BUMPER ENTRY FOR SILVERSTONE 500
There will be another huge GT entry at Silverstone this weekend. Photo: www.jakobebrey.com
The world famous home of the British Formula 1 Grand Prix is set for the biggest outing of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship season with almost forty cars taking to the grid on Sunday for the Silverstone 500 three hour jewel-in-the-crown of what has become arguably the best national GT championship in the world.
Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley, BMW, Ferrari, Ginetta, Lotus, McLaren, Nissan, Porsche and Toyota are all set to do battle with the unique mix of professional and amateur drivers – including six-time Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy.
The Silverstone 500 is the third round Blue Riband event of an already thrilling 2014 Avon Tyres British GT Championship with bountiful entries across both GT3 and GT4 classes. As well as the class wars and overall victory in contention, further awards for the Mobil 1 Service Centre Master of the Weekend and the Driver of the Weekend Blancpain Gentleman Trophy are at stake too.
The season so far has seen GT3 and overall wins for Aston Martin, BMW and Ferrari with honours in the first race of 2014 taken by the #4 Oman Racing Team Aston Martin of Ahmad Al Harthy and Michael Caine before the #79 Ecurie Ecosse BMW Z4 of current championship leaders Marco Attard and Alexander Sims took the chequered flag first in the second of the two races of the opening round at Oulton Park. Rockingham’s two hour enduro saw #18 FF Corse pairing Gary Eastwood and Rob Barff emerge victorious in their Ferrari 458.
In GT4 three teams have taken victory, with the #407 Beechdean Aston pairing of Jake Giddings and Ross Wylie with the #49 TF Sport Aston of Andrew Jarman and Devon Modell taking the top steps in Oulton’s two races and the #55 Academy Motorsport Ginetta of Oli Basey-Fisher and Matt Nicoll-Jones taking honours at Rockingham. It’s the #407 pairing that heads the championship coming into Silverstone, but with the #49 duo right at their heels.
Cars making a return for the three-hour race on Sunday afternoon include the #17 M-Sport Bentley Continental which impressed so much in the season opener with Steven Kane at the wheel, but this time partnered by Humaid Al Masaood, making his 2014 season debut. The #22 Preci-Spark McLaren MP4-12C of the Jones brothers, Godfrey and David, also makes a return after its Rockingham rest.
New GT3 entries for this event include the swelling of the United Autosports ranks with the return of 2011 champion Jim Geddie and son Glynn in their McLaren MP4-12C which was last raced In British GT at Silverstone in 2012. MB Racing increase the Aston consignment with Michael Brown and Jamie Wall in the #26 Vantage whilst AF Corse’s Ferrari 458 contingent becomes a trio thanks to Jacque Duyver and Charlie Hollings, who will add to their British GT tally of two events contested in 2013.
Elsewhere, there are changes to driver line-ups with Italian hotshot Alessandro Pier Guidi stepping in for Richard Lyons alongside Pasin Lathouras in the #29 AF Corse Ferrari and Alain Schlesinger joining Declan Jones in the #45 ABG Motorsport BMW M3 GT4.
In GT4 APO make their 2014 debut in a Porsche with the #69 car of James May and Alex Osborne making a return for their home race with a new marque from their previous Ginetta outings. ABG Motorsport are back with French historic driver Alain Schlesinger to join Declan Jones and there’s another Aston in GT4 with new team Track Group entering the #50 Aston for Bolaji Odunsi and fan favourite Paul O'Neill with an Aston GT4.
Silverstone will also see the debut of the #86 GPRM Toyota G86 of James Fletcher and Stefan Hodgetts. Set for a GT4 class debut later in the season, the exciting new car will race as an ‘invitational’ for this event.
Action starts for the Silverstone 500 with Free Practice 1 on Saturday 31st May at 09:30 – 10:30, then Free Practice 2 11:50 – 12:50 before qualifying at 16:05 – 16:50. Sunday 1st June see Warm-up 10:10 – 10:20 then the race itself 14:15 – 17:15.
Sofa fans will be overwhelmed to hear that the race will be televised delayed live on Motors TV – which is now available subscription free in the UK on channel 240. Highlights of the event will be televised on Channel 4 and BT Sport as well as on Motors TV.
Looking ahead to the weekend, Benjamin Franassovici, British GT Championship Series Manager said,“The Silverstone 500 is a fantastic event and one which encapsulates the excitement and vibrancy of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship in 180 minutes of quality racing on one of the world’s best-known and iconic race tracks. We have an exceptionally strong line-up and three hours of racing should provide a wonderful experience for those joining us at Silverstone or watching all the race on Motors TV.“
For the timetable visit SILVERSTONE 500 TIMETABLE