TF Sport Win Interrupted British GT Opener

Reigning British GT Drivers Champion Jonny Adam brought home the #17 TF Sport Aston Martin V12 Vantage to win an incident-packed opening round of the 2016 British GT season at Brands Hatch.

Ginetta-stalwarts PMW Expo/Optimum took the GT4 class win with the #50 G55 GT4 driven by Mike Robinson, who brought the car home, and Graham Johnson.

On a day that enjoyed warmer and drier weather than that experienced for qualifying, Rick Parfitt Jnr. led the field from pole position in the #31 Team Parker Racing Bentley Continental GT3. Parfitt drove a controlled first stint which saw him come under pressure from the #33 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan driven by Jon Minshaw. Minshaw’s challenge faded 14 minutes into the race, however, when the car was retired due to suspension failure due to an earlier contact, much to the driver’s disgust.

Parfitt then appeared to have the race under control with his closest challenger, the remaining #6 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan GT3 driven by Liam Griffin, 13 seconds behind.

However a Full Course Yellow with one hour 26 minutes remaining in the race changed everything. The caution was brought out because of an incident which caused considerable damage to safety barriers in Sector 2 involving the #66 Simpson Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4 driven by Nick Jones, the #42 Generation AMR MacMillan Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT4 driven by Matthew Graham and the #8 Motorbase Performance Aston Martin Vantage GT3 driven by Phil Dryburgh.

Thankfully no drivers were injured but damage to circuit furniture meant that the race remained under caution for over 40 minutes. This took the race through the pit stop window where the issues occurred.

By the time Parfitt brought the #31 Bentley Continental GT3 in for the obligatory driver change, his lead had reduced to just over one second. Further delay in the pit lane meant that Seb Morris rejoined the race in fourth position. Parfitt let his feelings be known in his post-race interviews.

After the driver changes had cycled through, the #33 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage GT3 driven by Jonny Adam had the lead, a position he was not to relinquish when then race was finally halted due to a red flag with 20 minutes to go.

“Yes, I feel robbed, to be fair,” said Rick Parfitt Jnr in the post-race press conference. “The stint went well. The start went exactly as we wanted it to and I got my head down and kept the laps nice and tidy and I was able to build up a gap. Then it was all about maintaining it. I had target lap times. Then, of course, the Code 80 came into effect.”

“When the Code 80 started I had an over 10 second lead but by the time I pitted I had a one second sec lead. I think that needs to be looked into because it doesn’t work as far as I’m concerned because blatantly people were going faster. We absolutely weren’t. We have data to prove it so I think our lead was robbed and to add insult to injury the Maserati was parked at 45 degrees which didn’t enable us to get on to our fuel rig and they sat there with their door open.”

“So it was a catalogue of disasters,” continued Parfitt. “None of which were our fault. But I’ve got to draw positives. We came here looking for a top six so the fact that we got on the podium was absolutely amazing and the fact we brought a British marque back to a British championship and got pole position and dominated the first few minutes is a wonderful thing and it’s great to see Bentley back in British GT.”

Derek Johnston, who took them opening stint in the winning #17 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage, was clear where his team had found an advantage.

“We had a good start,” said Johnston. “The car was good. On the opening few laps it felt good on a heavy tank, the tyres were good (and) the brakes were good. We struggled with the brakes all weekend with the cold weather but I worked them hard on the out lap and they were really good and then half a dozen laps in I lost the rear end and it was really snatchy and on the ABS a lot. I thought I just need to hang on here.

“Five or six laps later the car came back to me and it felt really, really good,” continued Johnston. “By that time we were really pushing. I was the quickest on track at that time. The car was going great and then the accident happened and it’s all over, isn’t it. We were just chugging until the pit stops but we decided to stay out and run a bit longer and just see what happened. We just spun the dice and it worked in our favour.”

Jonny Adam was delighted with the win.

