The 2019 British GT Championship has reached its final round as a 38-car grid heads for Donington Park and, with the top three duos at the head of the overall Drivers Standings within 11.5 points of each other, another ‘Donington Decider’ is on the cards for fans attending the event.
15 cars will contest the GT3 category with 23 cars entered for the GT4 class.
There are seven changes to the entry list that was on the grid for the previous round at Brands Hatch. Jordan Witt replaces Glynn Geddie in the #7 Team Parker Racing Bentley Continental GT3 while Adam Christodoulou returns to Team ABBA Racing to partner Richard Neary in the #8 Mercedes-AMG GT3. Tom Onslow-Cole replaced Christodoulou for the previous round while the Mercedes-AMG factory driver was on Nürburgring duties.
The #33 G-Cat Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R returns to the series, the driving duo to be Shamus Jennings and Greg Caton. Ross Gunn returns to the #99 Beechdean AMR Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3, Valentin Hasse-Clot having previously partnered team owner Andrew Howard at Brands Hatch.
In the GT4 category, the #19 Multimatic Motorsports Europe Ford Mustang GT4 will be driven by Marco Signoretti and Ashley Davis. Team owner Nathan Freke will partner Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke in the #43 Century Motorsport.
In the #44 Invictus Games racing Jaguar F-TYPE SVR GT4, Paul Vice and Steve McCulley join forces for an Am-Am pairing to conclude the season.
In the overall drivers standings, the #72 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3 pairing of Adam Balon and Phil Keen head the table with a six-point lead over the #47 TF Sport Aston Martin duo of Graham Davidson and Jonny Adam. Just 5.5. points behind Davidson and Adam is the sister #69 Barwell Motorsport pairing of Sam De Haan and Jonny Cocker.
Balon and Keen’s double victory at Snetterton in the second meeting of the season has been the high point of the year to date for the Barwell Motorsport teammates. Keen is a Lamborghini factory driver and De Haan is in his second year of top level GT competition. Consistency has meant that the pair, who finished eighth in the standings in 2018, have regularly finished in the points.
TF Sport’s Davidson and Adam endured a torrid start to the year with seventh and fifteenth place finishes on the opening weekend at Oulton Park. They recovered to take their first podium of the year at Snetterton and have gone on to record victories at Donington, in the championship’s first visit of the year, and Brands Hatch last time out. The pair has now got to grips with the new-for-2019 Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 and will be looking to maintain their momentum throughout the final round at the Leicestershire circuit.
“This is my favourite UK circuit and we just have to go for the win and hope that a couple of the fast cars that don’t have success penalties, have issues. ” said Graham Davidson. “The aim is to get on the front row from the start and then clear off and try to build a gap to the Lamborghinis. I’m confident I can do that as I’ve done it before. The poihnts are improtant, so to start, get ahead of the rivals and thens ee which cars are in between us – maybe Mark and Nicki can put themselves in that position.
“We have the speed, we know the track but we’ll need a bit of luck.”
Sitting in third place, Barwell Motorsports Sam De Haan and Jonny Cocker stood on the top step of the podium in only their second race of the season. They have finished on the podium twice more in 2019 but would have been disappointed with their results at Spa-Francorchamps and Brands Hatch. However, with 37.5 points up for grabs in the final round, De Haan and Cocker are still serious contenders in the overall drivers championship.
In the GT4 drivers standings, Ash Hand and Tom Canning, teammates in the #97 TF Sport Aston Martin, enjoy an 8.5 points advantage over the #57 HHC Motorsport McLaren 570S duo of Dean Macdonald and Callum Pointon. Just 3.5 points behind the #57 crew is the #15 Multimatic Motorsports Europe Ford Mustang duo of Seb Priaulx and Scott Maxwell.
Hand and Canning have taken three podium positions, including one win, in a season that has seen the TF Sport crew’s consistency take them to the top of the table. Macdonald and Pointon, in contrast, have finished on the podium four times, including a win in the opening round at Oulton Park, but did not finish at Spa, a result that cost them in their chase for the title.
Priaulx and Maxwell have won twice, at Oulton Park in Round Two and again at Donington. With just 12.5 points separating the top three, expect some fierce competition in the GT4 ranks over the course of the final round.
In GT4 Pro-Am drivers standings, Beechdean AMR’s #11 Aston Martin pairing of Kelvin Fletcher and Martin Plowman head the table, 29 points clear of Balfe Motorsport’s #20 McLaren 570S GT4 duo of Graham Johnson and Michael O’Brien. Barring a disaster, the GT4 Pro-Am title should go the way of Fletcher and Plowman. However, Johnson and O’Brien have youth, experience and McLaren’s back-up to support them so we could still see some surprises.
Alongside the on-track action at Donington this weekend, there will be a display of 13 significant ex-British GT Championship entries, including a Ginetta G50 GT4, the first chassis ever manufactured by LNT Automotive and Aston Martin’s first ever British GT-winning entry, the Aston martin DBS V8 Marsh Plant car. The display is to mark the 300th British GT race and many of the 13 cars on display will join a parade lap on the circuit.
Track action for the final round of the 2019 British GT Championship gets underway at 09:35 on Saturday September 14 with Free Practice while qualifying begins at 16:35 later in the day.
The lights go out for the two-hour race at 13:15 on Sunday September 15.