Category Archives: British GT Championship

Haigh / Keen Take Poles In British GT Championship GT3 Qualifying (31.03.18)

Photo: BritishGT.com

Flick Haigh drove the #75 Optimum Motorsport Aston Martin V12 Vantage to pole position for Race One of the Bank Holiday Monday double-header for the 2018 British GT Championship. After practice sessions which were frustrated by damp, cold conditions and stoppages, Haigh lapped the 4.307 km Oulton Park circuit in 1:34.769, .130 seconds quicker than defending GT3 drivers champion Rick Parfitt Jnr in the #1 Team Parker Racing Bentley Continental GT3.

Third quickest in the ten-minute session was the sister Team Parker Racing entry, the #7 Bentley driven by Ian Loggie, with a 1:35.096.

In the Pro qualifying session, which determined the GT3 grid for Race Two, it was defending Teams Champion Barwell Motorsport who took pole after Phil Keen lapped  in 1:32.869 in the #33 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 he shares with Jon Minshaw. Optimum Motorsport made it a 1 -2 after Jonny Adam finished second quickest in the session in the #75 Aston Martin with a 1:33.028.

Third quickest, and the second of the factory Aston Martin drivers in the top three, was Marco Sorensen in the #17 TF Sport Vantage after he lapped in 1:33.037.

Flick Haigh was delighted to be able start Monday’s first race from pole.

“All of our pre-season testing paid off and I’m really happy with the result,” said Flick Haigh. “With Jonny there was always going to be pressure but I’m glad that, so far, I’m living up to expectations.”

The lights go out for Race One of April 2’s two 60-minute races at 11:10.

Thiim Ready For Title Assault On 2018 British GT Championship (31.03.18)

Photo: Danskyjr.com

Aston Martin factory driver Nicki Thiim is having his first outing in the British GT Championship at Oulton Park over the weekend of March 31 – April 2. Speaking during FP1 for Monday’s two one-hour races, Thiim was in upbeat mood as he prepared to support his team-mate Mark Farmer in the #11 TF Sport Aston Martin V12 Vantage.

“We have upped the game today and for the season,” said the Danish driver, commenting on the number of works drivers competing in Britain’s premier GT series. “It’s a long time since I’ve had so much fun in a race car.”

Commenting on the Oulton Park circuit, Thiim continued: “It’s a good, old ‘old school’ race track and I really enjoy it. It’s almost reminds me of when I started. It’s great to see so many people and I hope the weather stays reasonable for the guys out there so we can have a good show.”

“(The weather) is almost like it is in Denmark. It’s the first race of the year and I’m looking forward to it. It’s been a long winter but now we’re on it. My team-mate Mark is doing a tremendous job. He is really motivated after the winter break and the whole team has a good package this year, I think.”

Nicki Thiim hs a busy season ahead of him as, in addition to his duties in the British GT Championship, he is also driving for R-Motorsport in Blancpain GT and the in the FIA World Endurance Championship with Aston Martin Racing.

“We have a gorgeous new weapon (for the WEC),” said Thiim. “I hope you guys like it. It’s a good time to be in Aston Martin. It’s a pleasure to be part of it. It’s going to be historic and I can’t wait to go in the WEC season this year. I think it’s going to be a tremendous year. We saw in IMSA at Daytona and Sebring how close it is so I think this year GTE is going to be the category to watch.”

The Aston Martin factory drivers are a close-knit team, on and off the track.

“It’s is a good family atmosphere inside Aston Martin,” said Thiim. “We just came back from a camp where we had a week together. I spend more time with those guys than the people at home. For me racing will always be priority number one and it’s always great to have so many nice people around me to share the passion with.”

Qualifying for Round One of the 2018 British GT Championship gets underway at 15:55 on March 31 with the lights going out for the first 60-minute race at 11:10 on April 2.

Optimum Motorsport And Adam / Haigh Go Quickest in British GT FP1 (31.03.18)

Photo: BritishGT.com

On a track that was both drying and warming, marginally, Jonny Adam, driving the #75 Optimum Motorsport Aston Martin V12 Vantage went quickest in FP1 for the first round of the 2018 British GT Championship.

Second quickest, in a session where lap-times were tumbling as teams pitted for slick tyres with 15 minutes to go, was the #116 ERC Motorsport Mercedes -AMG GT3 driven by Lee Mowle and Yelmer Buurman with a 1:35.579

Third quickest as the chequered flag came out was the #33 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan GT3 driven by Phil Keen and Jon Minshaw, the time of 1:35.636 set by Keen with ten minutes to go.

In the GT4 category the quickest time was set by #77 Fox Motorsport Mercedes-AMG Gt4 driven by Mark Murfitt and Michael Broadhurst with a 1:44.427. Second quickest in the GT4 class was the #55 HHC Motorsports Ginetta G55 GT4 piloted by Callum Pointon and Patrik Matthiesen.

Completing the top three times in the GT4 class was the #10 Equipe Verschuur McLaren 570S GT4 driven by Finlay Hutchison and Daniel McKay with a 1:45.117.

As teams have only had limited running on slicks this weekend so far, times should fall even further for FP2 which is at 12:10

Mercedes-AMG GT4 For Team Parker Racing / Jones / Malvern British GT Championship Campaign (14.02.18)

Nick Jones and Scott Malvern have announced that they will campaign a Mercedes-AMG GT4, to be run by Desford, Leicestershire-based Team Parker Racing in the GT4 class of the 2018 British GT Championship. Although their entry was confirmed by the time of the British GT Media Day at Donington Park, the identity of the car had, until now, remained unannounced.

