British GT 2014 Season preview

British GT(photo by Marc Waller)The 2014 Avon Tyres British GT season starts over the Easter weekend at Oulton park and the line-up for this season looks to be one of the strongest ever.


The championship will feature cars from ten manufacturers with a capacity grid. There are also drivers from around the world and even a British Olympic Gold medallist in the form of Sir Chris Hoy. 

Hoy in only his second full season of racing has moved up from racing radicals to drive a works backed Nissan GTR run by regular works squad RJN. He will be partnered by experienced Nissan driver Alex Buncombe. Hoy’s target is to eventually compete in the Le Mans 24 hours and with his current rate of progress it may not be long. In preparation for the season he was racing a Nissan 370Z at Silverstone a couple of weekends back in the BRSCC Euro Sports and Saloons championship where he finished in third and fourth place. 

Other notable entries come in the form of two of the new Bentley Continental GT3 cars. One is run by M-sport who will run Steven Kane and Humaid Al Masaood. The other car will be run by Generation Bentley Racing who have Steve Tandy and James Appleby at the wheel. 

Tom Onslow Cole moves over from the BTCC to join Paul White in a Nissan GTR ran under the Strata 21 name. 

Last year’s champion, Andrew Howard returns in his Beechdean Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage GT3, joined once again by Jonathan Adam who missed out on winning the title jointly after a penalty in one of the rounds. He doesn’t under estimate the task ahead; 

British GT(photo by Marc Waller)British GT(photo by Marc Waller)British GT(photo by Marc Waller)“There’s a lot more pressure on us all this year and looking at the line-up, I’d say it is even stronger than last year. This means it will be even more difficult to repeat what we did last season to take the title. The opposition is strong across the field and the grid is just phenomenal. There used to be three or four cars within a second in qualifying, and now there’s ten to fifteen. I’ve been racing since 2004 and it’s by far the strongest grid I’ve seen.” 

Motorbase return but with Aston Martin Vantage Gt3’s replacing their Porsches. They are racing under the Oman Racing Team banner and have the first licence granted by the newly formed Oman Automobile association. Michael Caine and Ahmad Al Harthy drive one car, with Rory Butcher and John Hartstone in the other, 

Sadly Zoe Wenham isn’t returning this season but female honours are upheld by the arrival of Tania Mann to compete in the Gt4 category. She’ll be driving an Optimum Motorsport run Ginetta G55.  Her team mate is Matt Draper. 

2013 Formula Ford champion Dan Cammish also joins GT4 in a Team Parker racing run Porsche alongside Barrie Baxter. 

2013 GT4 drivers champion Rick Parfitt jr is excited about his new team and the season ahead; 

“The line-up through the field in GT4 is truly brilliant; it’s amazing. Some of the drivers make me truly believe that GT4 is challenging GT3 for driver line-ups, if not GT4 having a slight edge. I feel like I have less pressure this year, as I have the cup at home. It’s too big anyway, you don’t really know where to put them! I’d love to be at the front, I have a good team-mate in Tom Oliphant, a great new team in Century Motorsport and all things are pointing to the fact we should be somewhere near the front. I can’t wait for Oulton.”  

The official launch day on the 8th April saw the first official testing and the United Autosports Audi R8 LMS Ultra of Mark Patterson and Matt Bell was fastest in the first session, with the Beechdean AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT3 of reigning Champion Andrew Howard and team-mate Jonny Adam quickest in the second. 

Benjamin Franassovici, British GT Championship Series Manager is excited about the year ahead; 

British GT(photo by Marc Waller)British GT(photo by Marc Waller)British GT(photo by Marc Waller)“This season is going to be a really special one in our history. The depth of talent, the variety of racing cars and the sheer competitiveness mean we are all set for a real delight. We have a fantastic new television deal which will see the Championship on Channel 4, Motors TV – which is now available free-to-air on Freeview – and BT Sport in the UK, not to mention a new deal with Fox Sports Asia which increases our reach yet further. We have very strong grids in both GT3 and GT4 and an athlete of the calibre of Chris Hoy joining us. I can’t wait for it to get underway at Oulton Park.”  

