GLOBAL TOURING CARS RELAUNCHES PRODUCTION CLASS AS GTC2 FOR 2017
The Sasol Global Touring Cars (GTC) Championship’s second-tier category, GTC Production, has officially been renamed GTC2 for the 2017 season to move the category in line with international standards.
Catering for lower-powered, production-based cars, GTC2 is considered the stepping stone into the premier Sasol GTC Championship. This ladder of progression was used effectively by Volkswagen South Africa last year, when the manufacturer promoted its 2016 GTC Production class champion, Daniel Rowe, into the premier class this year to drive the #21 VW GTC racecar.
“We see GTC2 as an appropriate stepping stone for younger drivers to progress into the main GTC class, and therefore made perfect sense to rename it GTC2 which is much more marketable and meaningful to people outside of the pit lane,” said Sasol GTC director Gary Formato.
“Another endorsement of just how much potential GTC2 has is the fact that MINI will enter two John Cooper Works cars for rising stars Bradley Liebenberg and Christopher Shorter under the Signature Motorsport banner this year.
“We expect further entries to commit throughout the season, so it is a very exciting time for our championship to have attracted another manufacturer to the series. In spite of tough market conditions, and people being cautious in terms of their spending, we continue to see growth in our sport and we remain hugely excited and optimistic for the season ahead,” concluded Formato.
With the addition of new manufacturers this season, also being introduced for 2017 will be a GTC2 Manufacturer’s Title award at season’s end. Already on offer in the premier Sasol GTC Championship, the GTC2 equivalent will see the first two finishing cars of any marque within the class being awarded points to the overall title.
The GTC2 brand mirrors that which is used by key international categories like the Formula 1 feeder series GP2, MotoGP’s breeding ground Moto2, and the Virgin Australia Supercars’ feeder series Super2.
The 2017 Sasol GTC Championship sees an expanded calendar compared to last year, with nine rounds being held around South Africa, beginning at Killarney International Raceway in Cape Town from March 24-25.