The formula which has helped to rejuvenate the Avon Tyres British GT Championship in 2011 is set to be replicated for the coming season, and all the signs are that an even greater number of competitors will be taking part.
The average entry for this season’s events was 27, with a high of 31 at Brands Hatch and Silverstone. “Next year is looking even better,” says SRO’s championship manager Benjamin Franassovici. “Interest is running at very high levels, not just for GT3 but for GT4 also.”
Franassovici says that calendar and rules stability will be key to the continued success of British GT: “Both the calendar and the regulations will remain very similar in 2012, with one three-hour race and a mix of two-hour and twin one-hour races, spread over seven meetings. The dates have yet to be fixed but we will, provisionally, be visiting Oulton Park, Brands Hatch GP, Snetterton 300, Rockingham, Donington Park GP, Silverstone GP and a European circuit.
“Many exciting cars, like the Ferrari 458 Italia, the Mercedes AMG SLS, the Audi R8 LMS and Corvette Z06R, joined the championship for the first time in 2011, and I am expecting more for next year, headed of course by the McLaren MP4-12C. It is going to be another great season.”
The 2011 Avon Tyres British GT Championship title was secured earlier this month by father-and-son pairing Jim and Glynn Geddie and their CRS Racing Ferrari 458 Italia, and they are expected to return to defend their crown. “I think we will definitely be back in 2012,” said Jim. “We didn’t have the best of starts this season, so I’d like to come back properly prepared and having tested over the winter and be on the ball from the first race.”
The season brought race victories in GT3 for 2010 champion David Ashburn and his driving partner Richard Westbrook, and for their Trackspeed Porsche team-mates Gregor Fisken and Tim Bridgman. Their three wins, plus four further podiums between them, netted the teams championship for Trackspeed for the second successive season.
The season’s other race winners were the United Autosports Audi team with Mike Guasch and Matt Bell; Beechdean Motorsport and Barwell with their Aston Martin, driven by Andrew Howard and Jonny Adam; and Ferrari teams Scuderia Vittoria, MTECH and CRS, with their respective pairings Michael Lyons/Charles Bateman, Duncan Cameron/Matt Griffin and Alex Mortimer/Andrew Tate.
The GT4 class battle was a season-long cliffhanger with class race wins for the Lotus Sport UK, Scuderia Vittoria Ginetta, Century Motorsport Ginetta and ABG KTM teams; ABG men Peter Belshaw and Marcus Clutton claimed the class championship title. “I would like to congratulate Lotus Sport UK for winning the GT4 championship team prize,” said Franassovici. “The team did a great job to win this in its first year of British GT; well done to the Lotus boys.”
The GT3B class championship was secured by MTECH Ferrari men Aaron Scott and John Dhillon, and the GT Cup class title by Chevron drivers Jordan Witt and Anthony Reid.
“I would also like to congratulate Jim and Glynn, Trackspeed, Marcus and Peter, John and Aaron and Jordan and Anthony for their championship wins in what has been a very competitive and hard-fought season,” added Franassovici.
The British GT Championship is sponsored by UK tyre manufacturer Avon Tyres and is further supported by Sunoco Racing Fuels, Anglo American Oil Company and OAMPS.
Avon Tyres British GT Championship on TVThe two-hour Silverstone season finale, in which the Geddies clinched their title, is to be screened tomorrow (Saturday) in the UK, at 7am on Channel 4 and at 1250pm on Motors TV. The championship season review will be aired on Motors TV on 27 November.