The Sasol GTC Championship is set to become the premier circuit category in South Africa, and will comprise GTC, GTC Production and GTC X classes. Whilst GTC is the top category, GTC Production caters for the less expensive “Production Car” machines such as the VW Golf 7 GTI, VW Golf 6 GTI, Ford ST and Mini Cooper.
The concept for GTC Production was to create a platform for drivers emerging from the Polo Cup series or similar classes and opens the doors for other auto manufacturers to get involved in racing.
The two impressive Golf 7 GTI’s built by Graeme Nathan and his team at Nathan’s Motorsport on behalf of Volkswagen Motorsport are very close to a standard road going models with only minor modifications allowed. The cars still retain their original engines, gearboxes and dashboards. A limited “slip diff’ is allowed to help with traction especially for front wheel drive cars.
Etienne Van Der Linde has been contracted by the series owners to build roll cages for all GTC Production cars. Seam welded steel tube is used to help keep costs down over the more expensive but lighter Chrome Moly tubing.
Performance for the category will be capped in the region of 210kW and engines will not be allowed modifications except for piggy backing a performance chip onto the standard electronics. Tyres will be the same on all cars, and series organisers have opted for the series sponsor Dunlop to provide a 17 inch, semi-slick tyre option. This keeps all cars on a level playing field when it comes to grip but most importantly keeps costs down. Each car will be allocated four new tyres at the start of the season and thereafter, two new tyres per race.
The use of aftermarket race shock absorbers is open but has been capped at R50 000.00 per set retail value, whilst the standard pick up and mounting points must remain. Graeme Nathan VW Team have opted for locally built SAX shocks and H&R springs.
Once other cars start to emerge in the championship, a minimum weight limit with driver will be set initially at 1250kgs. Again, this measure is to help reduce costs whilst levelling out the playing field. For this reason, the cars retain most of their original weight, including OE glass and doors.
Volkswagen Motorsport have also created an incentivised driver programme, promoting the winner of the popular Engen Volkswagen Polo Cup series 2016, will automatically receive a fully sponsored drive in the GTC Golf in 2016 to a fully sponsored drive in the GTC Production class Golf for 2017, whilst the second seat will be utilised in the company’s transformation of motorsport programme. The intention over time is to also promote GTC Production drivers in to the GTC class too.
The GTC Production series is open, to all other manufacturers currently producing 2 litre turbo-charged models and is set to become a truly affordable proper ÔÇÿproduction car’ category, reminiscent of the old Group N days. This should result in close and fast racing fostering a competitive spirit.