“When we came out of the pit lane it was a surprise because we decided to wait a little bit, make sure the pit lane was clear before we decided to pit and I think that worked really well, “ said Adam. “We got a nice clean pit stop. It’s nice to start the season with a good result for TF. We’ll just see how the season pans out.”

In GT4 the #73 Century Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4 driven by Anna Walewska was quickly overhauled at the start. Graham Johnson then established a lead in the #50 PMW Expo / Optimum Motorsport Ginetta which the maintained through to the end of the race.

Final Podium Positions:

GT3

1) #17 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage GT3 driven by Jonny Adam and Derek Johnston.
2) #7 AmDTuning.com BMW Z4 GT3 driven by Joe Osbourne and Lee Mowle.
3) #31 Team Parker Racing Bentley Continental by Rick Parfitt Jnr. and Seb Morris.

GT4:

1) #50 PMW Expo / Optimum Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4 driven by Graham Johnson and Nick Robinson.
2) #73 Century Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4 driven by Nathan Freke and Anna Walewska
3) #45 RCIB INSURANCE RACING Ginetta G55 GT4 driven by Jordan Stilp and William Phillips.

G-Drive Racing Wins First Round After Silverstone ELMS Thriller

G-Drive Racing emerged as the overall winner after an exciting opening round to the 2016 European Le Mans Series at Silverstone.

The #38 Gibson 015S, driven by Harry Tincknell, Simon Dolan and ex-Caterham F1 driver Giedo van der Garde, led almost from the start and controlled the race from the front throughout much of the four hours.

In second place was SMP Racing’s #32 BR 01 Nissan driven by Stefan Colleti, Julian Leal Covelli and Andreas Wirth. Taking the last podium position in LMP2 was So24! By Lombard Racing’s #22 Judd-engined Ligier JS P2 driven by Vincent Capillaire, Olivier Lombard and Jonathan Coleman.

The LMP3 category saw a huge entry of 20 cars, the majority of which were Nissan-engined Ligier JS P3s.
U.S.-entered but Leeds-based United Autosports took a 1-2 in the class, the #2 car driven by Alex Brundle, Mike Guasch and Christian England beating the the sister #3 car driven by Mark Patterson, Matthew Bell and Wayne Boyd.
The Graff #9 Ligier JS P3 driven by Enzo Guibbert, Paul Petit and Eric Trouillet rounded out the top three places in the class.

GTE saw exceptionally close racing with the final podium slot being decided in the lasts second of the race. The #66 JMW Motorsport Ferrari F458 Italia of Robert Smith, Rory Butcher and Andrea Bertolini beat strong competition from the #99 Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage of Andrew Howard, Darren Turner and Alex MacDowall. The #96 Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage of Roald Goethe, Stuart Hall and Richie Stanaway took the final podium position.

Although the race had been declared wet immediately prior to the start, giving teams the opportunity to choose wet or intermediate tyres, the track was drying as the lights went out. Chaos ensued at the start as the #19 Duqueine Engineering Ligier JS P3 spun and the #29 Pegasus Racing Morgan-Nissan collided with the pit wall.

The #32 SMP Racing BR 01, driven by Andreas Wirth, briefly took the lead but was shortly overtaken by the #38 G-Drive Racing Gibson 015S driven by Harry Tincknell after which he stretched out his advantage. Tincknell was pushed hard by Paul-Loup Chatin in the #23 Panis Barthez Competition Ligier JS P2 but maintained his lead. The positions were reversed after driver changes but Simon Dolan in the #38 car put in a magnificent stint to retake the lead after which it was never lost.

After concern as rain threatened in the final hour, Giedo Van Der Garde took over the #38 car for the final stint and continued to push hard, putting in his best time in his final lap of the race.

Sir Chris Hoy’s debut in LMP2 was not all plain sailing when his #25 Algarve Pro Racing Ligier JS P2 ended up in the gravel at the beginning of the Hanger Straight. The car was snatched back on track during a Full Course Yellow and Hoy eventually finished tenth overall.

