As a new season approaches, a new era begins. Both Grand Prix 1 and GT Super Endurance (previously known as the GT Super Series) have undergone significant changes, more so for the latter, while Grand Prix 2 remains largely uniform to its previous two seasons. In this article, we will go over what has changed, what is new, and who we should expect to see.
Grand Prix Racing's New Look
2022b will see the introduction of the third generation Grand Prix 1 car, featuring a sleeker body shape and smaller dimension, as well as being much lighter, grippy, and nimble. As a result, the season 4 GP1 car will be faster than that of season 3's by as much as 0.3 to 0.5 seconds a lap, depending on the circuit's length. Although official lap record keeping only begins from the start of season 2, it may be possible that these will be the fastest Grand Prix 1 cars since the first generation took to the track back in late 2020 - early 2021.
A Change of the Guard
Eli Benett and Little Bear (now Jesus Crisp) have stepped down from full-time driving duties for 2022b, leaving the door wide-open for a number of potential candidates to step up and join the ranks of the elite. Though absent from the grid, Eli Benett will still be fielding Benetto Sigma Racing, the reigning world championship outfit taking the ex-Longfall Racing duo of Nicole Dallas and Kira Restrepo under its wing, along with a rookie duo in his newly-formed academy program. With other drivers set to return such as Kandy Tomorrow, Andres Macakerly, Pablo Bakerly, Emmy Bloobury, and Kali Kiyori, the championship battle could become highly contested to an unprecedented level.
A Complete Overhaul
Endurance racing has taken over the sports cars of the FVA, the once GT-only racing series now going multi-class with the addition of faster, nimbler prototypes, and extending its usual race duration from 30 minutes to 60 minutes. With the inclusion of the class racing system and longer race periods, the championship has also introduced a revised team system, still set at two drivers per outfit, but now limiting the teams to a single car that must be shared. New strategic elements have been added as teams must now coordinate stints and setups, trading between the role of driver and onlooker, as well as managing a newly sophisticated hybrid system that will allow drivers to charge a battery while lifting and then deploy that stored energy at any time, awarding them with a boost in speed and a break on their fuel consumption.
A New Schedule
In an effort to both accommodate more venues and better manage time, GP1, GP2, and GTSE have adjusted their usual racing schedules to operate in a more uniform manner. GP1, going back to a 12-race calendar for the first time since its first season, will be running the format of two back-to-back race weeks followed by one week off. GTSE will fill the GP1 off-week, meaning that 2022b will see a 7-race GT schedule on a tri-weekly basis.