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GT1 World

GT1 Spa: Second Phoenix Corvette rising from the ashes?

© Planetlemans – Brecht Decancq

After the fire at Silverstone Phoenix Racing only entered one Corvette C6.R at the FIA GT1 World Championship rounds at Brno and Paul Ricard. Regular driver Mike Hezemans moved to Mad Croc Racing where he joined fellow Dutchman Xavier Maassen. The Hezemans-Maassen duo was set to get into action again at Spa…but things can change.

Our Belgian colleagues at Racingworld.be confirmed that Mike Hezemans will not be racing the Mad Croc Racing Corvette this weekend but his seat will instead be taken by another Dutchman…Jos Menten. For Menten it means the return to the FIA GT1 World Championship, after racing at Silverstone in the Reiter Lamborghini. Menten also raced the same (DKR) Corvette in 2006 and won last year’s Total 24 Hours of Spa in another Corvette C6.R.

With Menten moving to Mad Croc it seems likely that Mike Hezemans will return with the number 14 Phoenix Racing / Carsport Corvette that is currently on the official entry list with its drivers to be announced – as it was for the previous two rounds.

Discussion

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  1. I really like GT1 but all these added weights each week make it very confusing and seems some drivers will hold back.. so you will never see a true race.

    Posted by Brett | July 27, 2010, 19:26
  2. I enjoyed the race at silverstone this year but its just glorified touring car racing and not GT racing. There should be an endurance factor and the whole weighting thing is rubbish! Bring back the 3-4 hour races of the late 90′s!

    Posted by Paul Commons | July 27, 2010, 20:12
  3. @Paul, stop being a traditionalist, WHAT HAS THAT GOTTEN YOU?

    Why should the FIA GT series compete directly with a very poorly ran LMS series?

    You like the fact you have 1K races in LMS and see about 2 hours of it on TV? You like making up images in your head based on Radio Le Mans?

    If so then complain all you want, in fact don’t watch it. We won’t miss you and its not going to change. If might get slightly longer races for the Championship Race and that’s a fair critic of the series but to say its rubbish because its sprint races, makes your comments rubbish.

    Posted by Anthony | July 27, 2010, 22:40
  4. To be fair though, as much as I enjoyed the race at Silverstone and as much as the tickets came fairly cheap for the Sunday attended, I did feel a bit short-changed for getting just one hour of top level racing.

    Posted by Tommy | July 28, 2010, 1:58
  5. Right now GT1 racing needs these sprint races to get manufactors back in the sport.. the only thing they have to do now is get rid of all other GT1 type racing elsewhere..

    Like in LMS and ALMS, with those 2 series disbanning the GT1 category… it will make a undisputed GT1 World Cup which in my eyes actually help GT1 rise to its former glory.

    Posted by Brett | July 28, 2010, 5:23
  6. @Anthony

    I was referring to the weighting being rubbish not the series!

    And actually I dont listen to radio le mans or watch the le mans series on tv.

    Call me a traditionalist but GT racing should have an endurance factor and I was horrified to find the GT1′s were not doing the 24 hour of spa this year!

    I really dont understand the concept of the qualifying race – an hours race for minimal points is a waste! I would much prefer qualifying on the saturday and a minimum race distance of 2 hours on the sunday.

    The series has also lost something by getting rid of the two class format!

    Posted by Paul Commons | July 28, 2010, 11:43
  7. I have nothing against the new GT1 WC…the sprint race gives it a certain element that it lacked in the past

    @Paul I will be truthful I too wish they had included GT2 in the WC would’ve made things fun and interesting and I agree with you about Spa

    They went to one class and one hour to save money and increase interest from manufacturers

    I will say they need one 6 hour endurance race so they can appeal to traditional sportscar & endurance fans and prove that these cars can last…award the Qualifying Race points during the Qualifying session

    Posted by David | July 28, 2010, 15:20
  8. I understand the “weighting” argument, but I believe that it is working. It is a good way to “balance” the cars without making it a “spec series”. How else are you supposed to get cars of varying dimensions, weights and horsepower to perform in a similar fashion? And if you have a good car and good drivers you can overcome the “success ballast” and still podium, as demonstrated by several of the GT1 teams already.

    Posted by Marcus A | July 28, 2010, 16:26
  9. There is a big difference between enduranceracing and GT-racing. SRO’s World Project is an exciting industrial project, which still can be finetuned. I agree, the championsrace ( also seen live in Silverstone ) is a bit too short. But by now it’s the only championship which will run GT1 with a clear vieuw to the future in the long term. Why two races, one answer : television. It’s easier to convince a network to broadcast a race ( or 2 ) of 1 hour in comparison with 1k or three hours.
    But the most important is the “long-term-vieuw”, which you can’t find in the project of the ACO. For instance, they are too dependent to factory-teams. Result : declining grids in LMS and ALMS in the traditional LMP1, LMP2, LMGT1 and LMGT2, so they need other “categories” to field the grid ( even GT3 in Asia !!!! ).
    Finally, if you put your emotions beside you, the conclusion is that SRO is working with a vieuw to the future ( and not only concerning GT1 ), which i can’t find anymore in all the press articles by the ACO.

    Posted by HD | July 28, 2010, 18:31
  10. I really like the SRO GT1 concept. The 1-hour races are really exciting and easy to watch on TV or internet live stream. The drivers have to take more risk in trying to overtake than in endurance races. Leave endurance to LMS and ALMS, where they have the traditional 1000 km and 24h races, which is also very interesting, but in a different way. Also for the spectators coming to the circuit on the weekend, I wouldn’t complain about “only one hour of first-class motorsport”, because usually the other races combined with GT1 are also very interesting to watch – especially, the weekend at Nuerburgring together with the ADAC GT Masters will make a very good entertainment.
    The weight balance has led to some difficulties at the beginning of the season, but meanwhile it seems to work, as there is usually a close fight between different brands.
    Finally, there is another aspect in favour of GT1 (and GT3): Where else do you find such a variety of fascinating sports cars racing against each other, and can you imagine any better platform for the sportscar manufacturers like Aston Martin, Maserati, Lamborghini, and so on, to present their racing ambitions?

    Posted by kw | July 28, 2010, 19:50
  11. They need to set a minimum weight/ maximum horsepower rule and quit with all the weekly BOP if they want to attract manufacturers. Why would a manufacturer spend time developing a lightweight high performance GT only to be weighed down and restricted to oblivion in some falsetto racing format that suits the lowest common denominator? I love GT racing; but the constant jury-rigging of rules by the FIA makes for a less than credible series.

    Posted by Jack Flash | July 29, 2010, 16:36
  12. @Jack Flash. That’s just the point. The BOP has already been a success in FIA GT and FIA GT3 for more then a decade. Secondly, manufacturers don’t have to spend loads of money developing the car because of the BOP. The cars have to be good and reliable. Most of those cars will be developed by small companies, with support from the branch ( cfr. Ford Gt, Lamborghini, BMW Alpine ( 2011 )). The championship can be raced by small (+/-) teams. The FIA rules make it WORK. ACO is too depended on factory teams…. and needs a lot, lot more money in these difficult times.

    Posted by HD | July 29, 2010, 20:16

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