Kunos Simulazioni’s Assetto Corsa Competizione (the PC version, at least) contains a wide variety of car classes and race cars: from the GT3-based GT World Challenge to the GT4-focused GT4 European Series, via one-make series from Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini and BMW.
One thing all these series have in common is their presence in championships organised by the Stephane Ratel Organisation (SRO). With Assetto Corsa Competizione’s (ACC) status as the official game of the SRO-run GT World Challenge (plus support series), any SRO-affiliated championship can potentially appear in the game (Kunos already plans to bring the fledgling SRO GT2 European Series to ACC in 2023, for example).
In a surprise move, ahead of last weekend’s BTCC round at Silverstone (25th September 2022), British road and race car manufacturer Ginetta announced it was migrating its Junior championship from its BTCC-supporting position over to SRO’s British GT Championship package.
The deal commences from 2023 and runs until 2026, with Ginetta adding three support classes to the British GT bill. Joining the Junior championship is the Ginetta GT Academy series, plus a new Ginetta GT championship encompassing GT5 and GT Pro classes.
Sadly, there’s no place for the Ginetta GT4 Supercup, so the popular series – ironically first seen supporting British GT in 2008 – will disappear in 2023. However, motorsport fans will be treated to a new car, as a new GT Pro class car is set to compete against the venerable GT5s in the freshly formed Ginetta GT Championship,
The GT Academy car is based on the same underpinnings as the GT4 Supercup car, so at the very least its distinctive long-nose design will remain on British circuits for at least another three years.
The deal between Ginetta and British GT, therefore, heralds an opportunity for more of the Garforth-based manufacturer’s cars to appear in future updates to ACC.
The game already contains the G55 GT4, which shares a lot of DNA with the GT Academy car (including a six-cylinder Zetec engine), so could potentially appear in ACC much quicker than either of the Ginetta Junior, GT Pro and GT5 protagonists.
In many ways, Ginetta’s migration from the BTCC to British GT makes complete sense. It gives Ginetta customers a clear pathway from reasonably priced ‘baby’ GT cars like the G40 Junior and GT5, up to the more serious GT Academy Car.
With classes for both gentleman drivers and ambitious rookies, the new support series also cater for all facets of GT racers eager to break into the top GT3 class of the British GT Championship – a championship geared towards two-driver, Pro-Am (professional and amateur) teams.
With its presence in the GT4 class with the G56 GT4, Ginetta has created a direct path into the British GT Championship – although the company no longer builds a GT3 car.
In terms of exposure, the TOCA-run BTCC package’s British terrestrial TV presence on ITV and ITV4 will be a huge loss, but British GT races do feature their own live HD YouTube broadcasts.
Ginetta G40 Junior
One of the most intense, and at times, chaotic support series on the BTCC support bill, the Ginetta Junior championship is designed as an entry point to car racing for 14-17-year-olds. Commonly used as a transition between go-karts and more powerful cars, the Ginetta G40 Junior car’s 1.8l engine is restricted to 100bhp by governing body Motorsport UK.
The G40 weighs just 830kg and uses road tyres, creating pliant and forgiving feedback on the limit of adhesion. Previous champions include current BTCC star Tom Ingram and current Porsche Junior driver Adam Smalley. A certain Lando Norris also competed in the series, finishing third overall – and top rookie – in 2014.
Ginetta G40 GT5
The GT5 class has been fought over for the best part of two decades now, and at the heart of its success is the lightweight and affordable Ginetta G40 car. Essentially the same platform as the G40 Junior car with the addition of an unrestricted engine and slick tyres, the GT5 sits between the Junior and GT Academy classes in the Ginetta support series hierarchy.
The car is also eligible for several other motorsport series in the UK, making it an efficient purchase for motorsport fans eager to race as much as possible.
Ginetta GT Pro
Little is known about this car other than it will race alongside the G40 GT5 in the new Ginetta GT Championship. We can assume it will be based on the G40 platform, however, and feature more performance than the GT5 cars, judging by its ‘Pro’ moniker.
Ginetta GT Academy
Sharing the coupe body style of the GT4 Supercup and G55 GT4 car, the GT Academy is based on the firm’s newer G56 body shape, as used by half the Supercup grid this year.
Producing 270bhp in an 1100kg package, the GT Academy features half the horsepower of the top-class British GT GT3 cars. The series has already attracted large grids this season and is widely seen as a steppingstone to British GT’s GT4 class cars.
Although mere speculation, Ginetta’s increased involvement in the SRO-affiliated British GT Championship does throw up the potential for some interesting cars to appear in ACC in future.
Thanks to the G40 platform encompassing GT5, Junior and perhaps even the GT Pro class, development time can theoretically be cut down. Likewise, ACC’s G55 GT4 shares much in common with the GT Academy car.
The least powerful car in ACC currently is the TCX class BMW M2 CS Racing. It provides excellent, momentum-based racing so lower-powered cars like the G40 variants would likely add an extra dimension to ACC races. On the flip side of that, however, is the fact that GT3 cars dominate ACC online racing – single-make and GT4 categories are nowhere near as popular.
Regardless, with Assetto Corsa 2 set for a 2024 release, and GT2 and GT3 ACC DLC already planned for 2023, Kunos are unlikely to add more projects to its already heavy workload.
Were you shocked by Ginetta’s migration from the BTCC support package to British GT? Would you like to see more Ginettas featured in ACC? Let us know in the comments below.
Images courtesy of Ginetta