Video: This FIA GT footage proves the ‘90s were better

25th April 2022
Ben Miles

I count ten GT1 cars at the front of the grid for the 1998 FIA GT Championship’s round at Donington Park. Yes, ten top level prototype racing cars battling it out for glory at one of the UK’s best circuits.

How things have changed eh? Not only are these the coolest racing cars the world has ever seen (don’t @ me) but this was an era when the highest level of sportscar racing raced at one of the UK’s greatest circuits.

In the 2020s we’re left with a significantly smaller group of cars filling the top classes and restrictions that mean international series will only race at Silverstone and pretty much nowhere else.

But, it’s not all rosy in 1998. This is the season that killed GT1 stone dead, with costs spiralling as the German manufacturers went into an automotive arms race to create faster and faster faux-production cars, they quickly abandoned the category.

We can still enjoy just how glorious that pyrrhic season was though. A fleet of Mercedes CLK LMs and GTRs battle the Le Mans-winning Porsche 911 GT1-98 and a couple of McLaren F1s and Panoz Esperante GTRs around the sweeps of Donington’s brilliant track. You just have to look at how fast these GT1 cars fly up the climb from the Old Hairpin to imagine how cool it was to watch trackside when I was 10.

But, just to make it better, GT1 is only part of the story. Jump to the 15:10 mark to see a brilliant GT2 battle between some utterly awesome cars. In the lead is a marvellously stubborn Marcos and behind him is a pair of angry Chrysler (yes, Chrysler) Vipers in those spectacular Oreca colours. 

If you’ve got half an hour or so to waste, this is a very productive way of passing it. 

Images courtesy of Motorsport Images.

  • GT1

  • Donington Park

  • Mercedes


  • Porsche

  • 911 GT1

  • Panoz

  • Esperante GTR

  • GT Championship



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