SUPERCARS SET FOR SILVERSTONE
The BRSCC has a busy weekend in store at Silverstone where staff from HQ and the Midland Centre will be running the prestigious FIA GT Supercar meeting, which also features the Cooper Tires British F3 International Series. The FIA GT1 World Championship made a spectacular debut under the bright lights of the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi two weeks ago but the focus now switches to Silverstone for the second round.
The 24-car field will have the honour of becoming the first world championship event to race on the revised Silverstone Formula One layout, which was opened just two days ago. Just being there has been a major undertaking for the teams. After major travel disruptions caused by ash clouds released by the Icelandic volcano, the cars, equipment and team personnel made good their belated escape from Abu Dhabi by trains, charter planes and automobiles.
The FIA GT1 combatants will be vying for the overall prize – the Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy, the oldest and one of the most prestigious motorsport trophies in the world. The winners of Sunday’s Championship Race will have their names engraved alongside some of the greats. Men like Tazio Nuvolari, Sir Stirling Moss, Graham Hill and Denny Hulme. Previous winners who will be lining up on the grid at Silverstone include Peter Kox (2005), Michael Bartels (2006), Andrea Bertolini (2006) and Karl Wendlinger (2008, 2009).
In Abu Dhabi, the Matech Ford GT1 No.5 of Romain Grosjean and Thomas Mutsch proved the class of the field while the Corvettes of Andreas Zuber and Marc Hennerici, winners of the Qualifying Race, turned a few heads. It was a bitter-sweet weekend for the Matech Ford GTs after Natacha Gachnang suffered a broken leg during the opening qualifying session.
It was also a good weekend at Yas Marina for the Phoenix Racing/Carsport team with Mike Hezemans and Andrea Piccini taking the final podium position in the Championship Race from the back of the grid, adding to the double podium for their team-mates Zuber and Hennerici.
Local hopes will rest with the British-based Nissan GT-Rs of Sumo Power GT, and Jamie Campbell-Walters, Warren Hughes and Peter Dumbreck. Additional British presence comes in the shape of the Aston Martin driver Darren Turner (Young Driver AMR) and Corvette pilot Oliver Gavin (Mad-Croc Racing) .
Bedsides Gavin, Lamborghini’s Christophe Bouchut will also make his FIA GT1 debut for AllInkl.com Münnich Motorsport. Gavin has been one of the undoubted stars of the Total 24 Hours of Spa in recent years, while Bouchut, a triple FIA GT Champion, gave the Lamborghini its first international win in Zhuhai 2007. If the races in Abu Dhabi are a fair indicator for the season ahead, we can expect to see plenty of action throughout the 24-car field during both of the 60-minute races.
The GT1’s aren’t the only stars of the show at the Supercar weekend. There are two races apiece in both the GT3 European Championship and GT4 European Cup while single-seater action comes in the form of three rounds of the Cooper Tires British F3 International Series. Formula 1 test driver Luiz Razia is the latest young star to join the Series with the 21-year-old Brazilian set to make his debut this weekend at the wheel of a Motul Team West-Tec Dallara in the National class.