The rules and regulations for the 2011 Avon Tyres British GT Championship

28 02 2011

The KTM X-Bow in action

The more exotic KTM X-Bow storms round Donington in 2010

WITH pre-season testing getting underway, it seems only right that we look at the rules and regulations for the new season.

With a host of new and exciting cars of various levels, the first thing to explain for newcomers to the series is the class system.

There are five classes in the championship: GT3, GT3-B, G4, GTC and the Invitational class.

The top GT3 tier has been expanded into the GT3-B this year to allow older specification cars that do not meet new FIA ruling, to be eligible and thus reduce running costs.

The GT3 division has a host of premier sports cars from Aston Martin, Ferrari, Audi, Mercedes and Corvette. The championship allows for a small change in the bodywork, engine and suspension but to keep running costs to a minimum they are very similar to their road-going incarnations.

The G4 combines GT4-eligible cars and Supersport machines allowing cars such as the Ginetta G50, Lotus Evora, BMW M3, Nissan 370Z and the more exotic KTM X-Bow, which have all competed before.

The penultimate class is the GTC which is often made up of single-make championship cars such as the Porsche Cup or the Ferrari Challenge. Additional bodywork parts such as rear wings are allowed but the class is governed by power to weight ratios.

The Invitational Class allows race organisers to invite special cars and drivers to compete in cars that do not conform to any other class but make the event that bit more memorable.

Drivers celebrate on the podium

Drivers are looking to celebrate come the end of the season

Beyond the class system, the next major rule is the time penalty which ensures successful cars do not romp away with each race.

Much like the ballast that is employed in the BTCC, time penalties penalise the previous race winners to keep the championship interesting right to the end.

The first three cars in each class are awarded the following time penalty at their mandatory pit stop in the next race.

1st 15 seconds (+5 seconds for races longer than 1 hr)
2nd 10 seconds (+5 seconds for races longer than 1 hr)
3rd 5 seconds (+5 seconds for races longer than 1 hr)

Mentioned above is the mandatory pit stop in each race where drivers have to swap with the other driver. The minimum time to stop and the driving time per driver depends on the duration of the race.

As far as driver pairings go, drivers are categorised into four groups depending on experience and success. Rules govern that a driver from the top two groups can only be paired with one from the bottom two but apart from that, all driver pairings are allowed.

In terms of winning the title it is simple, the one with the most points wins. The four classes competed for throughout the season are awarded points from first to tenth. The winner of the top tier (GT3) is the overall winner of the British GT Championship.

Points are as follows:

1st 25, 2nd 18, 3rd 15, 4th 12, 5th 10, 6th 8, 7th 6, 8th 4, 9th 2, 10th 1