Grand Touring cars for '93

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Just as we have been advocating since January 1989, GT Supercars will be admitted to the Sportscar World Championship. This will come about next season.

The mechanism to introduce cars like the Ferrari F40, the Jaguar XJ220 and the Porsche 911 was confirmed by Ecclesley at Monza on April 23, and will be ratified by FISA’s Motorsports World Council in Paris on June 23. Tom Walkinshaw has indicated Jaguar-Sport’s interest in supporting the Supercar class, and a method of handicapping (almost certainly by regulating car weights) is being devised.

Although it seemed to be President Mosley’s intention to make Supercars the main category, regulating the current Group C cars out of contention by adding 200 kg to their scrutineering weight, removing wings and making them run on 10 in wheels, the 1993 formula is not likely to be so extreme.

At Monza, a technical working party was set up under the chairmanship of FISA’s Gabriel Cadringher to discuss the most acceptable ways of slowing the prototypes down, in ways that won’t endanger the safety of spectators or drivers. A reduction in downforce to the order of 25 per cent is mooted, although that will still leave the Toyotas and Lobs with 4,500 pounds of downforce acting on narrower wheels at 150 mph.

Potential speed differentials will be reduced, and that is one primary objective. It seems almost certain, though, that a 3.5-litre car will always hold the advantage over roadgoing supercars in terms of lap speeds, and that Toyota will be the world champion team in 1993.

How can I be so sure? Because the advantage will always be with the factory teams, and there is little likelihood of seeing Peugeot in sports car events next year. Toyota, on the other hand, plans to be around in 1993, and it’s for this reason that its wishes also must be heeded by FISA.

It is likely that the Sportscar World Championship will turn the corner in 1993, and will eventually become an attractive, worthwhile spectacle again. In the meantime, though, we have got to get through 1992 with a championship that retains some measure of credibility.

That is why anarchy must not be allowed to develop. FISA must behave correctly and fairly. teams must toe the line and organisers have to be persuaded that the events are worth promoting — despite a shaky start to the season.

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