Africa’s newest Motorsport Series unveils its Prototype GTC V8 car to customers and media
The Global Touring Car Africa Series, the continent’s newest and most internationally relevant motorsport series in nearly twenty years has unveiled its spectacular, purpose built Global Touring Car to local teams and the media at a launch at the Zwartkops Raceway.
A great deal of excitement surrounded the clean sheet touring car design, created by the founders of the series to address the basic principles of GTC – An affordable, serious racing car and series.
The GTC design combines a strong tubular space frame chassis fitted with an advanced yet cost effective 500 Brake Horsepower V8 engine and a fast changing 6-speed transaxle sequential gearbox. The cars will also have an additional ‘push to pass’ feature that will add another 50 BHP to the performance in qualifying and race conditions.
The GTC Prototype was designed and built in Australia by Paul Ceprnich of Pace Innovations, considered one of the world’s leading touring car design and production companies, having designed the 2013 cars for the Australian V8 Supercar series amongst others.
The GTC is in fact based loosely on the concept of the Australian V8 Supercar series but in a more compact format as GTC’s Gary Formato explains, “When looking at the current situation in South African motorsport, we quickly realised that we’re not running any top-line globally relevant circuit racing series. This is why we have so few South African’s competing internationally and also one of the reasons why our sport has not had the public support it should have in the past ten to fifteen years.”
Formato continues, “So we decided to look at the best combination of car and engine both in local and international markets and develop a package that we feel offers an exciting but affordable solution. It was not easy because everything internationally is just too expensive. So we put our heads together and came up with a clean sheet concept. When we approached Paul Ceprnich, he was not sure we could accommodate a V8 engine and running gear in the confines of a medium sized saloon car. But he worked his magic and today you can see the results of that. It is a fairly simple design, huge fun to drive and packed with the latest reliable but affordable technology. We think that this car and the derivatives of the prototype we create for the various teams will reinvigorate circuit racing in South Africa. Our race fans, competitors and sponsors deserve that!”
The GTC V8 car has been specifically designed to accommodate numerous types of body designs by using the actual car body panels of individual motor manufacturers to meet the shape of any medium sized saloon car style. The benefit of this is that the common frame and running gear is maintained ensuring costs are kept to a minimum and performance between cars is maximised, but teams, drivers and motor manufacturers can decide on the body shell they would like to run.
It is intended that the cars will be built in South Africa, creating a small industry as the series is set to expand globally as executive director of GTC, Mark Woolley explains, “The GTC concept, is a global franchise idea where we have packaged our GTC Car together with all the rules, regulations, promoters manuals etcetera, so that interested parties in emerging motorsport markets around the world can very easily own and run a globally relevant but affordable touring car series. This is a unique concept and one we hope gains acceptance internationally when we formally launch GTC globally at the end of 2013. But fundamentally this is a South African idea. So it is no wonder we wanted to launch the first GTC franchise in SA and also build the global supply of GTC cars in SA too. We have the expertise and ability to do so and we hope that the combination of the series and building the cars here will create direct employment and skills transfer and give our sport and industry the much needed boost it needs.”
GTC has received a lot of interest in the car, with at least six different teams involved in SA motorsport having already put their names down for two cars each. The GTC management had planned to start the inaugural GTC Africa 2014 season with 12 cars, but the demand looks like it has outstripped this and plans are underway to increase build capacity to satisfy that demand.
“We are very excited that our GTC V8 car has been so well received. It has taken longer to finish and deliver to South Africa than anticipated, but we think the extra time and effort put into the build of the car has been worth the wait. GTC Africa is gaining momentum and we will have some further exciting announcements relating to the series to make when we launch the series next year. 2014 is going to be an exciting year for circuit racing in South Africa.” concluded Formato.
The GTC Africa series is due to kick off in South Africa during the second half of 2014 with the Series launch and race calendar announcement taking place mid-2014 with races in other African countries planned from 2016 onwards.
GTC V8 Vital Statistics –
|Chassis||Chrome Moly Tubular Frame – tube diameters range from 40mm to 45mm and wall thicknesses range from 1mm to 2.5mm. The roll cage conforms to FIA Schedule J, but the car must be Homologated by the FIA representative in the country where the series is held.|
|Engine||GTC, 5 litre ,V8 multivalve with dry sump lubrication, custom designed exhaust system|
|Horsepower||494bhp @ 6600rpm / 544bhp @ 6600rpm with Push to Pass System active|
|Engine Management||ECU – Motec M150|
|Radiators||Water, Engine Oil and Gearbox|
|Gearbox||6-Speed Sequential Transaxle. Bell Housing mounted on gearbox.|
|Clutch||Tilton 5.5 inch triple plate|
|Wheels||Cast aluminium, 18” X 10.5J all round. Manufactured specifically for GTC|
|Brakes||6 pot fronts and 4 pot rears|
|Suspension||Wishbones and hubs identical to fit all four corners|
|Dampers||Ohlins 2 Way Adjustable|
|Body Panels||Front Splitter, Aero and Radiator Inlet identical on all cars.|
|Fuel Tank||90 litres, Carbon tank with bladder|