The new GT1 World Championship races is the first international series to compete on the revised Silverstone circuit this weekend. Guest writer Stephen Prater urges you to tune in and explains where to find coverage online.
The second round of the new FIA GT1 World Championship is at Silverstone this weekend with one race today and another tomorrow.
Among the drivers are Renault refugee Romain Grosjean and several other ex-Formula 1 racers.
This new championship got underway with an exciting round at Abu Dhabi two weeks ago. Now the drivers will tackle the revised circuit the F1 teams will race on in July.
There are ten rounds each with two one-hour races each. The grid contains twenty four cars (twelve teams of two cars each) and six different manufacturers: Aston Martin, Corvette, Nissan, Maserati, Ford, and Lamborghini.
At least one former F1 driver has already achieved more success in the new series than ever in his F1 career – Romain Grosjean and his team mate won the last race at Abu Dhabi driving a Ford GT.
Other drivers with previous F1 experience include Mika Salo, Ricardo Zonta, Enrique Bernoldi, Tomas Enge, and Jean-Denis Délétraz. Additionally, several drivers have single seater experience in various lower formulae prior to joining this Championship.
The FIA GT1 World Championship takes over from the FIA GT Championship which ran from 1997-2009. 2010 marks the first year the FIA has approved a “World Championship” for GT racing since 1992.
Each team runs two drivers and the team must complete one mandatory pit stop to change drivers. The mandatory pit stop window opens approximately 25 minutes into the race.
The racing weekend is a full three days of action with practice on Friday, qualifying sessions and the qualifying race on Saturday and the championship race on Sunday.
The qualifying sessions mirror the format used in F1 and the grid for the qualifying race on Saturday is set according to the qualifying sessions. The finishing order of the qualifying race sets the grid for the Championship race on Sunday.
Points are awarded for only positions 1-3 in the Qualifying race and the Championship race points system is the same as the F1 system.
GT1 is broadcast on pay-per-view channel ESPN in Britain. Have a look at the TV guides page on their website to find out where it is being broadcast in your area.
If no-one is showing the races live in your area you can watch online for free. Qualifying and both races are streamed live on their website during every round.
The Qualifying Race starts at 4pm on Saturday and the Championship Race is on at 2pm on Sunday. See below for highlights from the Abu Dhabi qualifying race featuring some excellent overtaking by Grosjean:
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