Just what is British GT, and what is it all about? Lucky for you; I’m going to tell you.
First of all, the cars obviously make up the backbone of a series, and British GT always has an ample number of them split between the GT3 and GT4 classes.
Many series throughout the world utilize the popular GT3 class. It’s comprised of the same cars you will see in the GT Daytona class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and Blancpain GT Series, just to name a couple.
Variety is present once again with many already-announced entries. Some examples include the Mercedes AMG GT3, Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT and Lamborghini Huracan GT3, all ready to compete in the opening round at Oulton Park.
The GT4 grid continues its strong form with plenty of teams announcing new or continuing programmes with a mixture of old and new machinery.
The ever-present brands of Ginetta and Aston Martin will once again return, but will face stronger competition from teams running Lotus Evoras and, after its debut last year, a growing field of McLaren 570S GT4s.
In a similar vein to the Blancpain GT Series, the British GT season is made up of a mixture of sprint and endurance races in which two drivers compete per car, however, there is no separate cups, just one overall championship.
Oulton Park and Snetterton host the two double-header sprint rounds, where each race is an hour in length. The Am drivers’ qualifying times set the grid for one race, and the Pros set times for the other.
Rockingham, Brands Hatch, Donington Park and Spa-Francorchamps host the two hour rounds, whilst Silverstone hosts the single three hour race on the calendar.
The qualifying format for these rounds changes slightly with both drivers’ times actually being added together and the quickest combined time gains pole.
The Ones to Watch:
TF Sport return along with last year’s championship winning line up of Derek Johnson and Jonny Adam in an Aston Martin. Adam has been a front running Pro for years now and Johnston came on leaps and bounds in his ‘coming of age’ season.
Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen return with Barwell Motorsports in a Lamborghini Huracan. They will be looking to right the wrongs of last season when wet grass led to an unfortunate retirement in the finale last season, denying the duo of the title.
Any sports car follower will know the AF Corse name, the Italian squad returns after a small sabbatical with a Ferrari 488 GT3 for Duncan Cameron and Matt Griffin. Both drivers have considerable experience in Blancpain GT, European Le Mans Series and British GT; they will be a pairing to watch on their return.
Optimum Motorsport also brings a pair of title defenders back as Mike Robinson and Graham Johnson return in a Ginetta G55 GT4 to defend their GT4 class title, after a dominant 2016 season.
One new example of the McLaren 570s GT4 is the new Tolman Motorsport entry. After a season in GT3 with Ginetta, David Pattison returns to GT4, but Joe Osborne replaces Luke Davenport in the other seat.
All in all, it should be another great season for Britain’s premier Grand Touring racing series, and it will only get better with more announcements to come.
15-17 April – Oulton Park
29-30 April – Rockingham
27-28 May – Snetterton
10-11 June – Silverstone
7-8 July – Spa-Francorchamps
5-6 August – Brands Hatch
23-24 September – Donington Park