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
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.
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.