Australian GT confirms 2017 rule changes

Tom Howard

Thursday 1st September, 2016 - 1:42pm

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The Australian GT Endurance Championship will run to new rules next year

The Australian GT Endurance Championship will run to new rules next year

Australian GT has announced plans to remove its much maligned driver seeding penalties from the Endurance Championship next season.

As previously reported, organisers will adopt new regulations for its standalone Endurance Championship which made its debut this season.

From next year the series will scrap its controversial variable pitstop time regulations and instead control driver parity strictly through driver pairings.

Its current 12-level seeding system will be simplified into the Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze classifications used by the FIA.

Driver combinations must fit into two classes, Pro/Am and Am/Am, with Platinum and Gold considered as Pro and Silver and Bronze as Amateur.

Where previously all 12 driver gradings carried different minimum pitstop times, the revised system sees a uniform stationary time implemented for all cars.

Australian GT category manager Ken Collier says that the changes will make the races much easier for fans to follow.

“This being our first year with the Australian Endurance Championship has been little bit of trial and error and we initially thought a carry over of the sprint championship driver seedings would work,” Collier told Speedcafe.com.

“We now know that if we want to expand the championship then we need to remove the driver seedings and varied compulsory pitstop times.

“It was confusing for the punter and I absolutely acknowledge that.

“I don’t think the results will change enormously by taking it out, so I think it is a win for everyone.”

Organisers have confirmed that the regulation change will only affect the Endurance Championship, with the Australian GT sprint series to set to continue with the current driver gradings and pitstop rules.

Australian GT is currently finalising its calendars for 2017 which will see at least four endurance events, although a fifth could join the schedule.

Speedcafe.com understands the enduro series aims to run its rounds outside of Supercars Championship events next year.

This season saw one of the four meetings run on the Supercars bill at Sydney Motorsport Park last weekend.

Meanwhile, the Australian GT Championship is aiming to scale back its sprint series from six to five rounds.