The Avon Tyres British GT Championship has today announced a 23-car entry for its 2012 season, ahead of its first round at the sublime Oulton Park circuit in Cheshire, over the upcoming Easter Weekend.
Thirteen different manufacturers will line-up to form the grid of the 2012 season; Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Chevron, Corvette, Ferrari, Ginetta, Lotus, McLaren, Mazda, Mercedes, Nissan, and Porsche will all be represented by twenty teams, and forty-six drivers.
“We’ve worked hard over the winter to build upon the successful platform we established in 2011,” said Benjamin Franassovici, the British GT Championship manager. “To have such a good variety of sexy GT3 and GT4 cars is the reward from last year’s successful season
“Having the likes of Nissan, BMW and Mazda joining our grid shows we’ve made a leap forward on previous years. We also welcome some quick new drivers into our family, and I think we’re set for our best season to date.”
Scuderia Vittoria will run a Ferrari 458 GT3 for a second season in the championship, but with a surprise pairing of Aaron Scott and John Dhillon, who switch from fellow Ferrari runners MTECH.
"It’s been a bit of a roller coaster for me the last couple of weeks but I'm delighted that I'll be continuing in British GT with John and that we are going to be joining Scuderia Vittoria,” said Scott. “I know the guys there well, they are all very professional and I am sure they will give us a good car. I'm looking forward to working with them and hope we will give them some more BGT wins!"
MTECH will continue in the series with the highly competitive duo of Matt Griffin and Duncan Cameron, who so nearly took the title in 2010.
Also returning to the series is the Speedworks prepared Corvette Z06R, with Ron and Piers Johnson at the helm. The popular pair who spent 2011 getting to grips with the 500bhp machine will come to the season with upgrades to the car, and with more planned through the year.
“We’re all happy to be back and we’ve got some significant upgrades to be delivered soon which should help push us up the grid,” said driver Ron Johnson. “We had a big learning year in 2011, but we know the car is good. It’s worked well in Europe and hopefully we’ll see more of its potential this year.”
Matt Bell and United Autosports will again race in the championship with their popular Audi R8 LMS, with Bell being partnered by 2011 Scuderia Vittoria charger Charles Bateman.
Notably, Mazda join the championship with a GT4 version of its MX5 GT. The Mazda UK project, developed by Jota Sport will race against a strong field of GT4 machinery, including multiple car entries from the likes of Lotus and Ginetta, with more to follow.
“We are excited and optimistic about our first year in British GT and fully expect the MX5 to upset a few established marques,” said Jeremy Thomson, Mazda UK managing director.
Finally, British GT welcomes back Chevron to the grid, this time with the GR8 GT3, which will be driven by Jordan Witt and the experienced Anthony Reid in the invitation class. The pair competed most of the 2011 season in the GTC specification Chevron GR8, regularly battling with GT3 counterparts.
New fuel supplier announcement
SRO and WP Group announced at yesterday’s media day that WP Motorsport would become the official fuel sponsor for the 2012 Avon Tyres British GT Championship.
WP Motorsport, one of the trading divisions of WP Group, will be the official supplier at the racing events for the next three years, delivering high quality race fuels and lubricants to the teams and competitors.
Originally called Atol Fuel, the company was acquired by WP Group in 2007 and rebranded as WP Motorsport as part of the WP Group evolution in 2010.
Since acquisition, the company has added Panta race fuel, Mobil 1 lubricants and Maxima racing products to the already established Elf Racing product line, giving a platform for a strong contribution to the world of motorsport.
“It’s fantastic to have WP Motorsport and all its associated brands on board with British GT,” said Lisa Crampton, General Manager, SRO London. “WP’s reputation for providing high quality product and a first class support service is renowned and we are thrilled to be working with the team.”