FIA GT Update

Entry Deadline
The entry deadline for the 2006 season (FIA GT and GT3 Championships) has been put back to March 31, “in order for the final 2006 calendar and sporting regulations to be approved by the FIA Motorsport World Council of 22nd March, prior to the closing date of entries” (says an SRO statement).

TV
In the UK, all races will be broadcast LIVE and in full on FLEXTECH-owned channels BRAVO and PLAYER and a terrestrial partner will be announced soon. In Italy, SKY ITALIA will be the exclusive partner on the LIVE broadcast, while the one hour highlights will be broadcast on NUVOLARI, Italy’s specialist motorsports channel. DSF, Germany’s leading sports channel will broadcast the highlights programme to its 33m homes in peak time on Wednesdays evenings.

Other LIVE European broadcast partners so far include AB MOTEURS in France, UPC owned SPORT1 in the Netherlands and CZECH terrestrial TV and TELESPORT Romania, with whom agreements are currently being finalised.

Motors TV, Europe’s leading motorsports channel, will ensure that FIA GT reaches the maximum number of fans across Europe by broadcasting the highlights to 30 European countries.

Beyond Europe, all races will be shown live on AL JAZEERA across the Middle East with highlights on FUTURE TV across the region, and agreements are also in place with THE SPEED CHANNEL (70 million homes in North America), as well as TV GLOBO and SPORT TV in Brazil.

The 2006 FIA GT championship will also receive exposure on ESPN Star Sports with all rounds being carried in the long running International Motorsports programme. The channel currently broadcasts to over 57 million homes throughout Asia.

After having secured most of the live coverage, SRO is now concentrating on the distribution of short edited programmes to terrestrial networks.

Drivers’ Performance Adjustment In GT2
Following the agreement of the GT Commission, a drivers’ performance adjustment will be introduced in GT2 for the 2006 season, in order to reduce the impact of two professional drivers in the same car. This remains subject to final approval from the FIA World Motor Sport Council.

If two drivers corresponding to the following definition are entered in the same car, the car will carry weight ballast calculated by the FIA to represent a penalty of 0,5 second per lap.

  • Held a super licence – F1
  • Finished in the top 10 of F3000, CART/Champcar, IRL, GP2, A1GP and any major single seater series.
  • Finished in the top 6 of an international F3 championship (British-EuroF3) or major national single
    seater championship (FR200-Italian national F3000…) or secondary international single seater series
    (Renault V6, FR2000 international and World Series…)
  • Won Le Mans overall
  • Been a Factory driver

A driver whose performances and achievements, despite not covered by one on the definition above
may be considered as professional by the bureau.

Dispensation
Any driver (especially if over 45 years old) has the right to ask the permanent Bureau of the GT commission for a dispensation of their status as a professional driver

The Likely GT Grid
SRO has released some interesting information regarding likey entries for the GT Championship.

BMS Scuderia Italia and the Austrian Race Alliance team have each confirmed two Aston Martins this year, while Phoenix Racing “is confident of entering one and possibly two cars”. Cirtek Motorsport may enter its DBR9.

“At least seven Ferraris are expected to take to the grid this season, split between GT1 & GT2: Cirtek will enter its Russian Age 550 at selected events”, with GPC a possibility with a Ferrari 550 Maranello.

“Between three and four Maserati MC12s will race this season: Vitaphone Racing will continue with its two MC12s, JMB Racing should race one MC12 … while Racing Box of Italy will run one car for most of the Championship”.

“At least two Corvettes should join us in 2006”. GLPK Carsport will race its new Corvette C6.R, with the likelihood of PSI Experience “joining the Championship at selected rounds”.

Balfe Motorsport is confirmed with one Saleen, Zakspeed will run one car (possibly two), while Oreca “should be racing on a Race by Race basis”.

One Lamborghini Murcielago is confirmed for all the European rounds this season, entered by B-Racing RS Team, with the support of Reiter Engineering, while ”Reiter could also be linked with another team following encouraging winter testing”.

“One team is looking at running the Pagani Zonda for half the season while another team is looking at joining the grid with a Lister Storm.”

In GT2 “at least seven Porsches” are expected. Teams include Proton Competition, Ebimotors, Vonka Racing and ARC. “GruppeM is considering defending its title with one car”. Race Alliance will also run a Porsche this year, while Renauer Motorsport has also confirmed two Porsches. “Other Race by Race teams will join the Championship during the season”.

JMB Racing has confirmed two Ferrari 430s in GT2, while Scuderia Ecosse “is soon to confirm two entries”, and AF Corse “should also race the 430”.

Spyker is expected to race in slected events towards the end of the season, “Belgian Racing will race the Vertigo for the full season (in G2) and the Panoz Esperante should race at selected rounds”.

Grids should number 30 cars at each event.

 

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