Touring (GT) vehicles are race cars based on two-door sports cars, with styling
that is wider and lower than production cars. They feature aero parts to give
them a dynamic shape. Inside the cars, the position of the engine, the type of
drive system, and the suspension are all changed, while the use of pipe frames
is permitted for the frame and in front and behind the cockpit, turning the vehicles
into full racing cars.
The GT500 class, which features vehicles outputting around 500 horsepower, is
attracting private teams using foreign cars centered on the works cars of Nissan,
Toyota, and Honda. Nissan is entering a Fairlady Z, now in its third season,
modified particularly in the aerodynamics and engine areas. Among Nissan’s
rival teams, Honda switched in the middle of last year from a turbo to a non-aspirated
engine (a 3.5-liter V6). Toyota, while continuing with two Supra entries, is
also now entering a Lexus SC430 with a non-aspirated V8 4.5-liter engine like
the Supra. And Team Goh, which dominated the 2004 Le Mans 24 Hours, will enter
(halfway through the series) a Maserati MC12, which will also perform in the
FIA GT Championship. This year’s GT is attracting new race cars, and will
be once again a series not to be missed.
The GT300 class, which outputs around 300 horsepower, is attracting private teams
entering such cars as the Nissan Fairlady Z, the Toyota Celica, the Toyota MR-S,
Porsche, and Ferrari. Newcomers like the Ford GT40 and the Shiden will also make
a showing and provide plenty of interest.