BRITISH GT GT4 CLASS RECEIVES 2014 BOOST
The Lotus name will be back on the GT4 grid in 2014. Photo: www.jakobebrey.com
Following the announcement last week that the first entry for the 2014 Avon Tyres British GT Championship had been received, series organisers SRO Motorsports Group have announced a further three full-season entrants, all in the popular GT4 class of the top sports car series.
Three teams, running three different types of car, have announced their intentions to challenge for the GT4 class crown next season. Bringing the highly popular Lotus name back to the grid is a new team, ISSY Racing. Featuring Gavan Kershaw and Ossy Yusuf, the UK team will run a Lotus Evora GT4 – a car last seen on the grid in 2012 when Phil Glew and Sailesh Bolisetti campaigned an Evora engineered by the Lotus Sport UK outfit.
Neither driver is a stranger to British GT, having competed sporadically over the past ten years. Kershaw has been a longtime ambassador for Lotus in the UK, regularly driving Lotus cars in competition on behalf of factory and customer entries. In 2011, Kershaw shook down an Evora at Snetterton in the lunch-break of the British GT meeting, debuting the stylish and pacey GT4 to the crowd. After a short break from racing, Yusuf returns to British GT where he last raced in 2010 alongside multiple British GT race winner, Joe Osborne in a Ginetta G50 GT4.
A brand new car in the GT4 class next year will be the Ginetta G55 GT4. Bringing the G55 GT4 to the grid is Fox Motorsport and the steely pairing of Jamie Stanley and Paul McNeilly. Both drivers have current experience of British GT; Stanley is the 2010 GT4 Champion and he and McNeilly competed together in the Silverstone round of the 2013 Championship in a FF Corse prepared Ferrari 430 GT3. The G55 GT4 car will use the in-house Ginetta developed 3.7 Ford V6 engine, producing 355bhp. The drivetrain starts with the Hewland six-speed sequential gearbox with optional Ginetta factory-developed pneumatic paddle-shift system.
After a trial run in the 2013 season finale at Donington Park, leading British sportscar racing squad Team Parker Racing, will enter the GT4 class under the Twisted Team Parker name with a Ginetta G50 GT4 for former British GT champion Bradley Ellis and Caterham Tracksport racer Adrian Barwick.
Ellis, 26, won the 2007 British GT title in a Dodge Viper and was also a race winner with the Ford GT in the FIA GT3 European Championship. Barwick began racing in the Caterham Academy in 2011, moving into Caterham Roadsport last year, and has this season competed in Team Parker Racing’s Caterham Tracksport line-up, taking one podium finish in 2013 at Donington and one fastest lap at Brands Hatch.
In another exciting move for the 2014 season, SRO Motorsports Group has also announced that the Aston Martin GT4 Challenge of Great Britain will become a support race at four rounds of British GT including the jewel in the crown meeting at Silverstone.