JGTC Becomes (Global) Super GT?
”We aim to build our presence in the world of international
motorsport, while maintaining our unique Japanese identity,"
says (Japanese) GT Association Director Mr. Jiro Kaji – at
for the interview with Mr. Kaji indicates that ‘JGTC aims
to attract foreign manufacturers as an international series’.
This news needs
to be read in conjunction with Stephane Ratel’s statement
just under two weeks ago (here)
that “the new international ambitions of the GT Association
match our views of developing the FIA GT as a global series, visiting
four continents. Together with the Japanese cars and teams, we will
present an outstanding grid, making us stronger in markets such
as America, Australia and South East Asia.”
JGTC would (will) evolve into an international series from 2005,’
is the preface to the interview with Mr. Kaji – in which he
suggests that the JGTC will henceforth be known as ‘Super
”Our original rules and style of racing has
been accepted by the competitors and fans, and the challenge now
is to take that one step further, to the international stage where
we aim for greater success from a much broader market,” indicates
Mr. Kaji. “Becoming a truly international series allows our
Japanese drivers and teams to show their strengths to the world,
and to compete alongside international teams under identical conditions.”
He remarks that the JGTC has grown as far as it
can as a domestic championship and that “for us to continue
the success and growth of the series, the best way forward is to
raise the level of awareness of Japanese motorsport through the
internationalization of the series.”
”We aim to replicate that level of success
(of NASCAR) as we ‘internationalize’ this series, and
Japanese motorsport. Simply put, we want to make it more attractive
for the fans - and we are confident in our abilities of doing that.”
The target is racing fans worldwide, and Mr Kaji
is looking at “neighboring countries such as China, and across
the Pacific such as the United States,” such that the potential
audience is far greater than the 100 million consumers in Japan.
“For international manufacturers and teams
to find the series attractive, an international organizing body
is required. We will continue to control the whole series as promoter.
We aim to put international and domestic manufacturers on an equal
footing, providing the most attractive basis on which teams can
will see the ‘Super GT’ series performing at seven domestic
events, and three overseas.
“We may increase the number of international
events in the years to come,” continues Mr. Kaji. “Presently,
the (JGTC) championship fields the greatest variety of models racing
in any top-level series in the world. With six tire suppliers competing,
we also represent the largest number of firms competing in that
area. These are part of the true meaning of an international series
- the greatest variety of cars and technical suppliers, and we aim
to grow in this area as well.”
is the target, but it remains to be seen how the FIA GT Championship
fits into this scheme (from 2006?), and the implications for ACO-regulated
series - or even Grand Am. What will Mr. Ecclestone think of all
In an odd coincidence,
the JGTC-USA event at Fontana takes place this weekend.