GT3 Evaluation At Paul Ricard
This week’s two day test (March 7-8) was not specifically a media event, although media were present.

The primary task was the FIA’s evaluation of the GT3 cars, and Christophe Bouchut and Jean-Marc Gounon took on the role of the FIA’s test drivers.

Meanwhile, the teams themselves were carrying out their own testing, and Tech 9 for example, with two cars present, was “evaluating seven drivers,” according to Phil Hindley.

“Oliver Bryant is the only confirmed driver for us this year, although Dimitris Deverikos, our British GT Champion from last year, was one of the others,” continues Hindley. “On the first day, the best from our drivers was a 2:14.2, with an improvement to a 2:13.8 on the second day. Bouchut tested one of our cars and set a 2:13.2.” Hindley was very pleased with the mileage covered each day (over 100 laps), and the reliability of the Tech 9 Porsches.

So the Tech 9 997s are neatly in the middle of the GT3 pack, based on this week’s times.

Also in the middle was the pretty Damax Ascari, with a best time 2:13.8.

“We’re pretty happy,” comments Aaron Scott. “We thought the 997 would be the benchmark. We had one car at Ricard: the second one is nearly finished and the third one is being built now.”

Scott was sharing the first car with Nick Adams and Peter Snowdon, the three confirmed drivers thus far being Damax regulars Scott and Adams, plus Richard Stanton.

The (also) very pretty Reiter Lamborghini Gallardo and the Aston Martin DBRS9 were both in the 2:12s, the Carsport Corvette in the 2:11s.

The time we’ve seen for the Maserati Trofeo Light was a 2:15.5. Olivier Beretta was driving the Venturi Heritage, but that one seemed to be stuck in the 2:19s.

The slightly awkward one seems to be the Viper Competition Coupe. The big, red beast was into the 2:10s, then the 2:09s with Bouchut at the wheel – and was then tried with 100 kg of ballast aboard. The FIA decision makers look as though they will have an interesting task on their hands equalising some of the cars before the race season starts at Silverstone in May.


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