Contrary to popular belief, when a constructor designs and builds a new GT3-spec car, it’s not allowed to go out and dominate every race it enters.
Every September, an example of each of the cars constructors want to have represented in various GT3 series around the world gets sent to Michelin’s Ladoux testing facility, located about ten minutes north of the Michelin head offices in Claremont-Ferrand(yes, that Claremont-Ferrand).
While out there, the cars undergo various BoP tests to make sure every car is equal in terms of lap times.
This is how a Bentley Continental, a Chevrolet Camaro, a McLaren 650S, and a BMW Z4 are able to race each other competitively while under what is essentially an open rule book.
After the FiA finalizes BoP from these tests, it’s sent out to the various constructors to apply to their cars before being sold off to customers.
HOWEVER, what the FiA gives is simply a baseline of equality, all championships are allowed to make changes as they see fit to ensure close competition in what is supposed to be a customer package. This is why all the GTD cars in IMSA competition run small wings(compared to full bore GT3), a lot less aero, and driver aids removed. Without them, the GT3-spec cars would be just as fast as GTE-spec cars around certain tracks.
The fact that GT3 specifications is what is referred to as a “BoP Formula” is a reason why many of the purists are not a fan of GT3 specs, as they feel every constructor should be allowed to rock up in their weapon of choice and steamroll lesser beings. While this is well and good for fully constructor supported series like F1, GT3 isn’t supposed to be constructor supported. Teams are supposed to go out and purchase a vehicle from a constructor and race it. It’s supposed to be a fully privateer formula. While that has changed a bit in the past few years(factory Bentley, and Cadillac squads to name two), the fact every car must go and get BoP’d against each other still means that a single car will not be allowed to dominate against others, the only variation being team preparation and driver ability, rather than the car they’re piloting.
You may have noticed I’ve used the term “constructor” rather than manufacture throughout this article, and there’s a reason for that. Not all GT3 specification cars are designed and built by car manufactures. The two major ones I can think of straight away are the Reiter Lamborghini Gallardo, and the SaReNi Chevrolet Camaro(both really Reiter projects, just done under a different name). Which means yes, if you had the money(and enough crazy), you too could design and build your own GT3 car to race and sell to prospective buyers! With the BoP formula, you could even make one that’s completely ridiculous and the FiA will make sure it’s competitive with all the other cars!
Chrysler 300 GT3, anyone?