Touring-GT Cars vs. Single Seaters (Featuring John Bennett)
Written by Tom Evans, Featuring John Bennett, Edited by Morgan Holiday
Now there is no obvious answer to the question of whether GTs or single seaters are better, as there are many different factors to take into account: price, performance, accessibility etc. Everyone will have their own personal question, but the aim of this article is to share my own opinion, and hopefully help you make yours.
This will obviously vary depending on what series of each class you're watching. Let's take an entry level series in the UK for example, like Ginetta Junior and British F4. Both series are aimed at drivers aged 15 and upwards and operate in the UK exclusively. In terms of Driving standard, British F4 definitely wins, with less crashes and overall better quality of racing. These are partly due to the construction of the car, but overall driver error is less.
The British F4 cars weigh less than 600KG and have 160hp. This gives them a very good KG to hp ratio, making them brilliant for not only handling but also speed.
On the other hand the Ginetta Junior G40 weighs 840KG and has a 'measly' 100hp. However, these cars are for drivers to learn the very basics of racing, so they are purely focused on minimal mechanical failures are great handling.
Overall I'm giving it to the single seater on this one.
via Jakob Ebery Photography
Now, this is where it gets interesting. GT cars absolutely slaps single seaters, pretty much no matter the category. A drive in Ginetta Junior costs about £60-70,000, compared to the astronomical £250-300,000 for a British F4 seat. Obviously the F4 seat will bag you much more publicity and experience with an international team, as well as a faster car, but many would argue that it's just not worth the price. Unless you have a plethora of sponsors and backers, it's unlikely that you'll manage to get a drive further up the Motorsport ladder.
I touched on this in my last point, but British F4 is known outside of the UK and includes teams who operate in f4,3 and 2. On the other hand, Ginetta's is a very niche series only known by a handful as a BTCC support series. It's the kind of series where people take a lunch break whilst it's going on, which may sound harsh but it's most people’s opinion. Personally I love Ginetta's but not many are willing to try them out. So British F4 smashes that category.
Now this is obviously down to your own personal option. GT's are a lot more rough and tumble, with more overtakes and general battles. But single seaters have the precise, carefully planned passes, with no shortage of DiveBombs. Personally, I prefer the bashing and clashing of GT's, but single seaters do have some great entertainment value.
Questions with John Bennett
I asked John Bennett, (Ginetta GT5 runner up in 2021, and 2022 GB3 driver) a few questions surrounding this topic and this is what he had to say.
John pictured on his GB3 announcement day, via Elite Motorsport
So John, what was the biggest change From the GT5 series to single seaters?:
"The biggest change was definitely the downforce, it was something I’d never felt before and you really just have to trust that the aero will work through high speed corners, and give you so much more grip than what you think you have."
Why did you go into GB3 from GT's?:
"I’ve gone into GB3 as I believe that it is the furthest step forward for my career that I can take at this stage, it is an incredibly competitive championship and an incredible series to race in. The style of driving the GB3 car is a lot smoother and more precise than the GT5. I am really enjoying the new challenge that going into single seaters is bringing, and I absolutely love the car!
“I would say I prefer the new driving style for the GB3, as it has been really fun adapting to a completely different method of driving, and it’s really rewarding when you get it right."
Points to take from this
The mentioned added downforce by John is a huge reason for the single seaters’ massive speed. You are able to take corners much, much quicker than in any GT as the whole car is moulded to stick to the track. You can experience this for yourself if you boot up a sim game like Assetto Corsa or iRacing.
In John's second point, we see that doing well in a prestigious single seater series can do wonders for your career, but obviously comes at the cost of a much more competitive championship. On top of that, it comes at a cost of several hundred thousand pounds more, which is a turn off for a lot of drivers (and their parents).
Well, like I said at the beginning, there is no factual conclusion to this question. Everyone has their own valid opinion. Some people will prefer the entertainment and carnage of GT's, whilst others will like the accuracy and precision of single seaters.
Thanks very much to John for participating, and I wish him the best for his upcoming season.
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