Stephane Ratel, Founder and CEO of SRO who run the championship is also looking forward to 2014; 

“This year’s Avon Tyres British GT Championship is exceptional. We have a full entry of 36 cars, well distributed with 23 GT3 cars and thirteen in the GT4 category. There is quality on the field, diversity on the field and the combination of talented drivers. The success of British GT is based on the fact it is a true pro-amateur championship and it is certainly the greatest national GT championship in Europe, if not the world. 

We’ve only mention a few of the entries in this article but the full entry list is at the bottom. 2014 looks set to be one of the hardest fought and most exciting seasons that the championship has seen so far. With the BTCC also looking strong, 2014 is looking like a classic season for UK motorsport. 

2014 Entry list as of the first rounds at Oulton Park 


1 Beechdean AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT3 Andrew Howard Jonny Adam GT3
2 Generation Bentley Racing Bentley Continental GT3 Steve Tandy James Appleby GT3
3 Rosso Verde / Hector Lester Ferrari 458 Italia Hector Lester Benny Simonsen GT3
4 Oman Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3 Ahmad Al Harthy Michael Caine (+75) GT3
5 Oman Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3 John Hartshorne Rory Butcher GT3
6 PGF – Kinfaun AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT3 Phil Dryburgh John Gaw GT3
8 888 BMW Z4 GT3 Lee Mowle Joe Osborne GT3
9 Von Ryan Racing McLaren MP4 12C tba tba GT3
12 Trackspeed Porsche 997 GT3 R Jody Firth Warren Hughes (+75) GT3
13 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia John Dhillon Aaron Scott GT3
17 M-Sport Bentley Continental GT3 Humaid Al Masaood Steven Kane GT3
18 FF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia Gary Eastwood Rob Barff GT3
21 Strata 21 Nissan GT-R Tom Onlsow-Cole Paul White GT3
22 Preci –Spark McLaren MP4 12C David Jones Godfrey Jones GT3
23 United Autosports Audi R8 LMS Ultra Mark Patterson Matt Bell GT3
28 HorsePower Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3 Paul Bailey Andy Schulz GT3
29 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia Pasin Lathouras Richard Lyons (+75) GT3
33 Trackspeed Porsche 997 GT3 R Jon Minshaw Phil Keen GT3
38 MP Motorsport AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT3 Mark Poole Richard Abra GT3
40 IDL CWS G55 Ginetta GT3 Colin White Tom Sharp GT3
41 Optimum G55 Ginetta GT4 Tania Mann Matt Draper GT4
42 Century Motorsport Ginetta G55 Rick Parfitt Tom Oliphant GT4
43 Century Motorsport Ginetta G55 Morten Dons Aleksander Schjerpen (+30) GT4
44 Team Parker Racing Porsche 911 GT4 Barrie Baxter Dan Cammish GT4
45 ABG Motorsport BMW M3 GT4 Peter Belshaw Declan Jones GT4
46 Twisted Team Parker Ginetta G55 Adrian Barwick Bradley Ellis GT4
47 Silverstone Auctions AMR Aston Martin GT4 Challenge Andy Ruhan Harry Whale GT4
48 Fox Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4 Paul McNeilly Jamie Stanley GT4
49 HorsePower Racing Aston Martin GT4 Challenge Andrew Jarman Devon Modell (+30) GT4
55 Academy Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4 Oli Basey-Fisher Matt Nicoll-Jones (+30) GT4
77 ISSY Racing Lotus Evora GT4 Oz Yusuf Gavan Kershaw GT4
79 Ecurie Ecosse BMW Z4 GT3 Marco Attard Alexander Sims (+10) GT3
80 Nissan GT Academy Team RJN Nissan GT-R GT3 Chris Hoy Alex Buncombe GT3
86 GPRM Toyota Toyota G86 tba Stefan Hodgetts GT4
407 Beechdean AMR Aston Martin GT4 Challenge Jake Giddings Ross Wylie (+30) GT4
888 888 BMW Z4 GT3 Derek Johnston Luke Hines GT3  By by Marc Waller

Written by