British GT preview 2017

2017 sees a varied and colourful field (Photo by Marc Waller)

2017 sees a varied and colourful field (Photo by Marc Waller)The British GT championship gets underway for 2017 at Oulton Park on Easter weekend.

The championship celebrates it’s twenty fifth anniversary this season and looks set to feature at least thirty one entries at the first rounds.

These are split into twelve GT3 cars and 19 GT4 cars with the possibility of further entries during the season.

The twelve GT3 car entry features cars from six different manufacturers and the entire top four from 2016 return to fight for the title once again. Four teams are running two cars each meaning the teams championship battle will be once of the closest for several years.

Two Mercedes AMG GT3’s will join the championship run by AMD Tuning and Team ABBA with Rollcentre Racing. AMD’s striking red car was present at the recent launch day at Snetterton where it drew much of the attention. It will be driven by Lee Mowle and Ryan Ratcliffe. Martin Short and Richard Neary return to drive the Roll centre car. There will be a single Ferrari 488 GT3 driven by Duncan Cameron and Matt Griffin.

Team Parker return with their popular Bentley Continential driven once again by Rick Parfitt and Seb Morris. They add a second Bentley with Ian Loggie and Callum McLeod at the wheel.

Barwell continue with their spectacular Lamborghini Hurricans, Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen will return in the Demon Tweeks car but the second car sees the arrival of 2016 BTCC runner up Sam Tordoff. He will be partnered by former BTCC driver Liam Griffin.

2016 champions TF Sport continue with their two cars, Jonny Adam and Derek Johnston will defend their title. The second car once again pairs Mark Farmer with John Barnes.

Century Motorsport take over the running of the works Ginetta G55 GT3 cars with boss Nathan Freke joined by Harry Gottsaker in one car. The second will feature Charlie Robertson and Parker Chase.

Century Motorsport is also the home of the championship’s sole female driver as things stand as Anna Walewska is partnered by Mike Simpson in a G55 GT4. Walewska is very happy with her new co-driver who is also test driver and Sales Manager at Ginetta;

The popular Team Parker Bentley returns and is joined be a second one (Photo by Marc Waller) GT4 sees four Mclarens (Photo by Marc Waller) Abbie Eaton currently has no seat and her 2016 car has no confirmed drivers (Photo by Marc Waller) Century take over the works Ginetta GT3 cars and also run two GT4 Ginettas (Photo by Marc Waller) The AMD Mercedes looks very dramatic (Photo by Marc Waller) Macmillan return with a two car Aston Martin team(Photo by Marc Waller)




“He’s the perfect team mate! There’s no one more experienced in a Ginetta and he needs very little track time in practice giving me plenty of time in the car. He can also help us achieve the perfect set up. I’m really pleased!”

The other female drivers from 2016 have had mixed fortunes; Jamie Chadwick has decided to go into single seaters and will race in British F3. Abbie Eaton though, currently has no full time drive for 2017 due to funding issues. Her Ebor GT run Maserati has not yet entered the championship either but was recently tested by Mathew Graham.

Mirroring GT3, there are also six manufacturers in the GT4 championship, joining Ginetta are Aston Martin, Mclaren, Nissan, Porsche and Toyota.

PMW Expo Racing return to defend their title with Graham Johnson and Mike Robinson eager to challenge the younger drivers once again. But they’ll have their biggest challenge yet with several GT3 drivers stepping across to GT4 including former champion Michael Caine who will drive a Team Hard Ginetta. The reigning Lotus Cup Supersport and Ginetta Junior champions also make up the entry list.

There are an incredible four Mclaren 570GT4’s in the entry list which goes some way to making up for the lack of them in the GT3 entry list at the moment.

Anna Walewska looks forward to the challenge with her new team matet (Photo by Marc Waller) Championship Manager Benjamin Franassovici (Photo by Marc Waller) Sam Tordoff moves to British GT (Photo by Marc Waller) Former Sopastar (and btcc driver) Kelvin Fletcher moves to a GT4 Nissan 370Z (Photo by Marc Waller)




Championship Manager Benjamin Franassovici spoke at the launch event;

“I’m delighted to announce another fantastic British GT Championship entry for the forthcoming campaign, and especially so given that this will be our 25th anniversary season. GT4’s upward trend continues, and clearly the McLaren has proven a very popular addition to the class. But it’s also obvious that the influx of aspiring professionals hasn’t deterred gentleman drivers. In fact, the number of Pro/Am crews still outnumber the Silvers despite more and more youngsters seeing GT racing as a viable career path.
“But GT3 deserves a special mention. New drivers, teams and cars prove that the class remains very much a part of British GT. We worked very hard over the winter to secure its place and have been repaid with a fantastic grid. I certainly can’t recall a tougher entry in terms of genuine potential race winners than 2017’s.”

The first two races are at Oulton Park in Cheshire on Easter Monday. Tickets are still available from MSV or for the first time, the entire championship can be watched live on new channel Front Runner.

We’ll bring you reports from all the events once again in 2017 in what looks set to be an enthralling season. Will Anna Walewska succeed in her target of winning the GT4 title? By Marc Waller

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