SASOL FUELS GTC CHAMPIONSHIP
Thursday, 9 June 2016
The eagerly anticipated Global Touring Car Championship (GTC) will now be called the Sasol GTC Championship. This follows Sasol’s agreement to be the series sponsor, the official fuel supplier and TV broadcast sponsor to the series.
The inaugural race will take place at Zwartkops Raceway in Pretoria, north of Johannesburg, on Thursday, 16 June – the culmination of four years of research and development.
The Sasol GTC Championship consists of seven rounds this year with each race day featuring two 50km races per round. Each race will be broadcast on SuperSport in a 52-minute programme.
GTC is a uniquely South African racing series, combining the best elements from various successful saloon car racing series from across the globe including the British Tour Car Championship, Australian V8 Supercars and the German DTM series. These elements were combined and adapted to appeal to manufacturers in the South African market, and GTC was born.
The Sasol GTC Championship has already attracted entries from BMW, Volkswagen and Audi, with additional manufacturers set to join the series in 2017. The cars feature 2-litre turbo-charged engines developing 325kW and 600NM of torque. Drive is through the rear-wheels to common specification running gear across all brands. Regulated components include the gearbox, brakes, shock absorbers and suspension.
GTC anticipates the cars will reach 280km/h at fast tracks like East London, while providing a visual and aural feast for spectators and TV audiences alike, with turbo-crackle and flames spitting out of the exhaust under braking.
A major aspect of GTC is rule stability for five years, with development banned to eliminate “cheque-book” racing; this will allow privateers to compete with the manufacturer teams with identical equipment. The founding principle of GTC racing is to highlight driving and engineering talent, to extract every last 10th of a second from the car.
To ensure fair play, Ian Scheckter has been appointed as the Driving Conduct Official, and the experienced Wammy Haddad and Kosie Swanepoel will officiate as the Technical Controllers
Another feature of the series is GTC Production, an entry-level class featuring standard, front-wheel drive cars with 2 litre, turbo-charged engines, producing just over 200kW. Five of these cars are scheduled to make their debut at Zwartkops. The class is designed to attract young racers from junior racing categories, and act as a feeder series to Global Touring Cars.
Commenting on Sasol’s involvement with GTC, Ed Cameron, Senior Vice President: Sasol Energy says GTC offers a unique product marketing opportunity linked to global technology and innovation.
“Racing is a proven testing ground for developing advanced fuel and lubricant products for the consumer and helps keep Sasol at the forefront of the petrochemical industry. Our association with this exciting new initiative adds excitement for our employees and stakeholders at every level. The series is a perfect match to Sasol’s products and mirrors our ethos and commitment to transparency and fair play in our business conduct”.
Gary Formato, GTC Founder and former motor racing champion, says: “GTC is an exciting and spectacular racing series that is tailor-made and uniquely South African. The rule stability and tight cost control makes it appealing to manufacturers and competitors, while giving race fans renewed enthusiasm for motorsport in general. It is the first time in twenty years that drivers have a bespoke, purpose-built race car to compete with.
We are privileged to have a company of Sasol’s calibre on board. Sasol is a technologically advanced company with a shared vision and aligned objectives. GTC looks forward to a long and rewarding partnership in the years ahead”.