GT4 the perfect entry point into GT World Challenge Australia
Originally conceived in 2007, GT4 began to grow a couple of seasons ago as manufacturers realised the potential in the class and homologation of models accelerated as interest in Australia grew, but this has fallen away as Mark Griffith aims to lead a rejuvenation.
Griffith entered his Mercedes-AMG GT4 at two rounds this season, but believes the more production influenced class has its place in Australia as an introductory category to GT racing.
Highlighting the cost effectiveness through low initial expenditure and maintenance requirements, Griffith highlighted the stigma behind entering the class, which is aiming to shake off.
“It’s just disappointing there’s not more people here,” Griffith lamented.
“Australian’s have this tall poppy syndrome issue where they are too high and mighty to drive a GT4 car – they think it’s beneath them.
“At the 2020 Bathurst 12 Hour, we had champion race drivers Dirk Muller and Harrison Newey both drove in our car, were proud to do so and happy to come race, but we need to get rid of the stigma surrounding GT4.”
GT3 manufacturers BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Porsche, McLaren, Aston Martin join the likes of Alpine, Ford, Chevrolet, Toyota, Lotus, KTM and Jaguar in a class displaying wide variety, providing similar thrills for much less wallet.
“The cars are good,” summarised Griffith, who previously raced GT3. “They do the same thing and I haven’t had to fix one thing or do anything to it all week.
“They are about two thirds the value (of a GT3), the engine life on a Mercedes, they give you a 40,000km warranty.
“It is set-up how it was at Easter. We practiced on tyres we used at Easter, I used greens for qualifying and completed both races on that set, with my last lap being a 2m 19.6s compared to my fastest 2m 18.6s.”
In Australia, there are many GT4 specification models that have been imported locally including Porsche, Mercedes, McLaren, Audi while previously KTM, Ford, Lotus and Ginetta have been in the country.