WE ARE BACK!!!
Season 14 is finally here! With field that has 10 Hall of Famers, including 8 champions, races will be epic and championship is going to be tight fight.
Calendar also looks interesting with Sardegna, Blue Moon Bay and Interlagos returning, but first, we head to Nurburgring for Round 1.
Nurburgring is one of the most technical circuits in the calendar, many highlight first sector as most difficult area to master. But as circuit has been main test-track for our drivers, and season opener past 13 seasons, drivers should have lot of experience. This will be also first season opener ever without single rookie driver, so everybody has some history to lean back to. Many of the drivers in the field have won in Nurburgring, but Nils that has won record 6-times, wont make appearence until later in the season.
One of the most interesting rule-changes this season is tyre-rules: SuperSoft will be 3rd manditory tire during the race, and it should produce some interesting moments during races.
Defending champion TSR_JoeToGuy
made move to Nissan
for Season 14, and his teammate will be TSR_Tomsoft
, last seasons Gr3-champ. This is only 3rd time ever there has been 2 drivers with yellow numberboards in same team. Nissan is looking for its first ever Manufacturers-title. Nissan is second in wins with 21 and have had 2 drivers titles, but lack Manufacturers-title. Clear favorite for Gr2-title is TSR_JoeToGuy who is looking for his first title defence and 3rd straight title. He could become only second driver ever to win 3-titles in a row: ''It should be a close season. I see Tomsoft as my main rival, and I know how fast he can be. I'm targeting some good early rounds in the season to put me in a good place''.
He has won past 2 seasons in Nurburgring, Season 12 in Gr3 and last season in Gr2: ''I hope to at least be on the front row. I think Quali will be close. For the race I'm hoping for some small errors from others that will help me out, otherwise it'll be a close race to the end.''
German TSR_Tomsoft will make his debut in Gr2 in his homerace, but he has some experience on these cars. He is also one of the favorites for title and it will be interesting to see how he will do, especially start of the season: ''I do hope that I do well in my first season of the Gr2 class. I don't expect a lot from myself, but one or another race win might be nice. Goal is obviously both titles and I think with Joe I have a very good pairing.''
won last season its 8th manufacturers-title, second in a row but also 11th drivers-title. Brand new line-up this season, well, not quite. sota59
has won 4 of his 5 titles in Honda, 3 in Gr2. jonimestari91
has won 1 of his 2 titles in Honda, also in Gr2. After 3 seasons in Nissan and most difficult season in long time, they return home, hoping to bounce back. sota59 was predicted to finish 3rd this season, and he is hoping to do atleast that: ''Return to top 3 in championship is main goal, consistancy will be key, but i also hope for race wins. If we get to Le Mans while being still in contention, everything is possible. This might be most difficult season to date''.
sota59 is 2-time winner in Nurburgring, and despite being on podium past 2 seasons, he was not won there since Season 4: ''I had pace last season, maybe even to fight for win, but mistake kept me away. Focus is to cut mistakes this season, and start of the season might be hard after car change.''
His teammate jonimestari91 has had technical issues recently, and will miss atleast Round 1, but hopes to return soon. Team has big name replacement in wings, just in case....
was not in title fight for either title last season in Le Mans, but tied its previous best with 2nd in drivers-points and 3rd in Manufacturers-points. NWR_Spookyluki
is racing under 3rd different team in 3 seasons, but back for record breaking 4th straight season in Lexus. With his experience he is best hope for Lexus to finally win titles, and is coming from his best season yet. If he can again reduce his mistakes, and get some lucky races, he could pull out good title-run. He is one of the drivers that has won in Nurburgring, back in Season 11, his first ever race in GT-MES, and he finished second last year, so look out for him to start season on top: ''Got a fair bit of practice, hoping for a decent result, happy with the one lap pace for now and hope we can have a good strategy.''
His teammate will change for first time, as NWR_Bottlejob
jumps from Gr3. He might not have won races last season, but had 3 podiums and rumours is that he could be real black horse to win races, or even more: ''People will underestimate me because of my average performance in the Gr3s last season and I hope that my pace in the Gr2s will wipe the expected 6th places off their faces. In terms of my other goals, I'm hoping to get a win this season and outperform my teammate NWR_Spookyluki.''
He is also looking to start season with a bang: ''I'm feeling good about round 1, I'll be looking to kick the season off with a bang in qualifying before concentrating on clearing the Gr3 cars cleanly throughout the race''.
returned to GT-MES last season, and it went like their every season in the past. Drivers-title won but just missed on Manufacturers-title. This season they have brand new line-up, but very experienced and succesful. Season 11 Gr3-champ RLH_Wesley99
and 6-time race winner RTA_SAFFA
. RLH_Wesley99 has finished in top 2 all of his 3 seasons, and is looking for second title. Car is very similar to car he won his title in, Mazda. Not great in terms of top speed, but corners it is almost unbeatable. RLH_Wesley99 says: ''Hoping to get some good battles for the podiums and possiblies wins this season. I feel it is possible to be in the top 3 in the standings when the season finishes''.
