Why is GT3 racing so popular

Why is GT3 racing so popular?

GT3 racing has been dominant in the racing game scene for many years, why is that?

Photo credit: Kunos Simulazioni

It doesn’t matter what you play. Whether it be iRacing, rFactor 2, Assetto Corsa Competizione, RaceRoom or even Gran Turismo Sport, in every single one of these games there are two inevitabilities. The first is being torpedoed by a dirty driver heading into turn one, and the other is driving a GT3 car.

So what are the contributing factors as to why GT3 cars are some of the go-to cars in racing games? Well we have compiled a list as to why we believe that the community automatically defaults to these cars.

Exposure

The GT3 class finds its roots back in 2005 with the FIA GT Championship that Stéphane Ratel organised. It had been envisioned as a cheaper alternative to racing in which both manufacturers and privateer teams could effectively operate a car on as level a playing field as possible.

The class has evolved into one of the top classes in all of racing and is utilised in many championships. Mostly known in the Stéphane Ratel Group championships like GT World Challenge and British GT but also has been used in the American IMSA SportsCar Championship and now the DTM.

The GT3 class now DTM
Photo credit: VCO Esports

It helps that all the cars are essentially showroom models that we could – if we had the money – drive on the road. People tend to gravitate towards something they have a sense of familiarity with, and the GT3 cars being associated with exotic brands like Ferrari, Porsche, Aston Martin and McLaren do also contribute to their appeal.

They’re all very different cars, but they also have differing layouts. Some are front-engined, mid-engined and in the case of the Porsches, rear-engined. But that leads in to the next reason as to why they’re so popular.

Same but different

In a majority of GT3 categories, they have a system called Balance of Performance. It does what it says on the tin, as the organisers work to balance out the cars so they can all equally compete, taking everything into account. It’s not a bulletproof system, can be ripe for exploitation and has often received criticism from people racing who feel like their cars being made to be as good as they can be should be rewarded for developing the car to be naturally quicker than their less developed rival’s cars.

System called Balance of Performance
Photo credit: Studio 397

However for us fans, it’s great as we can see many different brands contending for wins rather than it just seeing one team up at the front constantly. In esports racing, BoP allows us to select pretty much any GT3 car and have a chance of winning, only worrying about driver skill level. Whilst that would be achieved a bit more accurately with spec races in which everyone is in the same car, it’s nowhere near as interesting.

The undeniable truth

Then we come to the last point, and the simple fact is, these cars are just really nice to drive. They have the right amount of power, they’re just the right sort of weight and they have enough aerodynamic grip to be able to carry speed into corners but not too much that you can’t have close battles with others. The right amount of fast and exciting, with accessibility where everyone can get fast in them.

These cars have the visuals of road cars but you’re able to drive them at high speed around many corners without too much in the way of sliding around. You can drive GT4 cars as well in a lot of games but these cars tend to be too underpowered and you sometimes have to drive them a bit beyond their limit, not to say they aren’t enjoyable but they’re just a toned down GT3.

Which GT3 car is your favourite to race? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!

Luca Munro
Biggest esports racing fan in the world.