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Written By Joe Le Corre

Following on from the extremely competitive fifth season of the OTL ACC GT3 Championship, the start of Season 6 is upon us and with it comes a whole host of talking points for me to entertain, or bore you with.

The Calendar

Season 6 will be utilising the 8 race format that debuted last season. 2 of the races ( rounds 4 and 8) will be 90 minutes and the rest of the calendar will be the usual 60 minutes. The tracks the championship will be going to are some of the best in the world. Consider the calendar a greatest hits album of race tracks.

Round 1 – Spa (21/01/21)

Round 2 – Nürburgring (28/01/21)

Round 3 – Brands Hatch (04/02/21)

Round 4 – Imola (11/02/21)

Round 5 – Barcelona (18/02/21)

Round 6 – Zandvoort (25/01/21)

Round 7 – Monza (04/03/21)

Round 8 – Kyalami (11/03/21)

Fresh Rubber

Season 6 will see the debut of the new Pirelli DHE tyre in the OTL ACC GT3 Championship. The DHE compound arrived with the 2020 GT World Challenge Europe season update. Unfortunately, the new tyre compound released midway through Season 5, so this will be the first season using the new compound.

The main thing to look out for with the DHE tyre is its reliance on being warmed up properly in order to gain maximum performance from the tyre. As well as this, the DHE compound has a much smaller operating window than the outgoing DHD2 spec, so getting the pressures right will be key to gaining the maximum amount of performance out of them. Once the tyre is warmed and in its operating window, it is a much more durable tyre than the previous 2019 spec compound. The DHE compound will hold its “qualifying” grip for longer, meaning it can be leaned on in the early part of the stint a bit more than previous years’ tyre compound.

It’ll definitely be interesting to see which drivers will be able to get on top of the new DHE tyre the best and make the most out of its durability.

rEVOlution

Included with the 2020 GTWCE season update were 2 new cars: the Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo and the Mercedes AMG GT3 Evo. Seeing how these new cars will be placed in the field will be cause for intrigue. It’s definitely no secret that both these new cars are two of the fastest in the modern GT3 grid. There may be a way of keeping the grid varied though…

Putting On Some Weight

In order to keep the grid interesting, a new ballast system will be introduced. This system works by calculating the average points scored by all of the manufacturers and adding weight to the top 3 of that order for the next round. The weight put onto the top 3 will go as such:

1st Place: 30kg

2nd Place: 20kg

3rd Place: 10kg

The aim of this system is to keep the cars at the front of the gird varied and the racing exciting. Even if cars have the 30kg of weight into them, there’s no reason they still can’t win, it just makes it a bit harder. The main effect of the extra weight won’t be a significant increase in lap times, but there will be more tyre wear towards the end of the stint than the cars that don’t have weight in them. Being able to set the car up to compensate for the extra weight will be key to maintaining sustained success in this championship.

Defending The Title

This upcoming season will see Killian Ryan-Meenan defend his title for the second time in the championship’s history. He won’t be getting it all his own way though, MSL Racing’s Jeroen Moerman was building his pace as the season wore off and even claimed a win in the penultimate round at Hungaroring. Moerman will be one of Killian’s most fierce title rivals yet, but there are other challengers.

Christopher Larson was another driver that impressed last season when he claimed a shock win at Misano and a slightly less shocking win at Spa. His driving style is conducive to someone that can win championships. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Larson take an unnecessary risk during a race, even when being aggressively blocked by a driver with a drive-through penalty during the finale at Spa last season. The opening round of Season 6 will be Christopher’s best chance of pulling the wool over the eyes of the rest of the grid, since Spa is where he performed his best race last season.

Defending The (Am) Title

It won’t just be the Pro class championship that will provide the excitement, the Am class championship will also bring the entertainment. Season 5 housed one of the most frenetic Am class championship battles ever, as Loïc Martin and Martin Legg swapped place round after round. In the end it was Loïc that took the spoils. Legg won’t be taking it lying down though. This season Legg will be upgrading to the 2020 Mercedes and will be hoping the new spec will give him the edge he needs over Loïc.

It won’t just be Legg and Martin fighting it out for the title, there are plenty of other contenders. Season 3 Am class champion Quinten Van Wingerden is back after a two season hiatus with the aim of going for the title again. Van Wingerden will be behind the wheel of everyone’s favourite Japanese brick, the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3. Here’s a very pointless fact for you: All 3 of the Nissans in this championship, are competing in the Am class. There you go, a great, pointless fact you will forget in a couple minutes.