World Super GT Championship
The Grand Tour of GT racing, a classic clash of East versus West.
Category: GT Endurance PRO (Tier B)
Though racing modified sports cars have always been popular, the modern GT Endurance PRO category is a long-held tradition initially created by the J-Speed Association for its national Endurance racing pinnacle, the J-SA GT Masters. Designed after the fall of the late 80's Works Prototype class, the J-SA GT Endurance PRO regulations were developed in cooperation with the World Racing Authority (WRA) and the European United Racing Organization (EURO), whose own premier Endurance series had collapsed due to a rapidly escalating power and downforce war that resulted in a number of high-profile fatalities and even bankrupting several major privateer outfits who would not appear again until today.
As the 90's progressed, EURO and WRA once again moved away from the initially proposed global specification for GT-E PRO, repeating the result of cost inflation for teams, though thankfully without the death and destruction that marred Endurance racing the decade before. At the turn of the millennium, all of the WRA member bodies agreed upon using the J-SA GT Endurance PRO regulations without any regional deviations, allowing manufacturers to finally focus on just one spec for top-flight GT Endurance racing. It would take another decade before similar regulations overhauls would finally stabilize for amateur and gentleman teams, however.
Created one year after the global unification of the premier Endurance GT category, the World Super GT Championship is a series targeted at bringing the best teams and manufacturers from the regional professional Endurance leagues. Although the category regulations were originally developed by the J-Speed Association, the series enjoys huge popularity from pro-am privateer outfits both from Japan (such as Tsuchigami no Kyojin) and out of Japan (such as the newly re-established Pergusa World Motorsports). Due to the still-huge influence of Japanese teams in this particular category, this is one of the few World Series which has a two rounds in one country.
The formula for a modern-day GT Endurance PRO class car is pretty simple. 600 horsepower (give or take 20), fat slicks, a somewhat liberal minimal weight limit, and an emphasis on aerodynamic grip, all combine for a great car to race. Although the GT Endurance PRO class is more heavily restricted on power than the AM class is, the chassis and aerodynamic regulations are certainly not; many of the cars do not actually use the original production chassis, instead opting for a similarly-shaped carbon fiber shell reinforced by a tubular steel frame. As with GT-E AM, engine swaps from the same manufacturer are allowed, and in addition, aspiration swaps (for example, atmospheric to turbo) are legal.
Although each of the GT-E PRO cars are quite a bit different from one another despite the heavy regulation of performance, there is the usual bit of advice for Endurance cars. While these cars CAN be drifted, you WILL kill your tires. Power over these cars at your peril!
Avici Autosportif are a global conglomerate of racing talent, though the team has Brazilian roots. The team are no strangers to Endurance, having been in various series held by IMAS (the International Motoring Authority on Sport) for two decades; however, with Reisuke Yamasa being new to this level of competition, their Lexus SC430 JSA-GT's tune is a back-to-basics balanced approach. Gabranth Schtauffen will be spending this season as the second driver of the team, coaching Reisuke Yamasa, a relatively new driver to the team. Hopes are high but expectations low for this blossoming team.
Beast Energy Motorsport may be relatively new to racing compared to the other teams, but their drivers and personnel sure aren't, and it shows. This well-disciplined squad have done their homework on GT Endurance racing, though it seems like their power-hungry tuning methods for the Chevrolet Corvette C7-JS.R hasn't quite paid off yet here. Appropriately for the Corvette, the Beast Energy car cranks its power up to eleven, paired with an aero package meant for higher max speeds. Nifty for long straights, though it is clumsy in the corners. Their drivers Madoka Tanaka and Hayate Hamasaki are young Pro Tuned prodigies, but rookies to the discipline and series. Their fight to stay out of last this season may be a struggle.
de Witte World Racing Team are essentially Einzbern AG's works team, having been a part of the company's racing program since its inception in the late 50's. A storied name in racing, the de Witte family have had racing successes in the discipline stretch back even further, back in the days of cross-country road races. The Einzbern Iris I8 JS-RSR the de Wittes are running for this season are running an experimental package, focused on power and response. With the added power, the car is very quick on straights, but is nervous in the corners. Unfortunately, while Iris de Witte is an excellent wheelman, her teammate Shirou Aikawa lacks experience at this level of competition. Mid-front of the pack is all this team might be doing this season.
