcomes Honda to introduce this vehicle to the Super GT in line with Honda's marketing strategy.

In the GT300 category, three official drivers from European manufacturers took the wheel in these official tests: Bruno Spengler (BMW), Marco Sorensen (Aston Martin) and Lilou Wadoux (Ferrari). The latter, however, was the victim of an off-track incident, hitting the barriers during the first day of testing at Fuji, but the Frenchwoman escaped without injuries, which underlines the high level of safety of the Ferrari GT3 .

Concerning the GT3 category, the collaboration with SRO for the implementation of the BoP on cars participating in the GT300 class continues this year.

Michelin withdrew from the GT500 class at the end of last year, but the French tire maker will continue to supply stock tires for three GT3s in the GT300 class this year including a BMW and a Ferrari. The German firm as well as the Italian will make two official drivers available to the teams.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, there were plans to hold two overseas races, one in Thailand and the other in Malaysia. But even after the pandemic, transportation costs have skyrocketed due to a global shortage of containers, etc. With the yen (Japan's official currency) being weak, the Super GT is still not able to regain capacity. international even if the desire to do so is still relevant.

Changes to the sporting and technical regulations of Super GT in 2024

Running distance

The race distance will change. There will still be three 300km races, but this season there will be three new 3-hour races and two 350km races. Last year there were three 300km races and five 450km races.

Reserve pilot

The " Reserve Driver System » has been added as a new addition to the sporting regulations. This means that if one of the team's two regularly registered drivers cannot race due to unforeseen circumstances (sudden illness, injury during the race preceding the race, etc.), the pre-registered "reserve driver" can take his place.

Measures to improve security

Last year, several major accidents occurred not only in Super GT, but also in Super Formula. In Japan, concerns were growing about the safety of auto racing.

To address these issues, GTA aimed to reduce vehicle speeds in corners to ensure safety and to this end, the series promoter revised the minimum ground clearance for the GT500 cars, and added additional weight for the GT300 cars. GTXNUMX.

Minimum ground clearance increased for GT500 cars

To reduce the amount of downforce that directly contributes to the machine's cornering speed compared to the level so far, for GT500 class cars, the minimum thickness of the skid block that controls ground clearance Minimum floor of the car has been increased by 5mm.

During the testing sessions carried out on the Sepang circuit in Malaysia this winter, with the presence of tire manufacturers in particular, the three manufacturers (Toyota, Honda and Nissan) developing the GT500 cars confirmed this and reported that “ cornering speeds were reduced within the expected range ". By the way, the expected lap time at the Suzuka circuit for example was slower by around 0 to 7 second.

Additional weight to be loaded by GT300 cars

In addition to the existing weight limits of Balance of performance (BoP) which are set for each car brand, additional weight must now be loaded. This will help control the cornering speed of the GT300 cars.

In order to introduce this measure, it was decided to reduce the burden of Success Weight (extra kilos in the winner's car) this season for the GT300 class. Until now, the maximum limit of Success Weight was 100 kg for both classes, but this season the maximum weight for the GT300 category is reduced to 80 kg. Additionally, while for the 2nd to 6th rounds of the series, a weight Success Weight 3 kg has been added for each series point earned, this season the increase will be reduced to 2 kg per point as for the GT500 category. Similarly, for the 7th round, the previous 1,5 kg per point was reduced to 1 kg.

The maximum limit for the GT500 class will be 100kg as was the case last season and for cars loading over 50kg extra points have been made up through fuel flange adjustments. The addition of 2 kg per point in the 2nd to 6th race and 1 kg for the 7th race will remain the same.

Responding to environmental issues

Adoption of a “combined time format”

Regarding qualifying, this season the final position of each team will be decided by the combined times of both drivers. This means that all teams will participate in Q1 and Q2. The duration has also changed slightly since Q2 has been reduced to 8 minutes compared to 10 until now. Q1 remains at 10.

Additionally, while in the past the driver taking pole position received one point, starting this season the pole sitter will receive three, 2nd two and 3rd one (1) point. In addition, the pole position record will be awarded to the two drivers who participated in Q1 and Q2.

This change in the qualifying format is a measure linked to the reduction in the number of sets of tires allowed for each round.

The number of sets of tires authorized

Last season the number of sets that could be brought in and marked for a round (from official practice to qualifying and the race) was five sets of dry track tires, but starting this season the number is reduced by A. Four sets of dry tires will be marked before the start of the official practice session. Only one of these can then be used during qualifying. Competitors must start the race with this same game.

Synthetic fuel made from bio-based materials for the GT300 class

Since last season, the GT500 category has adopted carbon neutral fuel (Carbon Neutral Fuel: CNF), a synthetic fuel that does not use any fossil fuels, “GTA R100”. But for the GT300 category, it was decided to postpone its introduction. From the 2024 season, the GT300 category will adopt the CNF “GTA R50” which is a synthetic fuel containing 50% ingredients of biological origin.

" AT In the future, we plan to locally produce “e-fuel” based on carbon dioxide and hydrogen, admitted Masaaki Bandoh. We would like to continue development by introducing this into Super GT by 2030. »

Currently, responding to environmental issues is a major theme in the world of motorsport in Japan. Sustainable materials are used in Super Formula tires and hydrogen vehicles compete in Super Taikyu.

Biofuels are already used in the national motorcycle speed championship.

It is not known if Masaaki Bandoh Chairman of GTA, promoter of Super GT, is environmentalist or not. But he is adamant about maintaining the race car exhaust sound. “ I would like to organize races where we could enjoy the sound of the exhaust in front of a crowded audience. »

See you on April 13 and 14 in Okayama for the kickoff of the 2024 season.

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