As we’ve been outlining throughout the past week on DSC, there wasn’t one GT1 era, there were four, plus a variety of spin-off categories in a bewildering variety of international, continental and national series and Championships.
Here though, to indicate the scope and scale of the development, ambition and aspiration of GT1 we’ve attempted to showcase all of the cars that raced, or in some cases nearly raced, in a GT1 class, a very close equivalent or in a class designed to encompass actual GT1 machinery, or cars that were later rolled into GT1.
We’ve omitted silhouette racers that have, on occasion been classed alongside the GT1 machines.
We’ve included those cars that either only or mainly appeared in national Championships
And we’ve attempted at least to give an indication of when, where, and how successfully (if at all) they raced.
The Ascari went racing when the new owner of the company, Klaas Zwaart saw an opportunity to promote his new acquisition.
Powered by a Ford V8 the car took a British GT Championship race win in 1995, tried and failed to qualify for Le Mans the same year and continued in competition in the UK for a further two seasons with only one race cr produced ahead of a production run of the road car derivative, dubbed the Ascari Ecosse.
The first of the cars listed here that never raced. For the 1995 Le Mans 24 hour race, French publishing magnate Michel Hommell, commissioned an Aston Martin DB7 uniquely powered by a 6.3 litre V8 (reportedly a detuned version of the Group C AMR1 engine)
The car was built by Synergie, a Le Mans based constructor with carbon fibre doors, wings and bonnet. It narrowly failed to pre-qualify and was retired to the owner’s museum.
Raced for the Aston Martin factory and for a variety of privateers from 2005-2011 – you can find details of its racing history from 2005-2008 HERE
Toine Hezemans’ 1998 attempt to wring some competitiveness out of the Lotus Elise GT1, replacing the underpowered engines with the 7 litre V10 from the Viper GTSR.
Sadly for the two-car effort, the package proved to be both unreliable and uncompetitive and as development in the GT1 class skyrocketed, the project died after just two race outings. in the FIA GT Championship.
A pair of racing versions of the Bugatti EB10 were built, one for the 1994 Le Mans 24 Hours (The blue car on the right above) which ran well before an accident stopped it in its tracks, the silver car contesting a limited number of North American races including the 1996 Rolex 24 Hours, posting a dnf.
Unusually in GT1 the quad turbo V12 powered cars featured four wheel drive.
The front-mid engined Callaway C7R tried and filed to pre-qualify for Le Mans in 1996 before an aero revamp the of a run at Daytona for the 1997 24 Hours.
A promising run there before electrical woes stopped a class-leading run provided light at the end of the tunnel which turned out to be an oncoming train, revised homologation requirements for production cars proving beyond Callaway’s limited resources, the very promising C7R was cancelled.
A one-off entry at the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1995 sold to the race organisers as a high-profile entry with a charitable business model – turned out to be a low profile effort, high on visual and aural drama, low on pace and longevity.
Corvette Racing’s factory weapon from the start of their Pratt & Miller operated programme in 1999 until the end of the 2004 season with wins at Daytona (overall), Le Mans (three class wins), Sebring (three class wins) and Petit Le Mans (four class wins) and four ALMS class titles.
You can find more about the development of the car HERE
The C6.R replaced the C5-R for the 2005 season and continued in front-line service until the factory team switched to GT2 for 2009.
It scored three Le Mans class wins (2005,06,09), three wins apiece at Sebring and Petit Le Mans and won the GT1 title every season it competed in the ALMS
Part fabricated by Reynard, assembled and developed by ORECA, the Viper GTSRs were a staple part of GT racing around the world for almost a decade from their introduction in 1997.
Generally speaking, the entries were named under the Chrysler Brand in Europe, Dodge in North America and appeared in a bewildering variety of classes over there racing life including GT1 in at least two eras.
You can read about their successes HERE
A raid on the rulebook from Jochen Dauer and Porsche gave then the 1994 Le Mans 24 Hours overall win with a mildly modified Group C Porsche 962 – You can find more about the cars HERE
Another ‘Dauer’ 962. entered in the Belgian national Belcar Series in 1999 featured a different, less powerful (though still Porsche) engine but full Group C/ GTP bodywork.
A GT1 pioneer, the Dallara- built, ADA Engineering prepared Pantera raced at Le Mans in 1994 and also contested BPR and British GT races, finding success in the UK series with Thorkild Thyrring taking the GT1 title in 1995 with a variety of co-drivers including Andy Wallace.
The car continued to race, with some success, in the UK and in France until 1997
A pair of race-prepped RT/10 Roadsters (with hardtops), contested the 1994 Le Mans 24 Hours with limited results, one car retiring, the other finishing on the class podium but light years back from the Dauer Porsches.
One of the cars continuing for selected races in BPR the following season, albeit in the GT3 class
See Chrysler Viper GTSR above
With thanks to John Brooks, David Lord, Marcus Potts, Regis Lefebure, David Downes, Peter May, David Lister, Jeremy Jackson and Racingsportscars.com for pics