Farewell EuroGTs – For Now
The 2004 season of the EuroGT Series was set to get under way on 15 May, at Zolder. But in an unexpected turn of events, the 2004 series has now been cancelled altogether. The organisers had hoped to bounce back from a weak 2003 season, which had small grids; unfortunately, two of the planned six rounds had to be cancelled, and so the decision was made, in accordance with those teams already entered for 2004, to sit out the year, and try to make a fresh start in 2005.

Founded in 1989, the EuroGT championship predates the BPR Global Endurance series, and therefore the renaissance of GT racing in Europe, by five years. It started as the Ferrari-Porsche Challenge, and saw the earliest competition examples of the Ferrari F40s go head to head with the venerable Porsche 935. Porsches were always in the majority, but rare Ferrari specimens included the 512BB / LM and 308GTB Michelotto Gp.4.

Over the years, the predominantly Benelux-based series had up to 70 entrants per race, and had grown into a popular playground for privateer GT racers. It ventured further out into Europe with visits to Britain, Italy, and France, which coincided with a cooperation with the ISRS prototype series at the end of the '90s. The championship opened up to other marques in 2002, changing its name to Euro GT Series, and with high hopes of becoming an important feeder series for the FIA GT Championship. Unfortunately, this never quite materialised, and the entry numbers took a dip over the last two seasons.

A particularly tragic aspect of this development is the fact that the EuroGT has only recently reached an agreement with the remaining competitors from the discontinued German V8STAR series, to incorporate the Roush V8-powered silhouette cars into the championship as a separate class; six to eight of these cars were expected for race 1 at Zolder. Now the V8STAR teams have lost their second championship in six months, this one even before it got started.

The EuroGT organisers will run a single race in 2004, a support race for the Marlboro F3 Masters at Zandvoort.
Johannes Gauglica

 

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