Saturday, January 10, 2009

2009 SUPER GT Sporting Regulation

Implementing restrictive measures against intentional adjustment of racing positions as well as revision to the handicap weight system for more exciting races.

SUPER GT’s new Sporting Regulation for 2009 was announced on December 22nd at the GTA office. The Representative Director Masaaki Bandoh and Corporate Officer Naoki Sato of GTA explained the revision and its reason as well as the expected effectiveness.

“It is undeniable that there were some races that may have given an impression that some teams were intentionally adjusting their position in the race to put them in the better position for the series title. We deeply regret that there were some races that were difficult for fans to accept, and we have reviewed the weight handicap and the point systems completely.”

Representative Director Masaaki Bandoh expressed their intention to address the issue existed until the last season. With the recent global economic crisis hitting deeply the automobile as well as racing industries, cost reduction initiatives have also been reflected in the amendment. “We are committed to do whatever we can to create racing events that can nurture children’s interest in SUPER GT and, hopefully, that can make them embrace a dream to become a racer or mechanic.” Bandoh promised their continuous effort.

◊ Key revisions in 2009 SUPER GT Sporting Regulation
Abstract from GTA release

Revisions of SUPER GT Regulations for 2009

1. 2009 SUPER GT Sporting Regulations (2009 SGT - SpR)

There were a few cases that seemed like the teams were intentionally adjusting their position in the race to manage the handicap weight to be put on and the points in order to put them in the better place in the series title competition, which, of all, inexplicable to the fans. To remedy the issue, the weight handicap and the point systems have gone under a complete revision.

In addition, initiatives were taken to reduce the cost required to compete in the races and to address the pending issues in this year’s regulation.

1) Weight handicap has been made clearer where weights are added in proportion to the points. Weights to be mounted on the car are calculated by “points x 2kg” up to the 6th round of the season, and, to create more “head-to-head battle” between top ranked cars in the final phase of the season, the weight is calculated by “points x 1kg” for the 7th and 8th rounds and the weight handicap will not be imposed to any cars at the final round. [1]However, reduction of weight handicap (Performance Lifting Measures) [2] has been abolished.

2) To prevent any intentional adjustment of racing position that can be suspected as a team or manufacturer order, GTA will hold a comprehensive authority for investigation and make the final decision against any misconduct (any behavior that has the nature of hindering interest of SUPER GT).

3) With regards to the series ranking points, it is now clearly stated that GTA may strip points.

4) As an initiative to reduce cost on the side of entrants, reduction in the number of tires to be used (1 set lesser), regulated number of events that an engine must be used for GT500 class (3 events or more [3]), and limitation on the number of mechanics allowed on the pit-lane [4] have been defined.

Author’s note:
[1] For example, if a car wins the season opener and the 2nd round and gains 40 points, the weight will be 80kg. If the car wins the 7th round again and accumulates 60 points, the weight will be 60kg, but the car will be mounting 0kg at the final round. The weight handicap will not be eased even if a car finished 9th or lower in a race.

[2] The rule for a car that is below a specific time or ranking to relief the handicap weights or air restrictor has been abolished.

[3] An event can be a race or a test.

[4] Number of people allowed on the pit-lane has been changed from unlimited to 7 people. Number of people allowed to touch the car remains at 5.

** I believe with the new regulation, the 2009 SuperGT championship will get even closer than before... Will the Xanavi Nismo GT-R able to defend the title against the Lexus SC430 and Honda NSX... we'll see...

Xanavi Nismo that won the 2008 GT500 Driver title.

Petronas Tom's Lexus SC430 took the 2008 GT500 Team title.

The Arta NSX dominated the GT500 class in 2007 - won both Driver & Team titles.

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