Alex Brundle, in the #2 United Autosports Ligier JS P3, took the lead in the LMP3 class before handing over the car to ‘Molecule Mike’ Guasch. Guasch pushed hard and handed the car over to Christian England who brought it home for the win. The #3 United Autosports car was running second but a malfunctioning door meant that Matthew Bell had to pit for repairs. Mark Patterson and Wayne Boyd worked hard to bring the car back into contention with Boyd overtaking the #9 Graff Racing Ligier of Enzo Guiberrt for second place with 30 minutes left to race.

In GTE, Stuart Hall drove the #96 Aston Martin V8 Vantage into the class lead and battled with the #99 sister car of Alex MacDowall. At the halfway point MacDowall had the advantage. As the four hour mark approached the #66 JMW Motorsport Ferrari F458 Italia driven by Rory Butcher led the #99 Aston Martin driven by Andrew Howard.

The battle for the final podium spot was fierce and ended with contact between the #56 AT Racing Aston Martin V8 Vantage driven by Pier Guidi and the #96 Aston Martin driven by Ritchie Stanaway with the outcome that Stanaway took the position.

There was clearly some very enthusiastic driving amongst the large LMP3 field which may raise some questions before the next round of the European Le Mans Series which will be held at Imola on May 15.

Beche Takes Pole In Weather-Affected ELMS Qualifying

Qualifying took place on schedule for the opening round of the European Le Mans Series after heavy snow showers and cold conditions at the start of the day threatened delays.

The session, however, got underway on time and it was the LMGTE cars who rolled out for the first on-track action of the 2016 Europeans Le Mans Series. Richie Stanaway was immediately on the pace in the #96 Rofgo-entered Aston Martin 8 Vantage, putting in a 2:19.348 early in his 5 lap qualifying run. The battle for second place went to Ricard Lietz in the Proton Competition #88 Porsche 911 RSR 991 with a 2:20.286, closely followed by Andrea Bertolini in the #66 JMW Motorsport Ferrari F458 Italia with a 2:20.378.

The top six were rounded out two Ferrari F458 Italias, the #66 AF Corse car driven by Matt Griffin with a 2:21.309 and the #56 AT Racing entry driven by Pier Guidi Alessandro with a 2:21.360, followed by Wolf Henzler with a 2:21.419 in the #77 Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSR 991.

The LMP3 class was next on track in conditions that were still being described as wet but with a drying line appearing. With cold tyres and unable to reach speeds which made them aerodynamically effective, the LMP3 cars were initially struggling to beat the LMGTE times. Dino Lunardi in the Duqueine Engineering #19 Ligier JS P3 made the early running and looked set to take class pole. However, with the track continuing to improve it was Ross Kaiser in the 360 Racing #6 Ligier JS P3 who set the fastest time with a 2:13.264 on his fifth lap.

Lunardi finished the session second in class with a 2:13.315 while Enzo Guibbert in the #9 Graff-entered Ligier put in a flying final lap to qualify in third place with a 2:13.394.

“I’m a little disappointed’” said Lunardi after the session. “We have good pace and the race is most important. It is difficult to say where I lost time but the rain had stopped and lap after lap the track got better.”

The LMP2 cars were last on the circuit in the fast-and-furious qualifying format. Only Mathias Beche in the #46 Thiriet By TDS OREC 05-Nissan had set a time before the session was red-flagged after a spin by Damien Faulkner in the Murphy Protoypes #48 ORECA 03R-Nissan. After a delay of some eight minutes the car was recovered and the rest of the field returned to the track for a final shoot-out.

Mathias Beche finished the session taking pole position with a 2:06.471 set on his fourth lap. Four manufacturers filled the top four places. SMP Racing’s Stefano Coletti set a 2:07.0576 in the #32 BR 01, Léo Roussel finished third in the Pegasus Racing #29 Morgan-Nissan with a 2:07.624 and Harry Tinknell in the G-Drive Racing #38 Gibson 015S Nissan finished fourth with a 2:07.855.

