Pirelli kicked off the fifth year of its partnership with the GT Cup – featuring some of the most powerful supercars that race in Britain – with a MotorSport Vision Racing Media Day at Brands Hatch. The aim of the day was to showcase the many different championships run under the MSVR banner. During the day the competitor chosen to represent the GT Cup was able to sample some of the tyres that the series will race on in 2012.
Conditions at Brands Hatch were damp – but this was at least an improvement over the snow that had fallen on the Kent circuit recently. The treacherous surface and low grip levels meant that intermediate tyres were the order of the day, but this at least gave the drivers the opportunity to feel the adhesion and control offered by Pirelli rubber even when conditions are marginal.
The Indy circuit was used at Brands Hatch for the Media Day – the shortest configuration of track – that nonetheless tested every aspect of the tyres’ performance, from high-speed stability in fast corners such as Paddock Hill Bend to traction coming out of the slow hairpin at Druids. The varying elevation of the circuit also meant that grip levels were extremely variable over the course of the lap, with patches of standing water.
Despite these treacherous conditions, the Pirelli tyres performed perfectly throughout the day, setting competitive lap times while giving the drivers accurate feedback.
The GT Cup was represented by Nick Whale’s In2 Racing team, who brought their Porsche 997 GT3 to Brands Hatch. In the dry, the Porsche runs medium-compound Pirelli 315/675-18 DH slicks on the rear and 245/645-18 DM slicks on the front but in the wet conditions of Brands Hatch it used Pirelli’s WH tyres on the rear and WS tyres on the front, with a unique tread pattern and soft compound to disperse any standing water.
Whale completed several laps with a number of journalists as passengers: a useful warm-up for the first round of the championship at Donington Park from 28-29 April.
GT Cup Competition Manager Phil Boland said: “After a long winter break, it was great to see some on-track action again. The GT Cup is home to some of the most spectacular racing cars to be seen in Britain, and we’re looking forward to some more thrilling races this year with Pirelli. Even though conditions were difficult at Brands Hatch, the tyres gave the drivers plenty of confidence and it was a very useful day.”
Pirelli UK’s Motorsport Manager Carl Naylor added: “As the world leader in Ultra High Performance tyres, the premium sector – which is made up of similar cars to those represented in the GT Cup Championship – is extremely important to us. That makes our partnership with the GT Cup a perfect fit, and one that race fans all over Britain can enjoy!”