PREVIEW: BRANDS HATCH BECKONS AS BRITISH GT TICKS TOWARDS 2022’s CONCLUSION
> Loggie hoping to re-write GT3 history
> Two points provisionally cover GT4’s top three crews
> Provisional entry list: Brands Hatch
The 2022 Intelligent Money British GT Championship approaches its final straight this weekend at Brands Hatch where 30 cars are set to contest round eight of the series’ 30th campaign
Ordinarily the penultimate event provides each championship leader with an opportunity to wrap up their respective title. But that currently looks unlikely due to Spa’s result and points remaining provisional at the time of writing. The same ongoing appeal also prevents Success Penalties from being applied to Brands Hatch’s mandatory mid-race pitstop.
SRO Motorsports Group could yet finalise Spa’s result, apportion points, impose Success Penalties and potentially crown champions this Sunday, but only if the National Court is able to convene and reach a verdict in time.
All of that means Ian Loggie could finally but unofficially become overall GT3 champion on Sunday, or at the very least take a significant step towards doing so, while Alex Malykhin and James Dorlin can provisionally clinch the Silver-Am crown.
RAM Racing, meanwhile, is now provisionally GT3 teams’ champion. Its points total cannot be beaten regardless of Spa’s final result. GT4 appears to be going the distance, though, thanks to just two points separating the top three crews.
GT3: LOGGIE EYEING EARLY TITLE CORONATION
Ongoing appeal aside, Loggie could – ultimately – become the first driver since 2010 to win the British GT3 title with a race to spare. He heads to Brands with an unofficial 39-point lead, although that would become 33 if Spa’s provisional result changes. Both are whopping margins by British GT standards.
Racing without a definitive Spa result also means Loggie’s Success Penalty could change, further complicating the outcome of this weekend’s race and the championship. 10 seconds will be applied if Spa’s result stands and 15 seconds – for moving from third to second place – if the appeal is dismissed.
Either way, his nearest rivals will need to significantly outscore RAM’s #6 Mercedes-AMG if they’re to retain any chance at Donington Park’s season finale next month.
The list is now headed, regardless of the appeal’s outcome, by James Cottingham and Lewis Williamson who finished second on the road at Spa but could yet inherit victory. The latter would result in a 20-second Success Penalty, enough to potentially hand Loggie the title depending on where 2 Seas’ Mercedes-AMG dropped to in the Brands Hatch classification.
Fox Motorsport’s McLaren, meanwhile, is scheduled to serve the maximum handicap after Nick Halstead and Jamie Stanley clinched their first British GT3 wins in Belgium. Neither are realistic overall title contenders but Halstead could yet overturn Loggie’s Pro-Am class lead if Fox’s appeal is upheld.
Other overall contenders include Barwell’s Adam Balon and Sandy Mitchell, and Malykhin and Dorlin (Redline Racing) who are provisionally 0.5 and 1.5 points adrift of Cottingham/Williamson. Loggie, meanwhile, is more than a victory’s worth ahead of all three as things stand.
The 2 Seas, Barwell and Redline pairings must therefore finish ahead of the championship leader to maintain any hope of winning the overall title at Donington.
Malykhin and Dorlin will also have one eye on the Silver-Am championship, which they currently lead by 43.5 points. RAM’s John Ferguson retains an outside opportunity of overturning that deficit, while Stewart and Lewis Proctor (Greystone GT) are mathematical but unlikely contenders. The result of the ongoing appeal will not alter these permutations.
Two GT3 entries missing from Brands and the remainder of the season are WPI’s Lamborghini and Assetto’s Bentley. Both have withdrawn due to their Am drivers’ business commitments.
However, there are new and returning faces courtesy of Andrey Borodin and Ed Pead who team up in a second Greystone GT McLaren, double champion Andrew Howard who joins Sky Tempesta’s Mercedes-AMG, and Century’s Alexander Sims who makes his first British GT start since 2016 alongside debutant Henry Dawes.
Elsewhere, Kelvin Fletcher lines up with Paddock after various showbiz commitments prevented him from racing at Spa and Snetterton.
GT4: TOP THREE COVERED BY TWO POINTS
The outcome of GT3’s appeal will not alter GT4’s Spa finishing positions or points allocation. As such, it’s possible to unofficially but accurately confirm the championship situation with two races remaining.
And what a championship it’s turning into thanks, in part, to the recent form of R Racing’s Jamie Day and Josh Miller who won for the second time in three races last time out. That result has left the 16-year-olds, who are aiming to become British GT’s youngest-ever title winning crew, just one point behind fellow Aston Martin drivers Matt Topham and Darren Turner, while Richard Williams and Sennan Fielding (Steller Motorsport) are another point further back.
As championship leaders, only Topham and Turner can mathematically seal the crown with a round to spare, although that relies on them winning and their title rivals – who also include Matt Cowley and Marco Signoretti, and Jack Brown and Will Burns – essentially non-scoring.
Four of the five contending crews race without a Success Penalty on Sunday, the exception being Miller and Day who must limit any damage from their 20-second handicap by recording a solid result before regrouping at Donington.
Academy’s Cowley and Signoretti start 20 points off top spot but can easily reduce their arrears by claiming a second win of the season. Likewise Brown and reigning champion Burns who won at Brands alongside Gus Burton last season. Century’s #90 BMW starts 1.5 points further back.
Tom Edgar also remains an outside title contender in sixth but must take Toyota Gazoo Racing UK’s Supra to victory lane for the first time ever.
Team BRIT’s McLaren is not in overall championship contention but Aaron Morgan and Bobby Trundley could yet pinch Pro-Am from Topham/Turner after winning their class and finishing third overall at Spa behind R Racing and Team Parker Racing. The downside of that result is a 10-second Success Penalty this weekend, while Seb Hopkins and Jamie Orton will remain stationary for an additional 15 seconds in their Porsche.
As in GT3, the GT4 class features several changes and additions at Brands. Assetto has added a second Ginetta G56 for debutant Darren Leung and Charlie Robertson who almost won on the car and team’s British GT debut last season. Adam Hatfield partners Moh Ritson at Paddock, and Motus One has switched from McLaren to Mercedes-AMG.
HOW TO WATCH THIS WEEKEND
Can’t make it to Brands Hatch? No sweat! Qualifying, warm-up and the race are all live on SRO’s GT World YouTube channel, britishgt.com and British GT’s Facebook page, while Sky Sports F1 will broadcast highlights approximately one week after the event.
Saturday 10 September
09:30 – 10:30: Free Practice 1
12:05 – 13:05: Free Practice 2
15:45 – 15:55: Qualifying – GT3 Q1
15:59 – 16:09: Qualifying – GT3 Q2
16:13 – 16:23: Qualifying – GT4 Q1
16:28 – 16:38: Qualifying – GT4 Q2
Sunday 11 September
10:00 – 10:15: Warm-up
13:30 – 15:30: Race