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2007 news and notes 2006-12-17

LOOKING FORWARD TO 2007 A number of major changes will take place for 2007. These include: - The FIA GT Championship events will take place over two days, except for the 24- hours race at Spa. Most events will be on Saturday and Sunday, with...

LOOKING FORWARD TO 2007

A number of major changes will take place for 2007. These include:

- The FIA GT Championship events will take place over two days, except for the 24- hours race at Spa. Most events will be on Saturday and Sunday, with Adria on Friday and Saturday. Support events, including the British Formula Three International Series and the FIA GT3 European Championship, will continue to race on the Friday.

- The first day will include two 80-minute free practice sessions. There will be one 15- minute qualifying practice session for GT1 cars, followed by one 15-minute qualifying practice session for GT2, Group 2 and Group 3 cars.

- There will be a free practice session on the morning of the race day, with a maximum length of 30 minutes.

- Except for Spa, the races will be two hours long. Each driver must complete at least one 35-minute period of continuous driving. There will be two mandatory pit stops with an obligatory change of driver at each of these two pit stops.

- The Manufacturers Cup titles will only be awarded if a minimum of two manufacturers are represented with their four respective cars on the official closing date for entries.

- No more than three sets of dry-weather tyres may be used for free practice, qualifying, warm-up and the race.

- Three engines, per car and per season, will be authorised. For the fourth engine used, a two-minute stop-and-go penalty is imposed, with a three-minute stop-and-go for the fifth engine, four minutes for the sixth. The use of a seventh engine may result in exclusion from the Championship. In the case of an accident or force majeure recognised by the Panel of Stewards, these penalties may not be applied.

- For GT1 cars, a single type of braking system must be homologated per model of car. Only two sets of brakes (callipers and discs) may be used per car and per season. In case of force majeure, the Panel of Stewards may authorise the use of components from a third set; otherwise, a two-minute stop and go penalty will be imposed.

- For GT1 cars only, one single set of gearbox ratios must be homologated per model of car and per season. The use of any other ratios is forbidden.

- For GT1 cars only, a maximum of three final drive ratios must be homologated per model of car and per season. The use of any other ratios is forbidden.

- Private testing is banned on the Championship circuits with the exception of official testing sessions proposed by the FIA.

OFFICIAL TEST SESSIONS

The official 2007 launch, including the Media Day, is planned for Monza on February 22nd and 23rd.

A further test session is planned for Nogaro on March 6th and 7th.

BARWELL MOTORSPORT TO CONTEST FIA GT1 WITH ASTON MARTIN DBR9

Reigning British GT3 Champions, Barwell Motorsport, will step up to the FIA GT Championship's premier GT1 category with an Aston Martin DBR9 in 2007. The Surrey, England-based team has secured a backer to purchase one car, and has arranged a technical support package from Aston Martin Racing and Gigawave. Barwell will also continue to run its successful activities with its Aston Martin GT3 programme.

Barwell will begin its GT1 programme at the Guadix circuit in Spain at the end of January, where it will be conducting a two-day test, and the GT3 team will also attend this test. The former BTCC champions are keen to talk to drivers interested in the GT1 programme.

"We're developing a relationship with a backer, we have a support package from Aston Martin Racing and a small level of team funding," said Chris Needell. "Our 'Plan A' is to contest the full season, including the Spa 24 Hours, but we can also tailor-make a smaller programme to suit drivers' budgets if required. We have a fantastic car which everyone know is capable of winning in FIA GT, and everyone here is extremely excited about the coming season."

Aston Martin Racing Commercial Director, James Turner, added "I am so pleased that Barwell have managed to structure this deal for next year, it is a fitting reward for their success this year with our DBRS9 cars. I wish them both every success next season."'

Barwell had a successful season, winning the GT3 category in the British GT Championship with Leo Machitski, while claiming some excellent results in the FIA GT3 European Championship, including a pole position for Jonathan Cocker and podiums for Cocker and Machitski.

-credit: fia-gt

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