With close performances across all three classes the race promises to be an exciting and closely-fought affair.

The lights go out for the start of the 4 Hours of Silverstone this afternoon at 14:30.

2016 ELMS Kicks Off At Silverstone

The 2016 European Le Mans Series begins on April 16 with the 4 Hours of Silverstone. This season promises to be one to savour with a packed grid and the promise of close racing across all three classes.

2016 will be a transition year for LMP2 prior to new technical regulations coming into force for next season. As a result, we will see fascinating battles with well-proven machinery facing the latest in prototype development. 14 teams, representing nine nationalities will be campaigning 6 different chassis types.

The most popular chassis this year is the Ligier JS P2 of which we will see six examples of the grid. 2015 champions Greaves Motorsport will be bringing the #41 car with a driver line-up of multiple Rolex Daytona 24 and 12 Hours of Sebring-winner Memo Rojas, Julien Canal and Jakub Giermaziak. So24! By Lombard Racing are entering the #22 car with Vincent Capillaire, Olivier Lombard and Jonathan Coleman sharing the driving duties.

New-for-2016 Panis-Barthez Competition will be campaigning the #23 car, to be driven by Fabien Barthez, making his debut in debut at Silverstone, Timothé Buret and Paul-Loup Chatin. The #25 car is entered by Algarve Pro Racing, who recently gained a Le Mans entry, with Michael Munemann, British Olympian Sir Chris Hoy and Parth Ghorpade driving. Hoy moves up to the LM P2 class for 2016, having won the inaugural ELMS LMP3 title in 2015. Krohn Racing, from Houston, Texas, enter its second year of ELMS competition with the #40 car, to be driven by its established pairing of Tracy Krohn and Niclas Jonsson who are joined by Bjorn Wirdheim following his successful season last year with Greaves Motorsport. IDEC Sport racing complete the Ligier entries with its Judd-engined #28 car to be driven by Patrice and Paul Lafargue and Dimitir Enjalbert.

Three Nissan-engined ORECA 05s have been entered this season. DragonSpeed, new to the ELMS in 2016, bring their #21 car with a driver line-up of Henrik Hedman, Nicola Lapierre and Ben Hanley. Eurasia Motorsport, fresh from its Asian Le Mans Series campaign, enter the #33 car, with Pu Junjin, Nick De Bruijn and Tristan Gommandy sharing the driving duties. The #46 car, entered by 2015 Vice Champions Thiriet by TDS Racing completes the ORECA 05 entries and will be driven by Pierre Thiriet, Mathias Beche and Ryo Hirakama.

SMP Racing are entering a pair of Nissan-engined BR 01s. The #32 car will be driven by Stefano Coletti, Julian Leal Covelli and Andreas Wirth. Sean Gelael, Mitch Evans, who made his Le Mans debut with JOTA Sport in 2015, and Antonio Giovinazzi complete the driver line-up in the #44.

Four open-top LMP2s will be on the grid this season. Race Performance has entered the #34 ORECA 03R with a Judd engine for Nicolas Leutwiler, James Winslow and Franck Mailleux. Murphy Prototypes has entered a Nissan-engined example with Michael Lyons and Marc Goosens driving. Pegasus Racing has entered the #29 Morgan, driven by Inès Tattinger, Rémy Striebig and Léo Roussel.

Finally, G-Drive racing / JOTA Sport will be hoping for better luck this season for its venerable Gibson 015S, driven by the experienced pairing of Simon Dolan and Harry Tincknell, joined this year by ex-Caterham F1 driver, Giedo Van Der Garde. The team will have its sights on the 2016 title, having been narrowly beaten over the previous two seasons.