After two seasons racing the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR, Jones and Malvern will be one of the first to enter the new-for-2018 Mercedes.

Malvern and Jones are confident that the Mercedes-AMG GT4 is the car of choice for the new season.

“Ever since I first started talking to Mercedes it’s clear the programme is just at another level,” said Jones. “This year is going to be exciting – easily the most exciting of our time in British GT so far, and Mercedes is going to give us a real chance to compete.”

“The car is a huge step forward,” continued Nick Jones, as he embarks on his third full season in the premier national GT championship. “We’ve been out testing it in Europe with the Black Falcon team, getting a grounding of it ahead of getting our own chassis this month. Team Parker has been with us every step of the way too, and that relationship will be important as they’re such a professional team.”

“Racing for me is about going out and having fun and having competitive machinery is key to that. Last year I felt I drove better than ever, but a lot of that progress was masked by the car’s outright pace. This year I think we can make a real step up the grid.”

Team-mate Scott Malvern is also looking forward to the new season.

“The Porsche last year proved quite tricky for the amateur driver whereas the Mercedes is accessible and has all of the technology to make it a real weapon in endurance racing.”

The 2018 British GT Championship gets underway over the Easter weekend – March 31 – April 2 – at Oulton Park.

 

 

 

“We Have Exceeded Our Expectations” – British GT Championship Manager Benjamin Franassovici In Up-Beat Mood At Season Launch. (08.03.18)

Photo: BritishGT.com

British GT Championship Manager Benjamin Franassovici was in an up-beat mood at the launch of the 2018 Championship season, held at Donington Park on Thursday Match 8.

“We are very happy to reveal our final entry list.” Said Franassovici at a packed press conference held at the now-MSV owned venue. “Over the months we’ve been gradually revealing all our entries and we have exceeded our expectations. The quality of the GT3 and GT4 grid we have today is extremely easy to see. Last year and during the off-season we worked hard to build this grid and I thank my team for making this happen.”

“(The success) is also due to the trust of the teams,” said Franassovici. “They can see that the platform is stable. It’s been so for many years since 2010 and the grid has gradually increased in numbers, which was needed, and then in quality and then in diversity and then we continued to make sure that stability was there.”

Franassovici was quick to praise tyre partner Pirelli.

“In 2016 Pirelli came on board and this added value as it allowed the grid to go up a level again. It also helped us to make our BoP even more accurate. This is due to the hard work of all our teams around the world, with Pirelli Tyres, making and creating the BoP, which is world-renowned. So we are very pleased.”

“A couple of years ago people said that GT3 was dead and we have proved that this is not the case. The grid we have of 13 cars has exceeded our expectations. The quality of the cars, the pairings and the factory drivers has all been very pleasing. What we’ve achieved also in the past two years is public attendance. This has grown at all our tracks and this was seen at the Silverstone 500 which was a big success last year with large crowds and we will continue this push with Silverstone.”

“So we’re very happy,’” concluded the Championship Manager. “The entry list was released this morning. We’ve announced the remaining entries, which have been entered for a while. Before we took our break in December we had thirty paid entries, which is a sign that people believe in our platform and they are happy to sign up. Not many series can claim that so we are continuing to push in that direction.”

The 2018 British GT Championship opens at Oulton Park on March 31 – April 2.

Thirteen Entries For 2018 British GT Championship GT3 Category (08.03.18)

The British GT Championship has revealed a capacity grid of 36 cars for the 2018 Championship with 13 cars entered in the premier GT3 category.

In the premier category, Team Parker Racing has entered two Bentley Continental GT3s, the #1 for the GT3 drivers champion Rick Parfitt Jnr and his new driving partner for the season, Ryan Ratcliffe and the #7 for Ian Loggie and Callum Macleod.

Teams champion Barwell Motorsport returns for the new season with a three-car line-up. The #2 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 will be driven by Leo Matchitski and Patrick Kujala, the #33 entry by drivers championship runners-up Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen and the #69 entry by Sam de Haan and Jonny Cocker.

TF Sport has welcomed Aston Martin factory drivers Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen to join established Am drivers Derek Johnston and Mark Farmer. Thiim will partner with Farmer in the #11 Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 while Sorensen will join Johnston in the #17 car.

TF Sport will make up two of five Aston Martins on the GT3 grid in 2018. Jetstream Motorsport has entered the #47 car to be driven by Graham Davidson and Maxime Martin while Wakefield-based Optimum Motorsport returns to the GT3 category with Flick Haigh and double-GT3 champion Jonny Adam.

The fifth V12 Vantage GT3 on the grid will be the returning 2015 drivers champions Beechdean AMR with team owner Andrew Howard being joined by Darren Turner for the season.

Three manufacturers represent the final three entries in the premier category. RJN Motorsport announced on the Media Day that it would be joining the GT3 category with its #24 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 to be driven by Devon Modell and Struan Moore. Woking manufacturer McLaren is represented by a single entry, that of the #101 Balfe Motorsport car to be driven by team owner Shaun Balfe and McLaren development driver Rob Bell.

After Team ABBA by Rollcentre withdrew from the GT3 class at the end of 2017, one Mercedes-AMG GT3 will be on the grid for the season – that of the ERC Motorsport #116 entry to be driven by Lee Mowle and Yelmer Buurman.

The first round of the 2018 British GT Championship will be at Oulton Park on March 31 – April 2.