The Intelligent Money British GT Championship is set to roar back into life at Oulton Park this weekend (1&2 August), almost a full year after the 2019 season ended at Donington Park.

Thanks to COVID-19, the championship has had to massively delay the start of the 2020 campaign but SRO has done a remarkable job to put on a calendar just one race shorter than in 2019 with the absence of the annual fly-away round to Spa.

That’s nine races over six meetings with Oulton and Snetterton hosting traditional one-hour double-headers, the first of two visits to Donington Park hosting a two-hour and a one-hour sprint, Brands Hatch a traditional two-hour race with the second Donington visit and the season-closing trip to Silverstone both holding 180-minute spectaculars.

Listen to the GT REPORT podcast to hear from Ram Racing’s Yelmer Buurman and Academy Motorsport’s Matt Cowley as we preview the season.

One area that has suffered is the entry list. With a number of drivers supposed to be travelling in from abroad being hampered by quarantine restrictions in the UK, and others deciding to focus their budgets on 2021, the entry list has shrunk to 22 cars for Oulton. However, despite the reduced entry, the remaining field is stacked with talent and competition will no doubt be fierce.

We’ve taken a look through the entry for Oulton Park so you can see who all the runners and riders are:

GT3

The most notable absence in the GT3 entry is the lack of any Aston Martins in the top class for the first time since the Rockingham event in 2010 (or so the internet tells us) as reigning champions Jonny Adam and Graham Davidson withdraw alongside their all-conquering TF Sport team.

The squad was supposed to run two V8 Vantages – one for Adam and Ahmad Al Harthy and another for Davidson and 2019 GT4 champ Tom Canning – but has decided to keep its powder dry and aim for a return in 2021.

In its place is a stacked field of talent – the most notable of which are championship contenders from nine months ago Adam Balon and Phil Keen. The duo return for a second season together in a Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo and as the highest placed of last year’s title battlers they must surely be early favourites for this year’s crown. 

Joining the team is their GT World Challenge Europe (GTWCE) regular Sandy Mitchell and a man who is something of a legend in British motorsport – Rob Collard, the BTCC race winner making his much-anticipated move to British GT in an all-Silver line-up. 

Also in a Lamborghini is Michael Igoe, who is competing with his WPI Motorsport team in the latest generation of the Italian racer alongside factory driver Dennis Lind. Another late addition to the Huracán runners is the unexpected return of JMH Automotive with team boss John Seale reversing his decision to skip 2020 as he signs up for Oulton Park alongside 2011 British GT4 champion Marcus Clutton. 

Some more Italian muscle comes in the welcome return of AF Corse, which is running Duncan Cameron and Matt Griffin in a Ferrari 488 GT3 – the first time a Ferrari, and the pair, have raced in British GT since 2017 (as seen below when the pair won at Rockingham in 2017). 

ferrari back to british gt

Taking up the biggest chunk of the GT3 entry are the masses of McLaren 720S GT3s. While race winners Rob Bell and Shaun Balfe are stepping back in their Balfe Motorsport entry – which will be taken over by Stewart Proctor and Joe Osborne at select rounds – there are still plenty of potential title contenders in the British-built machine.

The newest addition comes from 2 Seas Motorsport, the Bahraini squad running a pair of 720Ss. The first car has Angus Fender, our guest on the first GT REPORT podcast, partnering with Dean Macdonald in one entry as they both make their full-time step up to GT3. The second car, confirmed Thursday morning is another Silver Cup entry as Jordan Witt joins with 2018 British GT4 winner Jack Mitchell – the first time either have raced a McLaren.

Elsewhere, Ollie Wilkinson is aiming to defend his Silver Cup title in an Optimum Motorsport-entered car alongside Lewis Proctor. However, the most notable McLaren entry comes from another Silver entry as Jenson Team Rocket RJN has pulled the plug on its GTWCE entry and instead moved across to British GT with McLaren factory star Michael O’Brien racing alongside winner of the World’s Faster Gamer competition James Baldwin.

There’s also a trio of Mercedes-AMG GT3s. Two are in ‘Evo’ spec and are both entered by Ram Racing as Yelmer Buurman takes up Pro duties alongside Ian Loggie in the #6 while Sam De Haan – upgraded to Silver over the off-season – partners with Patrick Kujala in the #69. 

The final AMG is currently in the older-spec and is entered by Team ABBA Racing in a very family-focused entry as Richard Neary is joined by son Sam – the latter having won in the car last year in a number of one-off Britcar appearances.

Rounding out GT3 is the sole Bentley Continental GT3 for Scott Malvern and Nick Jones after Kelvin Fletcher and Martin Plowman elected to skip 2020 in their JRM Group-entered Bentley for budgetary reasons.

GT4

For the first time in years, GT4 is the smaller of the two classes in British GT with nine entries slated to take to the Cheshire asphalt at the weekend.

Unlike in the top class, TF Sport are present in GT4 to keep up some Aston Martin presence as it runs two Vantages for Connor O’Brien & Patrick Kibble, and Jamie Caroline & Daniel Vaughan. 

The most interesting addition to the class comes from long-time BTCC team and occasional sportscar outfit Speedworks Motorsport. The squad is expanding its existing touring car relationship with Toyota to GTs as it becomes one of the first teams to run a Toyota GR Supra GT4 for Sam Smelt and James Kell, it’ll be fascinating to see how the Japanese marque gets on this year.

McLaren is well represented in GT4 with Balfe Motorsport running a 570S GT4 for Mia Flewitt – a Pure McLaren Series champion – and factory ace Euan Hankey in the only Pro/Am entry due to be racing at Oulton Park. 

There’s also a pair of the smaller McLarens for HHC Motorsport with Jordan Collard joining Patrik Matthiesen in one and Chris Wesemael and Ginetta GT5 racer Gus Bowers in another.

Century Motorsport has returned with a pair of BMW M4 GT4s with just one returning driver from last year in the form of Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke who is partnering Canadian Ben Hurst who has moved over from Academy Motorsport. The second car is run under the Team Tegiwa banner for 750 Motor Club Club Enduro racers Luke Sedzikowski and David Whitmore who are making part-season appearances in the Am-class.

Rounding out the entry is the above mentioned Academy Motorsport, which has scaled down its initial plans to just a single Ford Mustang for GT4 regular Jordan Albert and general single-seater ace Matt Cowley who raced for the team in GT4 European Series last year.

Listen to the GT REPORT podcast to hear from Ram Racing’s Yelmer Buurman and Academy Motorsport’s Matt Cowley as we preview the season.

 

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