After its inaugural season in 2015, LMP3 comes of age in 2016 with a huge grid of 20 cars entered for the 4 Hours of Silverstone. Despite the ACO inviting five manufacturers, with a sixth recently added, to supply chassis for the new class, all but one of the entries for the first round are Michelin-shod and Nissan-powered Ligier JS P2s.

Six teams from France are entering a total of nine cars. OAK Racing has entered the #4 car to be driven by Jean-Marc Merlin and Eric Maris while the sister # 24 car shares a driver line-up of team owner Jacques Nicolet and his son, Pierre. The Graff Racing #9 car is driven by Eric Trouillet, Paul Petit and Enzo Guibbert while John Falb and Sean Rayhall from the US and Vicente Potolicchio from Venezuela will drive the #10 entry.

Alongside its LMP2 entry, Panis-Barthez Competition will also campaign a Ligier JS P3, the #16 car being driven by the all-French line-up of Eric Debard, Valentin Moineault and Simon Gachet. Ultimate has a further all-French driving roster of Jean-Baptiste Lahaye, his brother Mathieu and Francois Heriau. Thomas Laurent, Yann Ehlacher and Alexandre Cougnard will drive the #18 M.Racing-YMR entry while Duqueine Racing enter two cars. The #19 will be driven David Hallyday, David Droux and Dino Lunardi while Roman Iannetta, Maxime Pialat and Eric Clement will share the #20.

US-entered and Leeds-based United Autosports are new to the championship and has entered two cars. The #2 will be driven by British drivers Alex Brundle and Christian England who are joined by Mike Guasch from the US. The #3 sister car will be driven will also two British drivers; Matthew Bell and Wayne Boyd who are joined by Mark Patterson from the US. United Autosports topped the time sheets in its class at the ELMS test in Le Castellet so will be confident going into the first round of the championship. Another new two-car team from the US is Eurointernational. The all-Italian driver line-up of Giorgio Mondini, Andrea Roda and Marco Jacobini share the #11 entry. Andrea Dromedari is currently the sole declared driver for the #12 car.

Spanish-based By Speed Factory has entered the #5 car. Two Spanish drivers; Alvaro Fontes and Jesus Fuster are joined by Briton Tom Jackson.

Two British-based teams are entered for Silverstone. 360 Racing has entered the #6 car with driving duties shared by Terrence Woodward, Ross Kaiser and James Swift. The #15 car is entered by RLR Motorsport with Morten Dons, Ossy Yusuf and Ross Warburtion driving.

Completing the Ligier JS P3 entrants are Villorba Corse, Race Performance and Inter Europol Competition. Villorba Corse has entered the #7 car to be driven by an Italian driver line-up of Roberto Lacorte, Giorgio Sernagiotto and Nicollo Schiro. From Poland Inter Europol Competition has entered the #13 car, driven by Jakub Smiechowski and Thomas Dagoneau while Swiss-based Race Performance will campaign the #8 car with a driver line-up of Marcello Marateotto, Giorgio Maggi and Bert Longin.

The sole non-Ligier entry wll be the Nissan-engined ex-University of Bolton Ginetta entered by MurphyP3 3Dimensional.com whose Ave-Riley will not be ready for the first round. Tony Ave from the US and Venezuela’s Doug Peterson will drive.

Nine cars are entered in GTE, the Ferrari F458 Italia being the most popular with five examples on the grid at Silverstone. AF Corse return with largely unchanged driver line-ups from last year. Piergiuseppe Parazzini, Marco Cioci and Rui Aguas share the #51 car while Duncan Camaron and Aaron Scott from Britain and Matt Griffin from Ireland complete the driver line-up in the #55. AT Racing from Austria has entered the #56 car to be driven by father-and–son duo of Alexander Talkanitsa Senior and Junior alongside Alessandro Pier Guidi. Denmark’s reigning ELMS LMGTE champions Formula Racing have an all-Danish driver line-up of Johnny Laursen, Mikkel Mac and Christina Nielsen. Nielsen has made previous appearances in the ELMS and had a class win at the 12 Hours of Sebring earlier this year.

