NE GTS again excelled in 2018 with the highest participation numbers among all Regions!
We do expect certain fluctuation in participation – some even claim truth to a 7 year cycle of life – cars and drivers age, move on, change classes, retire or take on golf. It seems that we are defying this cycle so far, attracting new drivers and retaining veterans for much longer than 7 years now – I would say we doubled the time going back to early 2000s!
Even though we are leading in numbers in the country, no single GTS driver from our Region made a trip to COTA for National Championships in 2018. The distance happened to be a factor. Next year though it will be at much closer and more familiar to many Mid-Ohio race course! We expect a large group of GTS drivers to participate and bring trophies back home!
2019 is promising to be very exciting especially considering changes implemented in the Rules. We knew 3 years ago that the introduction of displacement limits will serve only as a temporary gatekeeping measure until we develop better compliance tools and be prepared to move closer to the concept of Natural Classing. Even though, we still not at the point of full utilization of the on-board compliance device – we are much closer to it and will begin to use the new boxes equipped with GPS and direct ECU feed for a random check, starting this upcoming season. Natural Class concept will also shift the primary responsibility to the driver in self classing cars.
As the result of analyzing the changes in types of cars populating fields now and responding to the requests submitted by drivers during the discussion period, we decided to change Ratios in Classes 1 and 2 moving those up (1 and 0.5 respectively). It is the very first Ratio Change (not counting minor adjustment in GTS 5 few years ago) since the very inception of the Series. We also realize that the original Ratios were done simply based on type of cars competed almost 20 years ago and were never seriously evaluated using data and changes in technology today. We will continue to analyze and seriously consider further changes if to be found needed. We did outline our long-term intention in the letter published on the GTS Forum recently.
I hope to see everyone at the awards banquet February 2nd and back in action just a couple of months after! Can’t wait for the spring sun to warm up the pavement!
Happy and safe winter brake to everyone!
Michael Gershanok, GTS Nat. and NE Dir.