Espada Speed Squadron is Spain's most celebrated racing team in recent years. A team founded on the principle of being "for the crowds", Espada are a team focused on spectacle, believing to be performers and entertainers at heart. As a result, their car is tuned to have an excellent power to weight ratio, improving upon their Maserati MC12 JSA-GT's bigger weaknesses. The improved ratio does make the car even more nervous than usual, unfortunately. While Raul Leon and Francisco Hernandez are as far from scrubs as you can get from a driver line-up, the level of competition in this series is just too damn high. Expect them to be fighting at the back of the pack.
Eternal Brakes R&D Team are, as their name implies, a research and development team for a high-profile brakes manufacturer. Although their brand is commonly used among other teams, the R&D squad are always the first to get their hands on the latest developments. Their Ford GT JS-GT is short on power, but handles well at any speed. It being a bit rear-heavy however, the team's car is a little unstable in unsteady hands, though this makes it a pretty good car for learning smooth driving. Andrew Pilgrim and Benedict Stark have been partners on this team for a long time, and their cooperation is probably the reason why the cars handle as well as they do. Even so, the team will probably still be stuck at mid-pack this season.
Fan Service Magazine Project D.D. have a silly name and a sponsor more well-known for publishing risque content than its involvement in racing. After a few articles interviewing several key figures in the racing scene, however, fans wanted a race team of their own to root for, and they got it. Though a driver development program at heart, the team are just as serious about winning as any of the other teams are, and their own Ford GT JS-GT has mated power with downforce for an ideal package at fast circuits. Even though the team usually employs pro-am lineups, the team are aiming for wins this season, and have their two driver coaches Elise Nurburg and Christina Giese in the seats. Their underdeveloped race package is what is holding them back.
IMAS Performance Moe Moe, known as de la Sarthe Motorsport in their olden days, are one of France's longest-running and most prestigious teams, even with their silly title sponsor. Founded in the "frontier era" of auto racing, the team's experience spans well over 70 years. Their recipe is simple; power and control in equal measure. Even though the Saleen S7-R they field is inherently very snappy, the car handles amazingly well in the right hands. And what better hands for this team than their Endurance superstar, Sophia de la Sarthe? Her teammate Mathieu Allard is no noob either, so expect this team to be fighting for podiums if not outright wins!
Northern Wolf Motorsports have widely been regarded as one of the strongest teams in any discipline in recent years, and it's not hard to see why. Backed by an extremely wealthy and ambitious man who fancies calling himself "The Benefactor", the team is a melding of world-class teams from all over the world. As is the usual for the team, their Nissan GT-R JSA-GT is a powerhouse focused on high-speed circuits, with improved aerodynamics and a powerful engine to boot. For this series, The Benefactor has Japanese GT master Sora Kuroi and rising superstar Donnie McAlister in the drivers' seats. This could be another championship for the team to dominate, but Kuroi's involvement in this series has also incurred the wrath of his rivals; and you can bet they won't take it sitting down.
Pergusa World Motorsports were once long-time rivals to Italian motorsports juggernaut Scuderia Testarossa. Having gone out of business in the mid-90's after one of their most beloved drivers of the era ended up being brutally killed, the newly formed team under the same name is a mix of American and European talents. The way the Pergusas have tuned their Lamborghini RS-V JSA-GT is a total antithesis to their past methods, focusing on being a pure grip monster. Though a bit edgy on the limit, their car is a reliable, consistent performer at any circuit. Fitting to this team's Endurance roots, Jade Sebringson and Emma Pergusa will be running for the Pergusa name this season. Though Emma is a bit young to be a title winner, her best friend Jade is an excellent Endurance racer and should not be underestimated.