Completing the Ferrari F458 Italia entrants is JMW Motorsport with Britain’s Rory Butcher and Rob Smith sharing the driving duties with former FIA GT1 World Champion Andrea Bertolini.

Proton Competition has entered a pair of Porsche 911 RSR 991s. Reigning LMGTE Champion Richard Lietz will be joining team principal Christian Ried and Gianluca Roda in the #88 car while Michael Hedlund, Wolf Henzler and Marco Seefried share the #77 entry.

2015 British GT Champion Andrew Howard will be joined in the #99 Aston Martin V8 Vantage by Alex MacDowell and, for Silverstone only, Darren Turner. Jonny Adam is unable to join the team for this round of the ELMS due to a scheduling conflict with the British GT Championship. The #96 Aston Martin Racing entry will be driven by Roald Goethe, Stuart Hall and New Zealander Richie Stanaway.

Qualifying for the 4 Hours of Silverstone takes place between 10:50 and 11:40 on April 16 with the race starting at 14:30 in the afternoon.

British GT – Season Opener At Brands Hatch Preview

The 2016 Avon Tyres British GT Championship opens on April 17 with a two hour race to be held on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit.

For the 2016 11 teams have entered 15 cars in GT3 with seven manufacturers represented.

Aston Martin V12 Vantages are represented by two examples from TF Sport and one each from Beechdean AMR, Motorbase Performance and PFL Motorsport.

Reigning GT3 Drivers Champions Beechdean AMR return to the championship with a new driver pairing of Andrew Howard and Ross Gunn, Gunn moving up the premier class for 2016. Motorbase Performance have reduced one entry in 2016, the #8 car, driven by Phil Dryburgh and Ross Wylie. PFL Motorsport, who are new to the championship, have entered the #5 car, with a driver pairing of team owner Peter Littler and recent signing Jody Fannin. The #11 TF Sport entry will be driven by Jon Barnes alongside his driving partner from last year, Mark Farmer. The #17 TF Sport car will be driven by 2015 GT3 Drivers Champion, Jonny Adam, along with experienced GT3 amateur driver, Derek Johnston.

Lamborghini are new to the championship and two Huracan GT3s are entered by Barwell Motorsport, GT3 Team Champions in 2015. Drivers for the #6 car will be Liam Griffin, Fabio Babini and Alexander Sims. The #33 car will be driven by Phil Keen and Jon Minshaw.

Team Parker Racing move up to the GT3 category on 2016 with the #31 Bentley Continental GT3. Rick Parfitt Jr, who drove for Team LNT Ginetta last year, and Seb Morris, fresh from the GP3 series with Status Grand Prix, will drive.

Essex-based AmDtuning.com move up from GT4 in 2015 to enter two BMW Z4 GT3s. Currently confirmed is the #7 car to be driven by the established partnership of Lee Mowle and driver Joe Osborne. Drivers for the #4 car are yet to be announced. Team ABBA with Rollcentre Racing, fresh from its recent victory at the Silverstone 24 Hours, has also entered a BMW Z4 GT3, the #88 car being driven by Martin Short and Richard Neary.

McLaren is represented in GT3 by Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse with its factory-backed #79 McLaren 650S GT3, to be driven by Alasdair McCaig and Rob Bell.

Tolman Motorsport is stepping up to the GT3 category this season, campaigning two Ginetta G55 GT3s. The #32 is piloted by Ian Stinton and Mike Simpson while the #56 is driven by David Pattison and Luke Davenport.

A single Audi R8 LMS Ultra is entered by Wakefield-based Optimum Motorsport. The professional pairing of Will Moore, who moves up to GT3 for 2016 and Ryan Ratcliffe will pilot the #14 car.

GT4 has enjoyed significant growth for 2016 and for the first time in the championship GT4 entries outnumber GT3s. 13 teams have entered 18 cars, not all for a full season however, and seven different manufacturers are represented.

