A new era for Mobil 1 V8 Supercars racing will commence this coming weekend (16-17 June) at Aldo Scribante Racetrack, with the introduction of the GT2 Championship.
Inflation, economic uncertainties, a global pandemic, and an unstable electricity supply have resulted in grids throughout various South African motorsport categories getting smaller. Competitors, of which the majority are Small-to-Medium Enterprise owners, have been reluctantly forced to prioritise business over pleasure. Therefore, Mobil 1 V8 Supercars took a dynamic approach to make racing more affordable for competitors without compromising on the Rolling Thunder heritage of the series.
The GT2 Championship will reduce costs related to both the technical front and driver participation.
On the technical side, modifications to comply will not result in significant cost layouts. All cars competing in the GT2 Championship will have their engines limited to 7000 revolutions per minute. Competitors will also be limited to using Goodyear tyres only, either new or used.
With the Mobil 1 V8 Supercars holding a National Challenge status with Motorsport South Africa, the GT2 Championship will have Club status. This will result in reduced licence costs for prospective competitors.
The key difference on the race weekend will be in terms of the reverse grid second races. For Mobil 1 V8 Supercars, the Race 2 grid is compiled by inverting the fastest lap times set by finishers in Race 1. The GT2 Championship will see the grid compiled by reversing the Race 1 results for all finishers.
2023 will see four GT2 Championship rounds, coinciding with the balance of the Mobil 1 V8 Supercars calendar. However, the points payout will follow a different structure. This weekend, and Round 6 at Zwartkops Raceway, will carry the standard points weight. Round 5 at Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit and the season finale at Zwartkops Raceway will have a double points payout.
Terry Wilford, Mobil 1 V8 Supercars Chairman, looks forward to the potential of the GT2 Championship. “Mobil 1 V8 Supercars racing is a series with a large fan base, and with that, a group of fans that have particular expectations about what they want to see, hear and feel at the circuit. At the same time, as the category management, we also need to look at keeping the series sustainable. We’ve had this idea for quite some time and had to streamline a few things, balancing our needs and our fans’ expectations. We are confident that we have the right recipe here.
This weekend’s maiden GT2 Championship event will see two competitors. The first is Steve Herbst, a regular on the grid, migrating to the new class, while Bevan Schwarz will also return to the grid.
Wilford continues regarding further interest for the remainder of the season. “A host of competitors who did not race in a while were part of the discussions about the GT2 Championship, and we look forward to welcoming some of them back onto the grid, especially for the coming Gauteng rounds. One or two cars have also changed hands, resulting in some new competitors preparing to join us at Kyalami.”
Nicole Jooste, Marketing Manager for African Group Lubricants, welcomes the new GT2 Championship initiative. “This is indeed a positive step into the Mobil 1 V8 Supercars’ future, with African Group Lubricants delighted to be part of this move to make racing more affordable and accessible. Terry and his team implemented a solution that we know will be equally popular with drivers and spectators alike. We are confident this will lead to Mobil 1 V8 Supercars growing from strength to strength.”
Issued by Brandsponential on behalf of African Group Lubricants
Photography by Jason Hanslo
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