With the final round of the 2016 British GT season now over two months ago, teams are working fast to get plans into place for next year. Contrary to whispers at the end of the season of the demise of GT3 in the national championship, three teams have already announced plans for the premier class in 2017.
AmDTuning.com has announced that it will run dual campaigns in both the British GT Championship and the Michelin Le Mans Cup, which sits alongside the European Le Mans Series. The West Thurrock-based team will campaign a 2017-spec Mercedes-AMG GT3 with drivers for the Michelin Le Mans Cup already confirmed as Lee Mowle and Phil Keen.
“Having enjoyed our first season of GT3 competition this year, it was always our intention to secure a ‘latest generation’ car for 2017 and we are delighted to confirm we will be running the Mercedes-AMG GT3 next season, “ said Team Principal Shaun Hollamby. “The car is a proven winner on track having taken the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup title and victory in the Nurburgring 24 Hours and we’re confident that it is the right car to carry us to success.”
Also campaigning a Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the British GT Championship in 2017 will be Team ABBA with Rollcentre Racing. Martin Short and Richard Neary drove the team’s BMW Z4 GT3 in 2016 and have reconfirmed their commitment to the championship by buying a brand new car.
“It’s one of the latest cars and proved its credentials in Europe last season,” said Martin Short. “We were able to have a good look at it when Black Falcon joined British GT at Spa. It was immediately clear how good the build quality and AMG customer service was, and then following it on track gave us an idea of how it handles. That was very apparent when Richard and I tested one at Hockenheim. It’s the best GT car I’ve ever driven and should be well suited to British circuits.”
Stepping up to GT3 in 2017 will be Macmillan Racing who will be adding an Aston Martin GT3 to its existing GT4 entry. Jack Mitchell has been confirmed to drive the Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3, which will be receiving assistance from Prodrive.
“It’s been a big surprise and also a big jump!” said Mitchell. “Myself and the team spent last year learning the ropes so it was good to get a few podiums. It could be more of the same in 2017 but I’m really excited about the challenge.”
“This is such an exciting announcement”, said Team Principal David Macmillan. “Racing at the very highest level in the UK, with just one season of racing behind us, may seem like a big step but we are ready for the challenge.”
After enjoying its debut season with the Maserati GT MC GT4, which included celebrating a second place in class at Oulton Park, York-based Ebor GT has announced its intention to campaign two examples of the iconic Italian marque in the 2017 British GT Championship.
Ebor GT drivers Abbie Eaton and Marcus Hoggarth finished joint second in the GT4 Pro-Am Drivers standings in 2016 and the team is focused on building on that success next season.
The first round of the 2017 British GT Championship takes place at Oulton Park on April 15 – 17.