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SRO Responds to St. Pete GTS BoP Changes

Stephane Ratel responds to SRO’s in-weekend BoP changes to GTS class…

Photo: Brian Cleary/PWC

Stephane Ratel has responded to SRO Motorsport Group’s decision to make a series of Balance of Performance adjustments to the GTS class ahead of today’s Pirelli World Challenge season-opening race in St. Pete.

The move, which has seen power and/or ride height changes handed to seven of the 11 GT4 brands prior this morning’s qualifying session, came following the analysis of additional data not only in St. Pete but at SRO GT4 tests in Europe this week, according to Ratel.

“First of all, a big part of the field is new, made of new cars that we’ve never seen before,” he told Sportscar365.

“The manufacturers have a tendency to advertise a car in non-[SRO] BoPed events first and come to us at the last minute.

“In the last ten days, we had the BoP test at Paul Ricard, which unfortunately fell in the biggest winter storm Europe has seen in 35 years. That was really bad luck.

“The time available to do the BoP was less, even if it concentrated on the new GT4 cars.

“Then we had an official test day at Donington with a massive number of GT4 cars and then the same day the important test with 43 cars in Zolder.”

Ratel said that SRO technical director Claude Surmont, who is not here this weekend, has focused his efforts on ensuring a fair and balanced grid, despite having taken measures during the race meeting.

“I think Claude [Surmont] had worked very hard to compile all these numbers,” Ratel said.

“He made the adjustments that he thought was necessary, which is absolutely no joking when you’re after the first practice of the first event of the entire global GT4 season.

“I don’t see it being a problem. And from what I heard, it was quite close this morning.”

Despite the wholesale changes made, Ratel does not anticipate in-weekend BoP changes being made on a regular basis.

“We’re not magicians, he said. “Maybe we need to start the BoP process earlier in the future. But it’s not always easy because besides the new cars you have the Evos.

“At the end of the day, all that matters is that we have close racing and that’s what everyone wants.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Slicks in the wet

    March 10, 2018 at 12:52 pm

    HAAAAAAAAA.

    Every year PWC figures out a new way to confound.

  2. Johnny

    March 10, 2018 at 12:57 pm

    Now they penalize you for causing a red flag by taking away your fastest lap. I do not think any of these drivers caused a red flag on purpose to gain any sort of advantage. If I have mechanical problems what have I done wrong as a driver ? Having a crash on my own why penalize me ?

    • Kaiyu

      March 10, 2018 at 1:27 pm

      The penalty is for the inconvenience to cutting the session short to the other drivers. This is not a new rule.

  3. Haskellb

    March 10, 2018 at 7:42 pm

    This is why I don’t like French megalomaniacs.

  4. Dave Henrie

    March 11, 2018 at 7:43 am

    You mean drivers like Michael Schumaker never parked his Ferrari at the last turn of Monaco to prevent other drivers from finishing fast laps? Rules are not just enacted, they are almost always in response to situations. In this case..setting a fast lap and THEN beaching the car. It has happened in many series and most have rules similar to this one. Nothing new.

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