BRITISH GT GEARS UP FOR THE MOST COMPETITIVE SEASON YET
The Avon Tyres British GT Championship staged their 2013 season launch event in South Kensington, London last night, where it was revealed that there will be over thirty full season entries, the highest for almost ten years. The impressive line-up will include thirteen different models of car from ten of the top GT3 manufacturers in the world. Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Ferrari, Ginetta, McLaren, Mercedes, Nissan, Porsche and Toyota will all be represented.
After progressively building stronger grids since 2010, the new season looks set to better the early days of British GT when GT1 and then GT2 were the top categories on the grid and entries were regularly in excess of twenty-eight cars per race.
With just over three weeks to go until the first round of the Championship at Oulton Park in Cheshire, confirmed new additions include a two-car Ferrari 458 entry from Mtech featuring the return of Matt Griffin and Duncan Cameron for their fifth year driving together, and reigning GT Cup Champion, Derek Johnston alongside a yet to be announced driver.
Having Griffin and Cameron together in the series is another positive for the series, as Griffin is currently one of the fastest GT drivers in the world, and Cameron is widely regarded as a pacey ‘gentleman’ driver. The pair, runners-up in 2010, have been engaged in the title race for the past two seasons right up until the last round.
Rival Ferrari squad, and reigning Blancpain Endurance Series Endurance Champions Cup and Pro-Am vice-champions, Vita4One Team Italy announced in January it will field a 458 Italia GT3. Yesterday the team confirmed Jay Palmer and team boss, Matteo Bobbi as drivers for the season. The pairing is highly capable, as Palmer is familiar with the circuits from a year of British GT in 2011 with United Autosports, and Bobbi is the 2003 FIA GT1 champion and 2006 FIA GT2 champion, and an ex-Minardi Formula 1 test driver.
World Rally Championship frontrunners, M-Sport announced yesterday that they will race in British GT as they prepare to bring the Bentley name back to sportscar racing later in the year. Initially, M-Sport will use an Audi R8 LMS ultra for highly experienced British driver Warren Hughes and Dutch amateur, Rembert Berg.
Top Mazda MX5 Championship team, Blendini Motorsport will run an Audi R8 LMS GT3 car for Welshman, Dom Evans, who moves up to the top category having finished third in GT4 last season; joining him in the car is Blendini boss, Tom Roche.
In addition, top single-seater squad, Fortec Motorsports has confirmed it will field a pair of Mercedes SLS AMG GT3, and will reveal driver pairings in the build-up to the first race.
The GT4 category will have at least six full season entrants too. The Ginetta G50, the proven weapon of choice for GT4 racing, will appear four times in the hands of APO Sport, Century Motorsport, Optimum Motorsport, and Redgate Lifetime racing. Also featuring in the class is the powerful Aston Martin Vantage GT4 with Complete Racing, and the all-new Toyota GT86 GT4 from GPRM.
Announcing the plans for the new season, GT Championship Manager Benjamin Franassovici said, “It is great to see the series progress and get better and better over the last three seasons. Seeing new teams, some from overseas, joining our loyal teams and drivers, means the platform is doing the right thing. We expect more cars to join us during the season and we will aim for 40 cars for the Silverstone 500 in May, which will be televised live on Motors TV, another first for us. With British GT being top of the bill at Zandvoort, we are confident our overseas race will be another big success and it is exciting to visit a new country with the series. I can't wait for Oulton Park to see the cars out on the track.”
You can catch the new cars, teams and drivers at the first round of the season on the Easter Bank holiday (Saturday 30th March & Monday 1st April) at the fast and flowing Oulton Park circuit in Cheshire.
For more information visit www.britishgt.com