One of the things that I love about GT racing is the sheer variety of cars on offer for the discerning spectator to gork at. This blog post is going to look at what I believe to be the most varied category, GT3.
Over the last couple of years there have been some great additions to the stable of GT3 cars competing in championships such as Blancpain, British GT and Belcar, and this year we get to see some hotly anticipated cars racing a full season for the first time.
Ferrari 458 Italia
New to the scene last year this car has already become a firm favorite, and with its sleek curves and fluid styling it’s easy to see why.
Image from http://www.autoblog.com
This old workhorse is still racing and is still winning races. Although now it’s at the end of its development life this car will slowly be phased out of GT3 racing.
Aston Martin DBRS9
This car is now old and is really starting to show her age, at the last Belcar race of the season at Spa Barwell had one the best races they have ever had; the car had never been quicker around the circuit, record breaking pit stops and no trouble at all and yet this championship winning team only came seventh. No wonder they are changing cars next year! However in its day this car was quick and to this day with a V12 engine and a straight though exhaust the car is still the best sounding car out there.
Aston Martin Vantage V12 GT3
Aston Martin’s new GT3 challenger is promising to be a classic GT car. Keeping the powerful V12 this new car will be lighter and, hopefully, easier to conduct pit stops on then the old DBRS9. It has yet to be raced in anger so I would expect a few teething problems to begin with but once those are ironed out it will be great to see an Aston at the front again.
McLaren MP4-12C GT3
Unlike Aston Martin, McLaren were able to test their new car at last years Spa 24 hours so I would except this car to be quick out the box. There are a number of teams looking to run the car this year and if you look at McLaren’s racing history and the support package it is offering it is easy to see why. However speaking to a couple of engineers at teams that have taken delivery of their new cars it would seem that the build quality hasn’t been fantastic and the teams have had to do some serious work on the car to rectify build errors. It would seem that McLaren are struggling to supply all their new teams.
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3
New last year this car was immediately popular with owners, with its love it or hate it looks (I have to admit that I’m not a fan) and monstrous noise no GT grid would be complete without one of these. I like how Mercedes have managed to keep the gull-wing doors on the GT car and with the combination of a massive 6.3 liter AMG engine and side exhausts the result is that you only hear half the engine which give it unique sound as it thunders past.
BMW Z4 GT3
This car can only be described as a weapon. Due to its V8 engine and lightweight chassis it is fast. Last year it was the car to have, the question remains if it is going to continue to hold that title in 2012 after this years performance levelling?
Image taken from http://www.topgearrules.org/ (thank you)
Porsche 997 GT3 R
What can I say about this car that has not already been said. Fast, reliable, cheep, the perfect GT car.
Image taken from http://britishgt.wordpress.com (Thank you)
Audi R8 LMS
Not only has this been a quick car over the last couple of seasons but it has also been reliable, winning the Spa 24 hours was prove enough of that. However with United Autosports changing cars and moving to McLaren is this a sign that maybe it is not going to be as competitive this year?
Nissan GTR GT3
Keen to build on their GT1 success Nissan have brought out a GT3 version of their GTR car. Developed by JRM this car should be good but will it be popular? So far their orders numbers would suggest not.
Image from http://www.motorauthority.com (thank you)
Ginetta G55 GT3
This car has been in development for a while now. Now that the car has more power, more areo and new suppliers hopefully 2012 will be the year when everything comes together for this small British outfit.
Lamborghini Gallardo LP600
Keen to transfer the success of this car in sprint races to endurance racing Reiter Engineering (the people who develop this car) have added a whole host of upgrade packages from better aero, better springs and brakes and perhaps most importantly a brand new gear box. If all these upgrades work the car could well be one to look out for in 2012.
Below are some cars from the last few years of GT racing and although we may see them again in 2012 they will not be the norm.
Image taken from http://britishgt.files.wordpress.com (thank you)
Corvette Z06 R
Image taken from http://www.z06-corvette.com (thank you)
Ascari KZ1R GT
Image taken from http://www.caradisiac.com (merci)
Thank you for taking the time to read this, I hope you enjoyed it and if you have any photos of your own that you want to share please do in the comments box!