GT4 European Series
|Category||Grand Tourer (GT4)|
|Drivers' champion||Ricardo van der Ende|
|Makes' champion||Ekris Motorsport|
|Official website||GT4 European Series
The GT4 European Series, formerly known as both GT4 European Cup is a sports car championship created and organized by the Stéphane Ratel Organisation (SRO). It is an amateur championship which followed a formula similar to the FIA GT3 European Championship, which was itself derived from the FIA GT Championship which utilized the GT1 and GT2 classes. The GT4 class cars are the least powerful of the four classes, yet are equalized in order to allow driving skill to become key.
Following the successful introduction of the FIA GT3 European Championship in 2006, the formula was expanded to include usage by other nationally-based professional championships such as the British GT Championship, Belcar, Australian GT Championship and German ADAC GT Masters. While the FIA GT3 European Championship continues, the SRO felt that a true amateur championship was needed in order to complement GT3 which allowed a certain level of professional driver to compete. Many national series also adopted the GT4 regulations as a lower class, and the European Cup eventually lacked the competitors needed to continue.
GT4 class cars are mostly what can be referred to as track day cars, which are factory-built race cars available to the public. However, custom-built cars based on production models can also be built by teams. All cars are test driven by the FIA and then modified so that they all have near identical performance levels. Once a car has been approved by the FIA, it cannot be modified by the teams, eliminating continual development costs for constructors. All cars run on regulated Pirelli tires and Continental tires to further equalize performance.
The following cars are currently homologated for GT4:
- Aston Martin Vantage N24
- Aston Martin Vantage GT4
- BMW M3 GT4
- BMW Z4
- Corvette C6
- Chevrolet Camaro
- Ford Mustang FR500GT4
- Ginetta G50 GT4
- Maserati Gran Turismo MC
- Maserati Trofeo
- Mazda MX5
- Nissan 350Z
- Nissan 370Z
- Porsche 997 GT4
- Porsche Cayman
- Lotus Evora
- Toyota GT86 GT4 
In 2008, a Supersport category was introduced for smaller, lighter cars:
Like GT3, GT4 drivers have a set of criteria which would automatically eliminate them from competition based on their level of experience. Since GT4 class drivers are meant to be true amateurs, these criteria are tighter than that seen in GT3.
Drivers under the age of 30 are not allowed to have had a top-ten finish in any national or international single-seater championship, nor to have had a distinguishable career in a national or international GT championship. These drivers are known as Silver drivers. Drivers over the age of 30 who did not receive their racing licenses until after turning 30 and having no single-seater experience at all are also allowed in the series, under the term Bronze drivers.
Just as in GT3, each event would consist of two races of equal distance, usually held on different days. Teams were not required to have two drivers and could use the same driver for each race.
The championship used the standard FIA point scheme for the top eight finishers: 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1. If a team used different drivers for each race in a single event, both drivers would receive points. A driver and team championship were both held.
If at least five cars of the same make participate in a race, then a manufacturer cup would also be awarded, similar to the style used in GT3.
|Season||Class||Drivers Champion(s)||Teams Champion|
|2007||GT4||Eric de Doncker||not awarded|
|2008||GT4||Eric de Doncker||Motorsport98|
|2009||GT4||Joe Osborne||RJN Motorsport|
|2010||GT4||Paul Meijer||Rhesus Racing|
|2011||GT4||Ricardo van der Ende||Racing Team Holland by Ekris Motorsport|
|2013||PRO||Ricardo van der Ende||Ekris Motorsport|
Since the introduction of the GT4 European Cup, the GT4 class of cars have been expanded to various national series. The British GT Championship and Belgian GT Championship allow GT4 and Super Sport class cars to compete alongside the GT3 class, while the stand-alone Dutch GT4 Championship ran its first season of competition 2009. A GT4 championship plans to be run in Brazil in 2010.
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