The penultimate round of the 2017 British GT Championship is upon us, with the teams and drivers travelling to Brands Hatch in Kent, for a two-hour race on the world-famous Grand Prix Loop.
On the entry for this weekend’s action are 31 cars, 11 of them in the GT3 ranks. While the main storylines for the storylines for the race are concerning the title hunt, there are some notable changes to the field.
In GT3, Century Motorsport returns to the fray with a single G55 (above), with an unannounced lineup, after it missed the trip to Spa last time out. Mike Brown Racing too, is set to join the series with a single Aston Martin V12 Vantage for Mike Brown and Matt Manderson.
Compared to the entry list for Spa, there are several omissions, almost all of which are the one-off entrants who used the series’ trip to Belgium to gain extra track time ahead of the Spa 24 Hours. There is one key team missing though, which is AmDTuning.com’s Mercedes-AMG GT3. The Pro-Am duo of Lee Mowle and Ryan Ratcliffe are unable to race due to chassis damage on the team’s AMG GT3.
In GT4, there’s multiple new faces on the list. The most notable is the debut of Rob Boston Racing, which brings a Ginetta G55 GT4 to the class, bringing the total number of Ginetta’s to seven. Driving for the team – which regularly competes in the Ginetta GT4 Supercup will be Jason Baker and Adam Gore.
Meanwhile, at In2Racing, its #14 570S GT4’s lineup has been shaken up. For the weekend the car will now be driven by Porsche Carrera Cup GB champion Will Goff and current Porsche racerDaniel McKay. Jacob Mathiassen meanwhile is joined by a new co-driver – to be announced this Wednesday – in Century’s #43 Ginetta, while Chris Milford makes his GT4 debut alongside Matt Chapman in Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing’s #63 G55 GT4.
Fans of the Toyota GT86 will also be pleased to know that GPRM’s entered in the Invitational class for its second race this year, driven by Richard Williams and Stefan Hodgetts.
Of the cars not on the GT4 entry, it’s noteworthy that the Ebor GT Maserati – which won both races convincingly at Spa – is unfortunately not due to make the trip though.
Looking at the points standings, for both the GT3 and GT4 title races, this weekend could prove to be pivotal.
All eyes are on the Barwell Motorsport duo of Phil Keen and John Minshaw who have a 12-point lead in the GT3 Driver’s Championship over Team Parker’s Rick Parfitt Jnr and Seb Morris, after winning Race 1 at Spa.
They can seal the championship this weekend should they win or finish second, and Parfitt and Morris finish low down the order. 37.5 points are on offer this weekend and neither contenders have any success penalties to deal with after they both failed to finish high enough in the second race at Spa.
In GT4, it’s also a battle between two teams at the top of the tally, between HHC Motorsport and Lanan Racing. As it stands Will Tregurtha and Stuart Middleton are 2.5 points clear of Lanan’s Alex Reed and David Pittard. The latter will not have a success penalty at Brands, despite taking a win in Spa, due to their low finish in Race 2.
Unlike GT3 though, it’s likely to go down to the wire, with the margin between the two pairs so small.
Looking at the GT4 Team’s Championship, the margin is 2.5 points, like the driver championship, between HHC and Lanan. While in GT3 Barwell leads Team Parker by 47 points. The gap is different, as both teams have two cars scoring points. A haul of 17.5 points will seal it for Barwell here.
Sunday’s two-hour British GT race is set to begin at 14:10.