Class One: New Regulations To Combine DTM and Super GT

By Winding Road Staff

September 17, 2019

Class One launch press conference photo. Martin Klepper is a Motorsports Retail Specialist at our SoCal retail location, and has been following the formation of Class One.

 

3,2, Class One let’s jam! The field is now set for the global Class One regulations which will be used by Japanese Super GT and German DTM. All cars competing will have two-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engines mounted in front of a spec carbon tub. For the 2020 campaign, Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Honda, Nissan and Toyota will compete. Other changes under the new regulations are a switch to a common Bosch ECU from the Super GT-specific Cosworth ECU as reported by Sportscar365.com. All cars will have smaller rear diffusers than in past Super GT and DTM iterations to allow the rear-end of the cars to have a more production look. 

 

According to Autosport.com, a press release from Super GT states that "safety, cost reduction and equal opportunities" are crucial to Class One's formation and makes common parts a cornerstone of the regulations.

 

For 2020, Honda will be running a front engine version of the NSX as Class One regulations don’t allow for mid-engine platforms. The Japanese Automobile Federation and GT Association waiver to allow mid-engine cars, which Honda has used for the last six years, is due to end with the new regs.

 

Launch NSX from As-web.jp

 

The NSX shown at the launch was just a show car while cooling issues are sorted with the real, road-going version. This marks the second time Honda has competed with a front-engine car in high-level GT racing. The Honda HSV-010 ran in this configuration between 2010 and 2013.

Honda has tested front engine various NSXs in the past. A test vehicle built to the previous All-Japan GT regulations and was used to development program for the introduction of the HSV-010 for racing.

 

 

The biggest change manufacturer-wise for 2020 is the re-introduction of the Toyota Supra to Super GT racing. The launch car has a revised front aero package from the GR Supra GT Concept that debuted at the Tokyo Auto Salon this year. The fourth generation Supra last raced in 2006; the anticipation for how it will fare will certainly be the talk of the town.

DailySportscar.com noted that the launch Supra carries the number 90; a reference to the fifth generation Supra’s chassis code, JZA90. With the introduction of this new Supra, Lexus will no longer compete in the Super GT Series after 14 successful years of competition.

 

For 2020, Nissan has the most stable package with the only visible changes being the more aggressive duct-work along the side of the car. The car commonly known as Godzilla continues to be a global fan favorite.

 

2019 GTR from As-web.jp

 

As-web.jp covered the first test of the 2020 season as Nissan and Toyota turned laps around the iconic Suzuka Circuit, with each manufacturer running one car apiece. The Nissan piloted by Ronnie Quintarelli ran into issues and was unable to turn any meaningful laps. The Toyota driven Hiroaki Ishiura managed a fastest lap of 1m 52 seconds. To anyone not familiar with Best Motoring laps, that’s blindingly fast!

 

From AS-web.jp

 

There is some interest in establishing a Class One series in the United States. Japanese and German manufacturers have said they would only enter if an American manufacturer joins the series. IMSA has the rights to launching such a series and has been investigating the idea for a few years. Just imagine the possibility…

 

From SS Media Facebook page

 

A series of joint races will be held at the end of the 2019 season. During the DTM finale at Hockenheim, one car from each of the Japanese manufacturers will compete. Jenson Button will drive the legendary Team Kunimitsu Honda in both races held at Hockenheim, while Nick Cassidy and Ryo Hirakawa will share driving duties in the Team Keeper TOM’s. Ronnie Quintarelli and Tsugio Matsuda will drive the NISMO-entered Nissan GTR.

 

 

The second joint race will be held at Fuji Speedway on November 22-24. Cars from DTM will join the grid with Super GT. No teams or drivers have been announced for this race, and it will not be a part of the regular Super GT season.

 

Class One regulations are gaining momentum and might produce some intense and dramatic racing in 2020!