A revised calendar for the 2020 British GT Championship season has been released, featuring nine races at six UK-based events from August to November.
Four events postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic have been rescheduled, while all six will take place in Britain to reduce travel and costs, meaning there will be no ‘away trip’ to Spa-Francorchamps.
Nine races – five sprint and four endurance – are also confirmed, the same total number as 2020’s calendar originally featured (the race time originally planned for Spa will be added to the two Donington trips). Likewise, the cumulative 15 hours of racing time also remains unchanged.
“Hosting six events within three months hasn’t been easy to organise, there’s a lot to consider and a finite number of dates available at suitable UK circuits that avoid clashes with SRO’s European championships, which has remained a priority throughout,” said Lauren Granville, championship manager. “We’re delighted to present a revised calendar that includes trips to all of our previously scheduled UK circuits and retains 15 hours of racing across nine races.
“We feel that starting the season in Britain in August is the most pragmatic approach to a very complicated situation, hence our decision not to visit Spa this year.
“It’s sure to be a very busy three months for everyone but after being locked down for so long our teams and drivers are even more eager to go racing than ever before. Equally, British GT’s staff and I cannot wait to make up for lost time: we have a fabulous entry list and, now, a revised calendar that’s able to do it justice.”
Oulton Park retains its traditional season-opening slot but now hosts two sprint races on August 1/2 – almost four months later than originally planned. The last time Oulton Park hosted a race that late in the year was back in 2002.
The championship then makes the first of its two trips to Donington Park on August 15/16 when a 60-minute sprint race and two-hour enduro bookend Sunday’s track action. That’s followed a fortnight later by Brands Hatch, which retains its original August 29/30 weekend and two-hour race format.
It’s then back to Donington on September 19/20 (an event which will clash with the for what would have been British GT’s season finale. This time a single three-hour race, 60 minutes more than originally planned, will add another layer of strategy to proceedings. This clashes with the rescheduled 2020 Le Mans 24 Hours, it was a decision which the British GT championship said is “unavoidable” due to a “lack of viable alternative dates”.
Two more postponed events complete this year’s revised calendar. Snetterton will host two sprint races on October 3/4 before the championship’s ‘blue riband’ event, the Silverstone 500, becomes the new season finale (for the first time) on November 7/8.
There are also no clashes with GT World Challenge Europe or the GT4 European Series.
The calendar is of course still provisional, and all dates “remain subject to government and Motorsport UK measures covering the resumption of sporting events”. Further adjustments will be made if necessary.
As for whether or not fans can attend these races and what restrictions will be in place, the British GT Championship says: “government-led Motorsport UK guidelines, which are expected to be published soon, will determine under what scenarios races are held, and the extent to which public and team personnel might be limited.
“SRO will work closely with circuits and organising clubs to implement Motorsport UK’s scenarios, which could necessitate changes to some current regulations and procedures. These changes cover, but are not limited to, driver sign-on and briefings, scrutineering, parc fermé, driver changes and pitstops, podiums, media and hospitality.”
Revised 2020 British GT Calendar
Aug 1/2 – Oulton Park – 2x 1hr
Aug 15/16 – Donington Park 1x 1hr & 1x 2hr
Aug 29/30 – Brands Hatch – 1x 2hr
Sep 19/20 – Donington Park – 1x 3hr
Oct 3/4 – Snetterton – 2x 1hr
Nov 7/8 – Silverstone 500 – 1x 3hr