Super GT doesn't need 'Indy-style' race starts - Baguette
SUPER GT doesn’t need to adopt Indy-style race starts to spice up the show, says Honda GT500 race winner Bertrand Baguette following a trial run in the Fuji pre-season test last month.
The Japanese championship has long used the more traditional rolling start procedure, with cars completing two warm-up laps before waiting for the lights to turn green on the pit straight.
However, series promoter GTA tested the double-file Indy start on both days of official testing at Fuji Speedway in late March, prompting suggestions that this could eventually be introduced in the championship.
Indy-style starts also featured in the SUPER GT x DTM Dream Race at the same venue in 2019, and the German championship has been using the same procedure for its restarts since 2017.
But Real Racing driver Baguette doesn’t believe Indy-style starts are the right fit for an endurance series like SUPER GT, saying the risk of start-line crashes is simply too high.
“I don’t think that it changes so much,” Baguette told Motorsport.com when asked for his opinion following the second Indy-style start trial, in which he was third on the dummy grid in the #17 Honda NSX-GT.
“We are just a little bit closer to each other at the start, but as soon as the green lights go on we are still kind of separate.
“I think it’s very difficult to do the same as DTM, where they are all really bunched together. We only have eight races per season, and it’s endurance racing.
“In DTM it’s sprint racing, and they have more races [per season], so they can take more risks. We cannot afford to be crashing at the start, so it’s hard to have the same system.
“The race format is completely different. It’s not like you want to take all the risk at the start. Maybe in the DTM it’s more like that, because it’s hard to overtake and the races are short.”
Race starts and restart formats were one of the chief differentiating factors in the sporting regulations between the DTM and SUPER GT during their short-lived Class One unification.
DTM switched to the Indy-style procedure for restarts after safety car periods in 2017, which proved a hit with the fans, but continued to rely on standing starts at the beginning of races.
However, the series will drop standing starts altogether this year as part of its switch to GT3 machinery.
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