We saw last week that Honda will jump on the GT3 racing bandwagon in 2017 with the new NSX. It’s really not hard to see why.
The GT3 category was introduced in 2005 as a – significantly – cheaper alternative to GT1 and GT2 machinery. The rules simply stated that GT3 cars had to be based on a mass-produced road car freely available somewhere in the world. That led to a diverse range of cars with different engine sizes and layouts being built for the class.
A Balance of Performance system equalised the performance across the cars, limiting the possibility of one car dominating and preventing a massively expensive development war.
It proved an instant success. While escalating costs killed GT1 and led to GT2/GTE just running in the FIA World Endurance Championship and IMSA Sports Car Championship, GT3 flourished. 10 years later, its become the headline class for pretty much every national and regional GT series in the world.
An endless supply of monied gentleman drivers has fuelled that growth. With advanced traction control and ABS systems, any competent (i.e. gentleman) driver can be reasonably quick in a GT3 car but, as ever, only the best can extract the maximum. That has led to huge demand for professional racers; many now choose GT3 as either the best place to make their living, or as a stepping stone onto bigger things.
All this means there’s a lot of money to be made from building GT3 cars. And many manufacturers have. In fact, 47 different cars from 25 manufacturers have been homologated for the class. As such, we think GT3 is the single most successful production car-based racing category there has ever been.
We have pulled together a gallery of every GT3 race car. We may have missed a few one-offs, but we think its the most comprehensive list of GT3 cars ever put together. It really demonstrates the diversity in the class; turns out they all look fantastic, too.
By Graham King
Images via Favcars; Newspress; Wikimedia; Optimum Motorsport; Riley Motorsports; BMW Blog