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September 24, 2017

Trackspeed: “We’re Fast Because We Have the Best Drivers”

Trackspeed: “We’re Fast Because We Have the Best Drivers”

Trackspeed has hit back in the growing row over Balance of Performance involving the speed of the Porsche GT3 cars in the British GT Championship.

Amid mounting concerns in the paddock that the system designed to bring an equivalence of performance for the myriad of drivers and manufacturers is unfairly weighted towards the Porsches, team manager Keith Cheetham delivers a clear riposte.

“I have the best drivers in British GT – that’s why we are quick,” he told Racing.GT. “Everyone needs to stop moaning about how we do our job well and step up their own game.”

Frustrations about the Balance of Performance came to the fore at the weekend at Snetterton, with United Autosports driver and team owner Zak Brown saying something had to be done about it. He told this site: “The Porsches have been on pole for about every session and they (SRO, Championship organisers) need to do something about it because I think everybody is getting pretty discouraged. It’s pretty obvious the Porsches are miles quicker than than everyone else – it seems obvious to everyone but the organisers.”

There is sympathy for Brown’s view from other drivers. Beechdean AMR owner and driver Andrew Howard told Racing.gt after Sunday’s second race – in which Trackspeed won – that it was a difficult issue.

“The Porsche is a quick car at every circuit and Balance of Performance should allow for some cars to be faster at some circuits and the Porsche is just phenomenal. So should it be pegged back a bit? Probably. When you have the top three cars in wet, in dry it just says what a great car it is – and that is the problem, it is a great car.”

Drivers remark on how the Porsche with its rear-engined configuration is able to nail it out of corners better than rival machines. It also has very good top end speed.

“I don’t know what the Porsches have got under them but just now they are untouchable,” says United Autosports driver Glynn Geddie. “I don’t know how they are going to work the BoP but obviously they are very strong.”

Cheetham says you can only really balance the cars properly when you have the same drivers in the car, as a control on a significant variable of driver ability. This makes BoP very hard in practice. “In my eyes we should be just following the BoP in Blancpain where they have a Pro format. I know they have a different tyre but everyone is on the same deal as British GT.”

The question now is whether SRO will act to amend the Balance of Performance sufficiently or risk the potential – in some drivers’ minds – for the Championship to turn into a one horse race. BoP is a complex issue attached to another Series, and changing things might adversely affect things elsewhere.

32 Gregor Fisken / Richard Westbrook Trackspeed Porsche 997 GT3 R GT3

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