The Intelligent Money British GT Championship has hit the third weekend of the season and is heading in the direction of the East Midlands as Donington Park hosts what is inexplicably only the first two-hour race of 2023 this weekend (27 & 28 May).
36 cars make up what will be the fourth race of the year – if you count the two at Oulton Park and the three-hour Silverstone showdown – with a few notable changes that we’ll take you through below.
Entry List changes
Before we get in to who is now here, we need to start with who’s not. After his massive crash last time out at the 500 – after he was blind-sided by a rejoining GT4 – Simon Orange won’t be present with his Orange Racing Powered By JMH McLaren 720S GT3. Whilst he’s fine, and the car is well on the way to being fighting fit – he has other engagements on Sunday which has pulled him away from Donington.
That’s because Simon is the co-owner of the Sale Sharks Rugby Union team, which are playing in the Premiership Grand Final at Twickenham at the weekend, so he’ll be cheering on the Sharks – best of luck to them.
One team that was slated to join the fun but has had to sadly withdraw at the last minute, was a second Century Motorsport BMW M4 GT3. Simon Watts and BTCC racer Jake Hill were on the cards to drive that entry but the team has announced the car won’t take to the track at Donington, but we’ll hopefully see them later in the year.
Who is joining though is quite exciting. Fans of GT Cup, and our coverage of the championship, will be delighted to hear that Hugo Cook – the teenage racer taking the GT3 Group by storm – will be bringing his Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo2 to British GT alongside regular co-driver Sacha Kakad. The car will be familiar to many British GT regulars as it still carries what is pretty much the same livery Balfe Motorsport painted the car when it ran the machine for Shaun Balfe and Adam Carroll last year.
The car is being run by last year’s Silver-Am champions Redline Racing, to provide Cook’s team with some added support as they step up to British GT.
Elsewhere, there’s confirmation that Drivetac will be seeing out the season in GT3 as James Wallis is once again joined by Chris Hart in the Mercedes-AMG GT3.
GT4 is pretty much as it was, bar the one-off entries from Silverstone, with Darren Burke continuing alongside Harry George in the Enduro Motorsport McLaren Artura, which had an overnight engine change ahead of the 180-minute race last time out.
Leaving GT4 is Team Brit. Involved in the nasty crash which ended Orange’s race, the team have elected to shift its McLaren 570S GT4 to the McLaren Trophy. Aaron Morgan and Bobby Trundley are aiming to return at selected rounds next year.
Not an official entry, but joining the fun for 15 minutes following Sunday’s Warm-Up, will be a Routemaster bus as SRO brings back the Circuit Safari for the first time since Silverstone 2017 as the bus is joined on-track by the 36-car field! You, dear reader, can be in with a chance of winning a seat on the bus by going to the link here.
After a storming run to victory last time out, Century’s Darren Leung and Dan Harper lead the GT3 Drivers Championship by 7.5 points from reigning champion Ian Loggie and his 2 Seas Motorsport co-driver Jules Gounon.
It’s tight at the top, though, as also on 46 points is Andrew Howard and Ross Gunn in the Beechdean AMR Aston Martin Vantage, with John Ferguson & Raffaele Marciello just three points further back in the RAM Racing AMG.
Things aren’t quite as tight in the GT4 standings. Thanks to their storming win last time, Optimum Motorsport’s Charles Clark & Jack Brown head the table with 61.5 points – 15 more than Matt Cowley & Erik Evans who ended up on the Silverstone podium after a strong run in their Academy Motorsport Ford Mustang.
Third is DTO Motorsport’s Aston Millar & Josh Rowledge, the pair putting in another marque into the lead mix as they sit on 35 points with their McLaren Artura.
The race gets underway at 1pm UK time (2pm CEST) on Sunday 28 May and keep an eye out on the GT REPORT social channels for the links to watch it live and free online.
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