GT Asia adjusts silver-silver pairings for 2017
Following on from the recent announcement of a new category in 2017 dedicated to Amateur drivers, Motorsport Asia Limited, the promoter of the successful GT Asia Series, has released a further initiative aimed at the amateur drivers in the outright GT3 category.
After discussions across this season with our various stakeholders, we’ve elected to revise the Silver-Silver compensation times which we introduced this year – Motorsport Asia CEO David Sonenscher explained.
Silver-Silver driver pairings first appeared in 2015 against the traditional PRO-AM style pairings and they proved to be the most competitive driver line-ups, claiming the top four positions in the 2015 championship.
With that in mind, for 2016 we introduced a compensation time for the Silver-Silver pairings, and whilst that has been somewhat successful, the huge variation in the level of Silver classified drivers has not allowed us to arrive at as good a balance as we would have liked to bring the Platinum or Gold with Bronze combinations into consistent contention for race wins. Understanding that the Bronze drivers are the backbone of the championship, we’ve decided to introduce a more aggressive compensation structure for 2017 – Sonenscher added – Since 2015 we’ve been collating data from every entry in GT Asia, and from that data we have been able to simulate a variety of performance changes to develop a more level playing field amongst the various driver combinations. Therefore, for 2017 we have decided to introduce a two tier Silver-Silver driver grading to allow for the various spread of drivers who are categorised Silver – lesser experienced Silvers/Silver, and more experienced Silver drivers/Silver+. That determination will come from our team at Motorsport Asia and will be based on the experience and overall performance of drivers, then we will set the compensations accordingly.
Motorsport Asia revealed that the more Amateur Silver-Silver combinations should expect an additional compensation time added to their compulsory pit stops – just as they experienced in season 2016 – whilst the more experienced Silver-Silver combinations could expect that same time penalty, together with additional weight.
At this stage the data is showing us that an amateur Silver-Silver partnership would incur an additional 25-seconds on top of the standard pit stop compensation time, whilst the more ‘Pro’ Silver-Silver partnership/Silver+ will incur 30-kilograms of ballast in their car’s minimum weight in addition to the 25-second penalty. Our aim – as always – is to provide a very competitive level playing field amongst all combinations of drivers and in so doing, give them the confidence of knowing that they are competing with a chance to fight for race wins and the overall Championship Title.
The GT Asia Series is sanctioned by the FIA as an International Series and is clearly recognised as the Region’s leading GT Championship.