His teammate RTA_SAFFA has been close to title couple times, but still looking for the first. His goal is to have fun this season, but hoping to get that title, admits Le Mans will be critical. Subaru did struggle in Le Mans last season due lack of top speed, but did unexpectedly well in Spa and Red Bull Ring, winning both. But they have to get points from circuit that suit them, like this weekend in Nurburgring. Atleast podium objective for both, RTA_SAFFA says he has pace, but qualifying could be tough for him.
at times last season looked like drivers-title might be on the cards, but both drivers lacked consistancy. y_bearr_
in the end was in contention in Le Mans due his 2 wins, but finished season 3rd in points, long way from championship winner. y_bearr_ is back for record breaking 4th season with Porsche, and will be one of the black horses. He should be fighting for wins, but needs to fix his consistancy issues, start performing with heavier car and avoid technical issues to be title contender. Especially this season with super stacked field, every point counts.''I am excited ! I think its gonna be a hell of a battle for Gr3 driver. So many quick driver and good track selection too. Some track favour car with top end speed, some favour car with agility. My prep has been good so far, I hope my connection will be good too''
- y_bearr_ says. amuda54
joins Porsche, move that he has hoped for long time. He has couple podiums in his name, but known to struggle, times very badly. American says car suits him well, and people are expection to see improvement in performance and consistancy. Podiums might be too much to ask this season due very high level of the field around him, but never say never: ''I don’t like speculating, but I think I have improved since last season. I have adjusted to the new car well, it feels a lot better and easier to drive than some of the others cars I’ve driven before. Although I am predicting the first 2 races of the season will be difficult because I have never been very fast at those tracks, my goal is to be consistently in the top 5 and fight for podiums when the opportunity arises''.
had succesfull return to GT-MES. They got their first podiums, pole, fastest lap and eventually first win, as GTO250GTO
lead 1-2 in Le Mans, also taking his first win. GTO250GTO is back, and other car will have surprise of last season, de-luck4
. GTO250GTO is not optimastic of having as impressive season as last time: ''Looking at the Gr3 field, there are not many guys I can beat on pace. And with the new tire rules and pit times I doubt there will much variance with strategies. So I will have to try to make the most out of the races that suit the Supra''.
de-luck4 made interesting move to Toyota, as Supra is known to be very tricky car to drive: ''Although i will not have time to practice for first part of the season, pace with Supra looks promising. So, my goal will be to stay close as posible to the leaders and use their mistakes. At the second part i will have time for practice, also leaders will gain balast, so maybe i can get podium or victory, who knows''
. Round 1 will be damage limitation for both cars.
makes its return to GT-MES after 2 seasons away. Their most succesfull season to date has been Season 5, so it was no surprise as they signed both drivers back, 2-time champ thunderpigeon
. thunderpigeon won BMW its only drivers title in Season 5, and even though title should not be in the cards this time, there is bit of excitement. After getting back to speed last season, earning pole and couple podiums, he is looking to have more consistant season: ''I'm hoping for a stronger start to the season that last time. I have a good set up and the one lap pace of the car is good. I'm unsure on how the race pace will be in comparison to the other cars. I am targeting a win this season, and I think my best chances are at Nurburgring, Spa and Le mans. If I can improve on my points score from last season, I will be happy''
. doc-shipman will be making his return after racing last time in Season 6. He is 3-time race winner, including one in M6, but this season will be tough. But he is still optimictic there will be results sometime this season: ''Been out of practice for a little while and haven't raced competitively for over 18 months so just hoping I can lock in a bit of consistency in the first few races and pick up the pace. Hoping I'd be able to grab a couple of podiums or perhaps a lucky win - but that's hope more than expectation!''
will be first new manufacturer in GT-MES since Toyota in Season 9. And they have some big names in their line-up. Season 9 Gr2-champ G4 Rotary
will start atleast first 3 races. He did well in his first season in Gr3, last time out, 4 podiums and second in championship, but is not expecting miracles this season, even though some have predicted big things from him: ''As I'm not doing the full season I have no pressure to perform, I'm just going to have fun with it. Jaguar definitely isn't my favourite car to drive but I do have previous experience with it so I hopefully will be ahead of somebody''.
He is hoping for podium in Round 1, but expects it will be difficult with so talented field. 4-time champion Nils
is expected to drive second half of the season in Jaguar, but for now spotlight is on G4 Rotary and TSR_Swablu
. TSR_Swablu has only 1 GT-MES race in his name, but he has already title favorite-tag on him. Testing has been good and he is sounding very optimistic: ''I'm extremely happy to be participating in the series as ive only heard good things about it. I know that the competition is as fierce as its ever been and I'm more than prepared to put up a good enough fight to hopefully challenge for the title! Ive been jumping in and out of practice sessions recently and i have a good enough idea of who will have strong pace, but at the same time i think with the practice ive done and the times i know im capable of i should have a good chance of coming away from R1 with a win''.