Gran Turismo or just GT: Yesterday and Today
The concept of Gran Turismo first appeared long before the invention of the car. In England, in the XVII-XVIII centuries, members of wealthy families practiced long journeys to different cities and countries of Europe. Such a journey played an important role in the process of receiving education by young people, and it was called the Grand Tour. The end point of the journey was Rome. Due to the rather low speeds of movement, such trips lasted for several years, and, accordingly, luxury and comfort were accompanied by offspring of rich and influential clans throughout the journey. When in the twentieth century the four horses were replaced by fast, expensive cars, the term GT (Gran Turismo) not only found, but also occupied a worthy place in the automotive industry. Today, Gran Turismo, along with the acronym GT, is familiar to everyone. Translated from Italian Gran Turismo means “long trip”. However, in our time, GT is a class of car, more than just a phrase in Italian.
The cars with the abbreviation GT in the title are the most powerful, speedy and comfortable of the mass-produced cars. Traditionally, the GT index get two or four-seater sports coupe with a front-engine or mid-engine layout, as well as rear-wheel drive. These cars are designed for good roads and long-distance, long journeys, in addition, the Gran Turismo class car also feels confident on the speed track. Such automotive companies as Alfa Romeo, Ferrari and Lancia are traditionally considered the founders of the modern GT class. Cars with the label of one of these companies more often than others were a product of the class Gran Turismo. A vivid confirmation of this is the 1951 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT. This car, among the first was attributed to the popular class GT. In the 50s of the last century, competitions in the Gran Turismo class first appeared. After a long break, GT racing was resumed at the end of the nineties. Then they took part in the models that have become legendary, such as the Ferrari F40 and McLaren F1.
Nowadays, GT car competition is considered to be not only one of the most spectacular, but also expensive types of motor sports. For comparison, the FIA GT championship is mainly held on the same ring race tracks as Formula 1 races. Moreover, GT cars can be found both in long-distance races and in racing for car strength. Road-ring races “24 Hours of Le Mans”, motor races “Mille Miglia” and “Carrera Panamericana”, auto races “Targa Florio” – this is not a complete list of events in the world of the automotive industry, where you can find cars of different manufacturers of the GT class. The difference between racing cars class GT from Formula 1 – this is the difference in the number of crew. If in a Formula 1 car one driver, then in a GT car racing race the crew consists of two to four people. The specific number of pilots is determined by the duration and complexity of the race. After all, sometimes the GT class race lasts up to 24 hours, and it is in such races that racers periodically replace each other. In circuit racing, Gran Turismo (GT) cars are usually divided into two categories: GT1 (GT) and GT2 (N-GT).
The GT1 category is a class of “purebred” supercars, as well as cars that are built specifically for races of this kind, such as the McLaren F1. The power of such a car in some cases reaches 600 – 650 hp. This category includes such well-known cars like the Maserati MC12, Ferrari 575, Saleen S7 (by the way, this car was made specifically for circuit racing, in connection with which there were only 25 pieces), Dodge Viper GTS-R, Lamborghini Murcielago and others . GT2 (N-GT) cars cannot boast such characteristics, in essence they are closer to their road versions than GT1 cars (GT). This category includes: Porsche 911 and Ferrari 360 Modena.