The 2016 British GT calendar is announced

Brands Hatch becomes the season opener but could clashes withother series cause issues (Photo by Marc Waller)

Brands Hatch becomes the season opener but could clashes withother series cause issues (Photo by Marc Waller)British GT Organisers have unveiled the calendar for the 2016 championship and although the venues are unchanged for the new season, the order and the dates have been changed.

Brands Hatch now starts the season with a race meeting on April 16th and 17th which features a single two hour race. Surprisingly though, this clashes with both the BTCC at Donington Park and the World Endurance championship that is racing at Silverstone that weekend, meaning that all events may find they have less marshalls than they may normally expect as volunteers have to choose which one to attend. Motor Racing fans will also have to choose which event to support.

Fortunately though, there are no further clashes with major events and the GT calendar also has no clashes with the SRO run Blancpain Endurance and Sprint series which take place all over Europe, meaning teams and drivers can choose to compete in more than one SRO run championship.

Rockingham hosts the second meeting a fortnight after Brands Hatch with a two hour race. Then Oulton Park is next up in the final weekend of May with its usual double header meeting. It keeps to a bank holiday weekend meaning the usual Oulton Park Schedule of Qualifying Saturday and racing Monday will be maintained. Silverstone follows in mid June, a couple of weeks later than it was in 2015 with a three hour race. Then the championship continues its policy of one foreign round with a trip to the Famous circuit of Spa Francochamps in early July (8th and 9th).

Snetterton is in early August, avoiding this year’s clash with the BTCC which is a week later at Knockhill in Scotland. The Snetterton round is championships only other double header round with two one hour races. Then Donington continues its recent tradition of holding the championship finale this time on the second weekend in September with a two hour race.

The European GT4 championship will join the grid at Silverstone and Spa ensuring those two rounds are likely to have large entries.
The Friday before the Brands Hatch and Silvertone hold two offfical tests with the official media and launch day will likely include another official test with the venue and date still to be announced.

Silverstone should have a big field with European GT4 joining (Photo by Marc Waller)Rockingham hosts the second meeting (Photo by Marc Waller)Oulton moves to a later Bank holiday date (Photo by Marc Waller)Donington keeps the finale (Photo by Marc Waller)It was also recently announced that the championship is changing to Pirelli tyres after several years of having Avon as both official tyre supplier and title sponsor.

Championship manager Benjamin Franassovici spoke about the new calendar;

“I’m delighted that next season’s British GT calendar will mix elements of continuity with a slightly re-jigged format. We’re always keen to explore new opportunities but, after consulting with our teams, believe retaining the same seven circuits as this season was the best option.

“Obviously moving the opening round away from Oulton wasn’t a decision we took lightly. It’s always been a fantastic host and I’m sure the local crowd’s enthusiasm for British GT will be as evident over a May Bank Holiday as it has been during the traditional Easter date. But we were keen to try something different and Brands Hatch, which staged a brilliant race last season, offered that opportunity.

“That the European GT4 Series, which recently announced it would be running the same Pirelli tyres as British GT4, will also join our grid at Silverstone and Spa is obviously great news. The same goes for our successful partnership with BRDC F4, which will feature a new, much faster car for its second season alongside British GT. It’s also worth noting that a number of new GT3 teams will be announcing their plans over the winter period, and we might even see several new-generation GT3 models joining the fray, too. The British GT package has seldom looked stronger.”
2016 British GT Championship Calendar

Round 1. April 16/17: Brands Hatch GP (2-hour race)
Round 2. April 30/May 1: Rockingham (2-hour race)
Rounds 3 & 4. May 28/30: Oulton Park (2x 1-hour races)
Round 5. June 11/12: Silverstone 500 (3-hour race)
Round 6. July 8/9: Spa-Francorchamps (2-hour race)
Rounds 7 & 8. August 6/7: Snetterton 300 (2x 1-hour races)
Round 9. September 10/11: Donington Park (2-hour race)   By Marc Waller

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