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Cancellation of 99 FIA GT1 Championship


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#1 Ali_G

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Posted 25 June 2006 - 00:22

I have to say that I've heard two sides to this story and I really don't know which is the right answer.

1. The one I've always heard, back then and now, was that Mercedes had brought the costs too high for the GT1 class and hence the FIA decided to scrap the GT1 class as it had become far to expensive. At the time I though that this was a bit absurd but anyways.

2. But now I've also heard that the GT1 class was scraped as Mercedes were the only entrants. I find it very unusal that eventhough Porsche took an awful beating in 98, that they wouldn't have at least entered the championship in 99 ?

I still think that its a great pity that the whole thing was just cancelled. I was a big fan of Sportscar racing back then and I found it a great pity that the whole thing was just cancelled.

99 Lemans was a fantastic race, but with the cancellation of the GT1 championship, most of the big manufacturers just couldn't justify big budgets for maybe only 3 races in the entire year.

A sad decision which is possibley still hurting LeMans and sportscar racing to this day.

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#2 Ali_G

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Posted 01 July 2006 - 09:28

ANyone ?

#3 BRG

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Posted 01 July 2006 - 10:20

GT1 spiralled out of control. It was fine while it was modified McLaren F1s, Venturis, the odd Ferrari F40 and so on. Which was basically the gentlemen driver era, with race prepared production models (albeit based on supercars!).

But then the mmanufacturers took an interest, and as always happened, they pushed everything to the limit and ultimately destroyed the class. IIRC, it was firstly Porsche with the GT1 - a very heavily modified, mid-engined 911 that was still supposedly a production model - then Mercedes built their total homolgation special which trumped Porsche so completely that the previously dominant GT1 was suddenly being lapped. So Porsche knew they couldn't compete and drifted away, along with everyone else who they had steamrollered. End of class.

It is a sort of inevitable process that we have seen before (look at Group B rally cars which started with recongnisable road cars liek the Opel Manta 400 and ended with the Lancia S4) and will undoubtedly see again. It is why manufacturers cannot really be entrusted with our sport.