The minimum pit stop time in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup will be eliminated next year if the championship is able to properly regulate refueling times for all GT3 cars, according to series boss Stephane Ratel.
“The way we did it this year was to control the pit stop,” Ratel told Sportscar365. “Next year, we will look at a way to only control the refueling time, which will leave the rest of the driver change, the tire change, a pure competition like we have in Sprint. That’s what we’re working on.”
The prohibited 20-second time range, calculated on the length of the pit lane and the target refueling and tire change times, was among the points of contention from teams this year, as it eliminated the reward of quick pit stops.
The move follows a clear statement from WRT boss Vincent Vosse, who said the new rule took away one of the team’s competitive advantages.
Ratel said they are working on a technical solution, involving the fuel connectors, that would balance the refueling times for all GT3 machinery.
“The technology exists but it’s very expensive, he said. “You need to find a way to finance it or to make it more affordable.
“If we find a way to regulate the refueling time at an affordable cost, we will get rid of the [minimum pitstop time].
“We have the solution, it’s only a question of an economical cost.”
Ratel said the concept of the minimum pit stop time was to not put any team or manufacturer at a disadvantage during refueling.
“Our goal is to regulate refueling times,” he said. “That’s the problem because GT3 is production cars and the architecture of each tanks is different.
“The problem is when a series becomes more and more competitive, like Blancpain GT is becoming, every little detail that didn’t matter before becomes very important. That’s why we had to regulate that because the teams start spending too much money.
“The irony in that is the cost of running, cost-per-mile, is actually decreasing. The engines last longer, the gearboxes and transmissions, is getting longer.
“The level of competition, the engineers you need, to be able to win is growing. It’s our duty to slow down competition. That’s what we’re trying to do with refueling times.”