After a damp visit to Donington Park on in the middle of the month, the 2020 Intelligent Money British GT Championship heads to Brands Hatch on August 29-30 for Round Five of the nine-round season and, hopefully, more settled weather.
A 22-car grid will be contesting the second two-hour endurance event of the season with 13 entries competing in the Gt3 class and nine in the GT4 category.
There are five changes in the entry list in the GT3 class from the previous rounds at Donington. Buckinghamshire-based Beechdean AMR is returning with its #07 Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 to be driven by team owner Andrew Howard and 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans LM GTE Pro winner Jonny Adam in a Pro-Am pairing. Brands Hatch will be the first time that Howard and Adam have shared the cockpit of an Aston Martin since the duo won the drivers titles in 2015.
“I’ve put all my focus and energy into Beechdean the business over the last few months but there is light at the end of the tunnel and I feel capable and ready to go racing again,” said Andrew Howard.
“Obviously Jonny and I have a great history together so when I knew he was available for Brands it was a no-brainer really. We haven’t raced together in British GT or elsewhere since winning the championship in 2015 but everything slotted back into place when we went for a simulator session last week.”
Also joining the senior class for Round Five will be Stellar Motorsport and its new Audi R8 LMS GT3, the only one of its kind in the UK. The team had previously announced full-season entries in both the GT3 and GT4 classes but had to pause its programme due to the pandemic.
Senna Fielding and Richard Williams will pilot the team’s entry and Team Principal Gary Blackham is looking forward to finally getting on the grid in 2020.
“It’s great to finally be able to give the GT3 its race debut,” said Gary Blackham. “Like so many others in the sport we have been working hard to overcome the significant challenges of the pandemic that delayed the start of our season but now we want to hit the ground running, just as we did when we debuted the GT4 car.”
Missing from the GT3 entries at Brands Hatch will be the #51 AF Corse UK Ferrari F488 GT3 with Duncan Cameron and Matt Griffin competing in the European Le Mans Series at Circuit Paul Ricard this weekend. Also absent will be the #36 Balfe Motorsport McLaren 720S GT3, Stewart Proctor and Joe Osborne contesting selected rounds of the championship in 2020.
Michael Igoe has a new driving partner in the #18 WPI Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan GT3 for Brands Hatch. Andrea Caldarelli substituted for Dennis Lind at Donington and, for Round Five, Franck Perera will be sharing the driving duties. After victory in Race One last time out, Michael Igoe will be looking to the Montpelier-based driver to continue the team’s winning momentum in Kent.
In the GT4 category, Century Motorsport has expanded to a two-car entry and an additional BMW M4 GT4 will be on the grid at Brands Hatch. The current driver pairing of Ben Hurst and Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke will have new teammates with Hurst joining forces with Adam Hatfield and Gordon-Colebrooke pairing with Ben Green.
“An opportunity arose to add a second car which both drivers are happy to do,” said team principal Nathan Freke. “Adam (Hatfield) has come aboard full-time while Ben (Green) is a proven operator in the M4. He’ll be with us at Brands while we finalise Andrew’s new co-driver for the remaining three rounds.”
After a win in Race Two at Oulton park and consistent points-scoring finishes, Barwell Motorsport’s Adam Balon and Phil Keen lead the drivers standings on 67 points, 11 points ahead of RAM Racing’s Sam De Haan and Patrick Kujala.
In the GT4 standings, TF Sport hold a 1 – 2 with the #97 Aston Martin duo of Jamie Caroline and Daniel Vaughan just 1.5 points ahead of Patrick Kibble and Connor O’Brien. Balfe Motorsport’s Mia Flewitt and Euan Hankey lie fourth in the standings and also lead the Pro/Am leaderboard.
Track action for the Intelligent Money British GT Championship grid gets underway at 9.30am on Saturday August 29 with practice. Qualifying begins at 4.00pm later in the afternoon.
The lights go out for the start of Round Five at 1.00pm on Sunday August 30.