Tsuchigami no Kyojin were once just a loving couple in their local street racing scene. Though the Garage House Tsuchigami brand has been one of the longest-running service brands in the country, their involvement in racing was kept at a relatively local level. This all changed in the 90's once said loving couple wanted to ditch the streets and hit the track. Fitting to their name, the Tsuchigami's Honda HSV-010 GT is a pure powerhouse with augmentations to the Honda's already immense downforce levels. The result is a high speed cornering monster that is tough to tame. Taming the team's titan for this season will be team founder Haruna Tsuchigami, a much-loathed rival of Sora Kuroi, while Ludwig Stern plays role of teammate to her. If there's one team that can rival the Wolves here, it's this one.
Yukihiro Racing Engineering have similar backgrounds to Garage House Tsuchigami, being a family run automotive service business. Though the family is on friendly terms with the Tsuchigamis, they're still rivals due to their allegiances with differing brands and philosophies. Rather than building upon existing strengths, the Yukihiro family have built their name on bringing harmonious balance to their machines. As a result, their Lexus SC430 JSA-GT has good all-round handling, is light, and is reasonably quick down long straights. Megumi Yukihiro has her sights set squarely on Sora Kuroi in this series, and her nephew Ryou looks equally as determined, though unfortunately not as skilled. Expect Megumi to be striking for the front row.
Windblitz Motorsports are one of Europe's top teams in recent years. Having made their name in the Endurance and Grand Prix disciplines, it is no surprise that the team came looking for a fight against the world's best. Drawing upon their recent successes in GT racing, the team have tuned their Einzbern Iris I8 JS-RSR with maximizing grip in mind, a method which aided greatly in reducing the car's stability problems. Although their car is still a handful, it is a winner on tight, twisty circuits without much contest. Maria Lopez-Perez is looking to blow away everyone's expectations this season, though she'll have to make sure her teammate Jack Black can keep up, as he's relatively new to this level of competition. This team could be a winner.
[list][*]Izumi International Circuit by Haruna, location: Japan
[*]Blackmire Circuit by Qurpiz, location: England
[*]Mt. Bunya Racing Complex by Aeon, location: Australia
[*]Shinku Grand Prix Circuit by Haruna, location: Japan
[*]Circuito di Montabienchi by NicolasP, location: Italy
[*]Alesheim Circuit (GP layout) by Qurpiz, location: Germany[/list]
Tire Wear: 1%
Fuel Consumption: 4%
Fuel Mass: 75 kg (100 liters)
Race Distance: 30 kilometers
[list][*]Reisuke Yamasa's name is derived from the Yamasa Raggio, a real-life replica of the Soldat Raggio famous for its appearance in later Ridge Racer games.
[*]Despite his blatantly feminine name, Madoka Yamada is a male. This is in reference to the original GRID, which had several drivers whose given names were Madoka.
[*]The de Witte World Racing Team is, besides their drivers being rolling Fate Stay/Night references, the Einzbern Works Team.
[*]Iris and Shirou's car numbers are famous German racing cars; in particular, the 919 LMP1 and the 917 Group 5 sports car.
[*]Espada Speed Squadron, especially in this particular livery, are a name and livery reference to the Espada Team in Ace Combat Zero.
[*]Fanservice refers to anything which panders to fans; this is particularly thrown around a lot in anime and manga fan groups.
[*]IMAS could also stand for Inter-Media Artists and Specialists; this is the abbreviation used by the development team behind The Idolmaster games.
[*]Several of the drivers have family names based on actual circuits.
[*]Haruna Tsuchigami bears no relation other than the same given name to Haruna Matsumori, the creator of the World of Racing packs.
[*]Ludwig Stern races for Tsuchigami no Kyojin, as he has not finished his "quest" yet; see the entry on Stern Rennsport under the Global Touring Championship.[/list]