Six examples of the Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT4 are on the 2016 entry list. Beechdean AMR is entering two, the #407 car being driven by Jordan Albert and Jack Batholomew while the #408 is piloted by Jamie Chadwick and Paul Hollywood, the latter being entered for the final rounds of the championship.

Generation AMR Macmillan Racing has entered the #42 car to be driven by Jack Mitchell and Matthew Graham. Jamie Chadwick and Matthew George will partner in the #44 Generation AMR SuperRacing entry for the opening round, James Holder having business commitments elsewhere. The #47 JW Bird Motorsport AM V8 Vantage GT4 is driven by Jake Giddings and Kieran Griffin while Stratton Motorsport’s #71 car is piloted by David Tinn and Robin Marriott.

The popular Ginetta G55 GT4 has attracted five entries. Century Motorsport will campaign two G55 GT4s with Sean Byrne and Aleksander Schjerpen sharing the driving duties in the #40 while Nathan Freke and Anna Walewska pilot the #73. Optimum Motorsport with PMW Expo racing, Ginetta GT4 stalwarts, return with Graham Johnson and Mike Robinson sharing the #50 car. RCIB Insurance Racing, managed by Team HARD, will campaign two Ginetta G55 GT4s. Jordan Stilp and William Phillips share the #45 while Robert Barrable and Wilson Thompson drive the #75.

Bringing some further Italian glamour to the British GT paddock is Ebor GT who is campaigning a recently acquired Maserati Gran Turismo MC GT4. Presented in a striking white and fluorescent yellow livery, the #60 car will be driven by Abbie Eaton and Marcus Hoggarth.

Strengthening the GT4 field will be the McLaren 570S GT4. The #59 car will be campaigned by a factory-backed Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse and driven by Ciaran Haggerty and Sandy Mitchell. Two teams were intending to present Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsports at the first round of the championship but challenges with delivery by the manufacture have meant that Lanan Racing and Simpson Motorsport must look elsewhere for machinery for Brands Hatch.

Rounding out the GT4 entries are the #68 and #86 Toyota GT86 GT4s entered by GPRM. Only Stefan Hodgetts has been confirmed for the #68 car so far. Stratton Motorsport will also be campaigning a Lotus Evora GT4, the #70 car to be driven by Robin Shute and Willl Hunholz.

Qualifying sessions begin on Saturday April 16 at 17:05 and the lights go out for the start of the two hour race at 13:30 on Sunday April 17.

Turner Replaces Adam For First Round Of ELMS

Due to the first round of the European Le Mans Series coinciding with qualifying for the season opener of the British GT Championship at Brands Hatch, Beechdean Motorsport has substituted Jonny Adam with Darren Turner for the first round of the ELMS.

The race takes place on April 16 between 2.30pm and 6.30pm with qualifying for the British GT Championship taking place between 5.05pm and 5.56pm on the same afternoon. Adam will be driving the #17 Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 alongside Derek Johnston in the British GT Championship.

“I am going to miss my fellow divorcee (in reference to Adam) but it is great to be racing back with Darren,” said team owner and driver Andrew Howard. “I raced with him in 2010 and look forward to learning from his vast experience in the GTE car.”

Darren Turner is also excited by the opportunity. “I am really looking forward to joining the Beechdean AMR team and driving with Andrew and Alex in the first round of the ELMS,” said Turner. “It is great to be back driving with Andrew after many years. The championship looks strong and it will be a hard fought race at Silverstone.

Adam has not commented on Beechdean’s decision. The team stated that Adam “will return to Beechdean AMR and ELMS later in the season”. The weekend of April 16 and 17 presents further interesting decisions as Adam is also entered in the #95 Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage with Nicki Thim and Marco Sorenson in the first round of the FIA World Endurance Championship, also at Silverstone. The scheduled race times of the opening rounds of the British GT Championship and the World Endurance Championship on April 17 overlap and would not allow him to drive in both.