After an intense opening pair of 1 hour races to kick off the new British GT Championship season at Oulton Park last month, the UK’s premier sports car series progresses on to its centrepiece event of the year – the prestigious Silverstone 500 where the outright winners will become the latest recipients of the coveted RAC Trophy after battling it out over three gruelling hours on the full Grand Prix circuit.

The Oulton Park double header on Easter weekend ended up becoming something of a Barwell Motorsport benefit, as both Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evos took a win a piece in the pair of one hour sprints, while GT4 honours were taken by Jamie Day and Mikey Porter in Forsetti Motorsport’s brand new Aston Martin. The weather on the day proved to be tricky and ever changeable as rain meant drivers had tough conditions to handle for drivers in both classes, and early forecasts could suggest Silverstone this weekend will be wet too.

This weekend’s entry for the Silverstone 500 sports a bumper collection of 43 cars across both GT3 and GT4. A superb 24 car spread features in GT3 including those that raced at Oulton, plus exciting additions including another McLaren 720S GT3 Evo from Optimum Motorsport, the return of the other half of 2023’s GT3 champions Darren Leung in a third Century Motorsport BMW, and the championship debut of the new Ferrari 296 GT3 courtesy of Sky Tempesta Racing. Barwell will hope to maintain their advantage and form off the back of their Oulton success, but the Mercedes, Aston Martins and BMWs giving chase will all hope they can keep the Lamborghinis at bay and bid to stand on the top step themselves.

In GT4, it’s sure to be a mixed bag as usual. Forsetti’s fine start to life in British GT with the new Aston Martin Vantage GT4 couldn’t have gone better with a win on debut, but whether or not that form translates at Silverstone remains to be seen. GT4 leaders Team Parker Racing also claimed a P1 from Oulton in their Mercedes-AMG GT4, and will wish that Silverstone is also kind to them. Last year’s race saw a win for Optimum Motorsport in a McLaren Artura GT4, while Academy Motorsport’s older Ford Mustang GT3 took second, and with Jack Brown returning with Zac Meakin alongside him this time, plus Academy sporting a pair of the brand new generation Mustang GT4s, both will certainly be on the prowl. The field is also full of Aston Martins, Mercedes, BMWs, Toyota Supras, Ginettas and Lotus, making for a wonderfully diverse line up across the board.

Amongst the supporting cast on the timetable, Ginetta’s trio of championships will be keen to pick up where they left off, as they raced under the BRSCC banner for the very first time at Oulton Park. Their young stars in the Ginetta Junior Championship put on a fine display of close racing and exciting racecraft, coping with both dry and wet conditions all weekend as their season got underway. Victories were shared between Ethan Jeff-Hall and Isaac Phelps at Oulton, with Phelps heading an Elite Motorsport 1-2 early on in the standings ahead of Charlie Hart, with Chase Fernandez third ahead of Jeff-Hall.

Along with those that competed at Oulton, this weekend also sees a handful of new faces joining the grid including Alfie Slater, younger brother of dominant 2023 champion Freddie who has already begun plying his craft in single seaters. He will be an exciting addition to the grid as he hope to kick off his car racing career with some solid results. The additions bring this weekend’s Junior grid to a very healthy 26 cars.

Those developing their skills in the Ginetta GT Academy will also be keen to make the most of the unique opportunity racing on the full Silverstone GP circuit provides. Oulton showed that there’s plenty of contenders for this season’s title out of the box, and one that made an instant impact was PalmerSport Ginetta Scholarship winner James Nicholas. On his very first race start, he sensationally took victory and impressed many with how quickly he’d taken to circuit racing. The challenge will be to keep up this momentum as the Silverstone weekend progresses.

Other victories that weekend also went the way of Mike Taylor and Harry Gamble, with Gareth Thomas, Luke Shaw and Julian Wantling also sharing podium silverware between them. With six different drivers already standing on the rostrum after just one event, this means this year’s Ginetta GT Academy could be about to get even more competitive here at Silverstone.

There’s plenty of experience and competition within the Ginetta GT Championship this year too. Scott McKenna and McKenzie Douglas traded victories between all three races at Oulton in Pro class, and both will surely start the weekend as favourites to continue that form. There could also be further sibling rivalry between brothers Luke and Connor Garlick, the pair at the time putting on some great wheel-to-wheel racing with each other in the battle for podium places. In the end, Connor collected two while Luke took one himself, and we’re certain this little rivalry won’t simmer down any time soon.

Both Matt Shaw and Nick White impressed too as the top Am class drivers and hold the early advantage in the points. While Oulton Park saw them head and shoulders above the rest of the class, including the likes of Carl Garnett and James Townsend, Silverstone could be a different story. The long straights and fast corners could play into the hands of their rivals.


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