Photo: BritishGT.com/Jakob Ebrey
The 2017 British GT Championship visits Brands Hatch in Kent on August 5 and 6 for Round Nine, the penultimate round, as the season draws to a conclusion next month at Donington.
31 cars will take to the grid for a two-hour race on the full GP circuit, 10 in the premier category and 21 in the GT4 class.
An addition to the GT3 grid is the #19 Century Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT3 which will be piloted by Tom Hibbert and Ben Tuck. Hibbert has considerable experience in Ginettas and currently sits in third place in the Ginetta GT4 Supercup. Tuck has less experience in the marque but has driven a Ginetta G55 GT4 in GT Cup this year.
A further addition to the GT3 grid is the #26 Mike Brown Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3 to be piloted by Mike Brown and Matt Manderson. Mike Brown knows the marque well, having contested rounds of the British GT Championship in 2014 and 2016 as well as having competed in the Aston Martin Le Mans Festival in 2012, The Aston Martin GT4 Challenge in 2014 and GT Cup UK in 2015. Matt Manderson’s British career GT stretches back over twenty years, having first raced a Darrian T90 in 1996.
In GT4 Will Goff and Daniel McKay replace Jacques Duyver and Charlie Hollings in the #14 In2Racing McLaren 570S GT4. Niall Murray steps in to the #43 Century Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4 alongside Jacob Mathiassen, in place of Steve Fresle who has reassessed his driving plans for 2017 after an accident at Spa.
Chris Milford replaces Jake Giddings in the #63 Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing Ginetta G55 GT4.
An addition to the GT4 grid will be the #89 Rob Boston Racing Ginetta G55 GT4 with the driver line-up of Jason Baker and Adam Gore.
The GPRM Toyota GT86 receives an invitation to join the GT4 class for Brands Hatch, the #86 car to be driven by Richard Williams and Stefan Hodgetts.
Missing from the GT4 grid will be the #60 Ebor GT Maserati GT MC GT4 which was driven to a double-win last time out at Spa by Matthew Graham and Charlie Fagg.
Current leaders in the GT3 Drivers Standings, Jon Minshaw and Phill Keen in the #33 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3, will be looking to consolidate their 12-point lead over the second-placed pairing of Rick Parfitt and Seb Morris, drivers of the #31 Team Parker Racing Bentley Continental GT3. Minshaw and Keen won in Race 1 at Spa but finished 10th in Race Two while Parfitt and Morris had a difficult weekend with a fifth and seventh place. The #31 Bentley Continental GT3 took pole at the Kent circuit in 2016 and finished second behind eventual 2016 champions Derek Johnston and Jonny Adam. Parfitt and Morris will be looking to repeat their 2016 success on Sunday.
In the GT3 Teams Standings, Barwell Motorsport leads Team Parker Racing by 47 points and surely must be favourites for the title.
The battle in GT4 is very close. Stuart Middleton and William Tregurtha, in the #55 HHC Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4, lead Alex Reed and David Pittard, drivers of the #51 Lanan Racing Ginetta by just 1.5 points. Both pairings must have come away from Spa-Francorchamps confident that a good result at Brands Hatch will set them up for the title. Sunday August 6’s two-hour race could establish who goes into the final round at Donington as clear favourites.
Track action at Brands Hatch starts at 09:30 on Saturday August 5 with FP1. The qualifying sessions begin at 16:25 on August 5 with the lights going out for the two-hour race on Sunday August 6 at 14:10. The chance to see the cream of Britain’s GT driving talent, including a 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans class-winner, stretch their legs on the GP circuit is one that should not be missed.