British GT 2018 is go with a capacity grid

Once again GT3 and GT4 will race in one race (Photo by Marc Waller)The British GT championship has had a large grid for a number of seasons now but 2018 looks set to take things to even greater heights with a capacity thirty six car entry announced for the twenty sixth season.


Thirty six cars is the maximum allowed due to pitlane space issues and so this year’s grid will be the biggest ever. The thirty six cars are split between GT3 and GT4 classes with thirteen GT3 cars and and incredible twenty three GT4 cars. As Silverstone and Spa have greater space, we could see additional entries at those events.

GT3, which will see the battle for the overall title, features cars from six manufacturers. Aston Martin, Bentley, Lamborghini, Mclaren, Mercedes and Nissan provide the cars with seven works drivers among the drivers. Flick Haigh becomes the first female entrant in GT3 for several years where she joins Jonny Adam in an Optimum Motorsport Aston Martin. She joins a class full of talent, giving her a tough task if she wants to be the first female driver to win in British GT3. The statistics of the 2018 entries are impressive, the twenty six drivers have won 69 British GT races between them, with five La Mans 24 hour wins, five ELMS championships, two Blancpain GT championships, two Spa 24 hours wins and two FIA World endurance titles. Two of the reigning Le Mans GTE class winners will be on the grid along with an International GT open Pro/Am champions and several GT cup champions. Last but not least is the 2017 British GT champion Rick Parfitt.

The 2017 Team champions Barwell, have increased their entry from two to three Lamborghini Hurracans although only the top two cars score points in the team’s championship.

GT4 has even more variety then GT3 with eight manufacturers filling the grid, Aston Martin, Ginetta, Mclaren, Nissan and Toyota are joined by BMW, Jaguar and Mercedes Benz. The drivers champions in 2017, Will Tregurtha and Stuart Middleton have headed to Europe meaning and won’t be defending their title but HHC will want to retain their teams title. They face a tough battle with eight Silver cup rated pairings and eleven Pro Am drivers.

The reigning GT4 Drivers’ champions Will Tregurtha and Stuart Middleton moving to the GT4 European Series this year, the path has been left clear for new challengers to emerge. HHC Motorsport, who claimed both the Teams’ and Drivers’ crowns in 2017, have increased their Ginetta contingent by one in an effort to fend off renewed and fresh threats from an incredibly competitive class that features at least eight Silver Cup and 11 Pro/Am crews.

There were some unexpected teams announced during the launch day; Stellar Performance will enter two GT4 Toyota GT86, Richardson Racing have a single Mercedes GT4. Century Motorsport Swap from Ginetta G55s to BMW M4 GT4s. Anna Walewska has left the team and joined up with Team Hard to run with Callum Hawkins-Row. (See separate story for information on this drive.)
Mclaren Automotive have extended their deal to provide the championship’s safety car with various Models such as the 540c and the 570 taking control of races when there are incidents on track.

Barwell are back with three cars this time (Photo by Marc Waller) Anna Walewska moves to Team Hard and unveills a new livery (Photo by Marc Waller) Mcalren return to GT3 (Photo by Marc Waller) The Invictus team sees former military personel racing and working on the cars (Photo by Marc Waller) Yelmer Berman drives alongside Lee Mowle for new team ERC sport (Photo by Marc Waller) Entry list

 

 

 

Championship Manager Benjamin Franassovici is looking forward to this season; “2018’s British GT Championship entry list features all the ingredients necessary to serve up a classic season, and in terms of quality – drivers, teams and manufacturers – it could well turn out to be the best in our history. Both classes look exceptional, with GT3’s Pro driver roster understandably grabbing most of the early headlines. But it’s also great to see new teams and Am drivers joining the class, while we’re delighted to welcome back full-season Nissan and McLaren entries. An influx of new cars has also helped GT4 take another step forward; it’s incredible to have 23 full-season entries represented by eight manufacturers this year, and more to come on a race-by-race basis at our larger venues as 2018 progresses. There’s also plenty of talent lurking amongst the GT4 grid that wouldn’t look out of place in GT3 – hopefully many of those drivers will take the opportunity to progress with us over the coming seasons.”

This year’s seven race meeting, nine-race British GT Championship gets underway at Oulton Park over Easter Bank Holiday Weekend (March 31 & April 2). Tickets are available directly from MSV. By Marc Waller 

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