After the drama of Spa-Francorchamps, the 2021 Intelligent Money British GT Championship returns to home soil at Snetterton on August 7 – 8 for Rounds Five and Six of the nine-round championship.
In the GT3 class, 11 cars will be on the grid, one more than contested the last UK round at Donington.
Returning to the championship is the #33 G-Cat Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R driven by Shamus Jennings and Greg Caton. After a 9th-place finish overall on the opening weekend at Brands Hatch and a 13th-place finish at Silverstone, Jennings and Caton sat out the rounds at Donington and Silverstone.
Also joining the championship at Snetterton will be the #97 Oman Racing with TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 driven by Ahmad Al Harthy and Charlie Eastwood. After winning the 2019 drivers championship with Graham Davidson and Jonny Adam, the global pandemic forced the Redhill-based squad to withdraw from the senior class of the 2020 season, with the exception of a Pro-Am entry at Silverstone for Giacomo Petrobelli and Tom Canning.
Snetterton will see the team’s second GT3 of the season after Petrobelli and Canning returned for Silverstone with the #38 Aston Martin, finishing fourth overall.
Ahmad Al Harthy is very much looking forward to racing in the UK again.
“I’m delighted to be back racing in the UK, back in British GT, with Oman Racing and looking forward to racing at Snetterton again. It is a very challenging year still with COVID-19 continuing to cause so many difficulties globally but I’m very proud to be able to represent Oman in British GT once more and we would love to get some good results at Snetterton.”
Missing from the GT3 grid in Norfolk will be the #8 Team ABBA Racing Mercedes-AM GT3 of father-and-son duo Richard and Sam Neary. The team endured a torrid weekend at Spa-Francorchamps in Round Four, culminating in a major start-line incident which caused considerable damage to the car. The team admitted at the time that it may struggle to make Snetterton and indeed the challenge was too great.
With just seven and a half points separating the top five drivers in the GT3 standings and five races to go, results at Snetterton will be crucial for teams to keep in the title hunt. Leading the standings on 87 points, the #63 Barwell Motorsport pairing of Leo Machitski and Dennis Lind will be full of confidence after a lights-to-flag victory in the Ardennes.
Andrew Howard is the sole driver in second place in the standings, 2.5 points behind the Barwell duo, due to the incapacity of Jonny Adam for the previous round. The double Le Mans winner returns for Snetterton and the frustration of not being able to compete for the last two weekends will mean the Scot will do everything he can to put the #7 Beechdean AMR entry into the winner’s circle on Sunday.
Ian Loggie and Yelmer Buurman, drivers of the #6 RAM Racing Mercedes, were caught up in the start line chaos at Spa and could only manage a 13th place overall finish. 7.5 points behind the Barwell duo, Loggie and Lind will be wanting to make up that deficit over the course of the two-race weekend.
After two wins so far this season and a third overall in class at Spa, the #57 Century Motorsport BMW M4 GT4 pairing of Will Burns and Gus Burton enjoy a 34.5-point lead in the GT4 class drivers standings over teammates Chris Salkeld and Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke.
The Century BMWs look hard to beat currently and it will be interesting to see if the #90 Balfe Motorsport duo of Jack Brown and Ashley Marshall can repeat the success they enjoyed in Spa.
After a challenging weekend in Belgium but with signs of pace, the Team Rocket RJN trio of McLaren 570S GT4s will have set their sights on success as the series moves to Snetterton. A puncture denied the #4 entry piloted by Harry Hayek and Katie Milner possible silverware and with the season almost half over, the McLaren Driver Development Programme drivers will be looking to make waves in preparation for 2022.
Action for the two one-hour race double-header gets underway at Snetterton with practice at 09:30 on Saturday August 7. Qualifying starts at 15:55 and the lights go out for Race One at 10:10 on Sunday August 8.