As well as looking at the some of the teams, cars, and personalities that won’t be around in 2018, we’ll also be looking forward on DSC, at what’s to come for the new sportscar season, which let’s not forget, starts in early January!
Now it’s time for a look at GT3, the ever-popular customer GT formula which continues to fill grids for series and marquee races across the world. For 2018, there’s a couple of cars with updates, and some brand new kit from some key players to look forward to.
Bentley Continental GT3
The new Bentley is a handsome beast, and will be seen in action for the first time at the opening round of the Blancpain GT Series, the Bathurst 12 Hour will see the factory-blesses Bentley M-Sport squad utilise the older car for the very last time.
Bentley have taken the opportunity not only to build their new racer in the image of the newly launched new-look Continental, but to undertake a thorough review of the details of their racing version.
With increased numbers of the new Bentley looking likely to be in prospect – Bentley say 30-40 cars hoped for, the outgoing Continental GT3 didn’t make 30. – The new Crewe ‘bus’ could become a more familiar site. The Bentley Boys will though be hoping that they can finally claim the big race wins that have evaded the programme thus far.
McLaren 720S GT3
It’s all change at McLaren with the new for 2019 720S GT3 now an in-house programme, the CRS-operated McLaren GT effort brought success with the 650S GT3 and those cars will continue through the coming season.
A new factory, now in build in Woking, though will see the 720S development as the first of a number of new projects.
The first development cars will emerge in mid-2018, Rob Bell retained as principal development driver, there are few racers with more diverse GT race experience, before a planned race debut either in late 2018 or early 2019, customer sales starting thereafter.
The car follows the modern theme of an efficient twin turbo V8, the base road car’s huge power output though will likely see McLaren taking a look at exactly what will be the best approach to the powerplant in race trim.
This is a vital programme for the emergent new in-house effort – if it succeed then who knows where the wave of confidence within the Woking company might lead next?
There are several ‘Evo’ updates coming too for existing cars, and all three of those listed below have already raced, in SPX (non-homologated) trim in the VLN Series around the Nürburgring.
Nissan GT-R GT3 Evo
Early rumours of a switch to GT500-derived four pot turbo power proved wide of the mark, instead the 2018 spec Nissan GT-R has seen a subtle series of aero, bodywork and under the surface changes to keep ‘Godzilla’ in the game.
The Nissan’s big surface area has seen BoP measures make a big difference and NISMO have worked hard to offset what they can whilst still keeping all of the dna of what has become a global cult car.
BMW M6 GT3 Evo
The big BMW M6 GT3 is another car that is highly ‘BoP-Sensitive’ it seems and again its front aero to the fore in the update kit.
It certainly seems to be effective, Falken ran the car in SPX trim at the final race of the season and won the race! They will, it seems , be amongst a good number of current customers that will adopt the new look car next season
Porsche 911 GT3 R Evo
Front aero and balance is the key to the new look Porsche, a new front ‘bonnet’ and turning vane ‘flicks’ the detail changes that Porsche hope will keep the beefy looking 911 GT3 R up with the pack.
With a big step forward in factory-backed GT3 race activity for the coming season much will depend on the updates here to help write the headlines that Porsche are looking for. Will it be enough to see Manthey Racing back on top?