The GT Winter Series 2021/2022 is history – the organizer Gedlich Racing is already actively involved in the build-up to the coming season. In an interview with the organizers Markus Gedlich and Robin Selbach, we find out what news there will be and what has been learned from the past races.
?: At first glance, it is noticeable that the GT Winter Series offers 50% more dates. Instead of four last year, there will be six races next season. How did this decision come about?
RS: Last season we saw how well the GT Winter Series was received. The concept of combining a lot of testing time with racing appeals to the drivers and offers the teams great opportunities in the off-season. Due to this demand and the wishes of the customers, we have expanded the calendar. It remains compact, however, because there are two back-to-back events (Jerez/Valencia and Navarra/Barcelona), each held on two consecutive weekends. This makes logistics uncomplicated and saves time and money. Travel times are manageable.
?: Which tracks are new in the program?
RS: Valencia and Navarra. Valencia is used by many teams as a test track, because international races are held here and it is very representative for the setup of the race cars. Navarra is a fantastically located track in the north of Spain, which is little known, but is top modern and super equipped. It even has FIA approval as a Formula 1 test track. Our six race event calendar thus offers all the top international circuits of the Iberian Peninsula. In our opinion, this championship can hardly be topped in terms of fun factor.
?: Is there any other news for the new season?
RS: Quite a few. One of the most important is that the GTWS will no longer be integrated into the trackdays of the Endless Summer trackday series, but will get two days of its own. Day 1 will be the GTWS Test Day, and Day 2 will be the GTWS Race Day. This will give teams and drivers the option to test extensively on Day 1 and have a full race day on Day 2.
We have also extended the Endurance to 60 minutes. This will give teams the opportunity to test the same case they find in most GT3 and GT4 race series during the summer season.
In addition, there will be a second race series as part of the GTWS, called the Nevada Cup. Here prototypes from the likes of Radical, Revolution or open KTM will race. This makes the day colorful and also interesting for spectators, because there will be a total of five races (three GTWS, two Nevada Cup).
?: How does it look on the technical side? Will the same vehicle classes be on the grid?
MG: We’ve seen that the GT3, GT4 and Cup car classes are strong at all the rounds. Therefore, we have decided to streamline the vehicle classes so that in the future the focus will be on these vehicles. The Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport class is very successful. These find exactly the field of activity with us that they otherwise so often miss. But the LMP cars also find the best conditions here and fit ideally into the field with their own class.
?: One point of criticism from some teams was the issue of balance of performance. What exactly was the bone of contention and how do you address this issue?
MG: For us as organizers of the GT Winter Series, it was not trivial to get a homogeneous field together. But we have succeeded respectably this season. We always listen well to the teams and have noticed that one of the biggest wishes is even better technical equality. We will therefore have an optimized Balance of Performance in our adapted set of rules, which above all will be more closely controlled. We are in the process of working this out and are putting a lot of effort into it because we realize that this step is important to take GTWS to the next level.
?: In Barcelona we saw a livestream for the first time in the GT Winter Series and were surprised how professional it came across. Is that planned again for 2022/2023?
MG: Absolutely, and in a significantly expanded form. We haven’t yet decided which races we will cover, but there will definitely be several. Our media partner nürburgring tv delivered the very best in Barcelona in March – including renowned commentators and presenters. Around seven hours of live coverage is something to be proud of.
Partners can present themselves optimally in our livestream and shape it very well. This offers plenty of space to present their own products, highlight teams and drivers, and deliver the messages a partner wants to address to viewers in interviews. We are currently in the process of getting these partners on board.
?: Finally, who is the GT Winter Series made for and which drivers and teams feel most comfortable here?
MG: Everyone is welcome here, not just professional teams and drivers. Feedback shows that the combination of fair racing, plenty of driving time and a pleasant environment with the associated lifestyle is the combination that goes down particularly well. We want to promote this and at the same time pave the way for even more professional racing and monitoring of the technology. We are convinced that racing can hardly be more beautiful than at the GTWS. We always focus on the drivers and teams and want to provide them with a good time in a professional environment.
?: Thank you for the interview
Calendar GT Winter Series 2022/2023
12/13 DEC Portimao
14/15 JAN Estoril
11/12 FEB Jerez (tbc)
18/19 FEB Valencia (tbc)
04/05 MAR Navarra
11/12 MAR Barcelona (tbc)