The organisers of Global Touring Cars (GTC) in South Africa have today announced the introduction of a new research and development program aimed to assess all potential options for future powerplants, including green initiatives.
Starting as of Monday July 17, the program will explore how various engines would perform in the areas of reliability, performance and cost effectiveness in line with being run in GTC. This will be done via the building of a category-owned GTC test racecar, which is also expected to be fully track tested and potentially run at GTC weekends to assess performance in race conditions.
In recent months, the GTC management team has undertaken extensive discussions with its corporate partners, manufacturer representatives, teams and drivers, plus conducted market research with motorsport fans around South Africa.
As a result, GTC concluded that there is substantial interest in exploring various future options for powerplants, including assessing the category’s overall carbon footprint, and so decided to begin the new research phase.
GTC has always been promoted as a “serious, affordable racing” category and it was clear from the beginning of 2017 that the 2.0-litre turbo engines – which were required to secure manufacturer involvement – would need improvement.
It was also clear that if GTC is to be successful in attracting fans back to the race tracks and to build a commercially successful business, other options would need to be explored. However, the research phase will be carried out so that it is completely independent of the current GTC and GTC2 platforms being run at events, and any potential future implementations will not disadvantage the current GTC teams.
GTC’s senior management team takes the responsibility of running the category in a professional, entertaining and sustainable way very seriously, hence will take the weight of investment for this new research and development program internally. The right mechanical personnel will be brought together to build the category-owned test car, plus GTC will financially support the program to fully exhaust all avenues during this significant development for the category.
GTC reaffirms that the current GTC and GTC2 class formula will continue to compete for all remaining rounds of the 2017 Sasol GTC Championship, and management will continue to support and develop the two classes as it always has.
GTC will continue to work with its partners and with the MSA – South Africa’s official governing body of motorsport – to ensure that GTC continues to operate at international best practice.
The results of the research and development program will be assessed in the coming months, and progress updates will be announced publicly in due course.