The weekend of October 3 -4 sees the Intelligent Money British GT Championship grid return to Snetterton for the first time since the season was launched at Media Day in early March. The premier domestic GT series last raced at the Norfolk circuit in May 2019.
22 entries have been provisionally announced for the weekend which will see the series return to the two one-hour sprint race format that was last utilised at Oulton Park on the opening weekend of the 2020 season.
13 entries will contest the GT3 class with several changes from the entries seen at the previous round at Donington. In the #18 WPI Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Andrea Caldarelli returns to partner Michael Igoe. WPI Motorsport has rotated through the Lamborghini factory driver squad in 2020 with Dennis Lind, Andrea Caldarelli, Franck Perera and Marco Mapelli all having previously shared the driving duties with 33-year old Cheshire-based company director Igoe. Victory, with Caldarelli as teammate, in a wet two-hour race at Donington in August will give the #18 crew much confidence going into a weekend where weather conditions will be mixed at best.
Missing from the Snetterton grid will be the #26 Ultimate Speed Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3, driven at Donington by Richard Williams and Senna Fielding, along with the #30 Steller Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT3, crewed by Richard Williams and Sennan Fielding in the previous round. Both cars are making occasional appearances in the Intelligent Money British GT Championship this season.
Rejoining the championship at Snetterton, however, will be the #51 AF Corse UK Ferrari F488 GT3 driven by Duncan Cameron and Matt Griffin. Cameron and Griffin missed the previous round due to commitments at the 24 Hours of Le Mans where, joined by Aaron Scott, the trio had to retire after 78 laps dur to damage caused by a puncture. The #52 crew will be looking for better luck in Norfolk.
Nine cars will be competing in the GT4 class. The class grid has been bolstered by Century Motorsport’s second BMW M4 GT4 entry to be driven by Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke and Ben Tuck. Missing from the grid from the Donington entries will the #33 Century Motorsport BMW driven by David Whitmore and Luke Sedzikowski along with the #22 Balfe Motorsport McLaren 570S GT4 driven at Donington by Jan Klingelnberg and Warren Hughes.
With just 21 points separating the top eight drivers in the GT3 drivers standings and 87.5 points available for the remaining three races of the 2020, results from Snetterton’s double-header sprint contest will be key in deciding who will be this season’s champions.
RAM Racing’s Sam De Haan and Patrick Kujala head the table currently on 111.5 points, nine points ahead of Barwell Motorsport’s Rob Collard and Sandy Mitchell. Until Donington’s three-hour enduro, De Haan and Kujala had stood on the podium twice this season, courtesy of a third place in Race Two at Donington and a second place finish at Donington in August.
The RAM Racing duo’s breakthrough came at the championship’s second visit to Donington where the pair drove a controlled race resulting in Kujala coolly holding off a hard-charging Phil Keen to take the maiden win for the #69 car. Given the success that the Italian marque has had at Snetterton and the momentum and confidence that the win Donington victory will have given them, De Haan and Kujala must be favourites for podium success at Snetterton, despite the success penalties.
Second in the standings is the #78 Barwell Motorsport duo of Sandy Mitchell and Rob Collard. Mitchell and Collard have stood on the podium twice in 2020 with a second place at Oulton Park in Race Two and a victory at Brands Hatch. Both drivers have the pace and the confidence to take the fight to the RAM Racing crew and given Collard’s sprint race pedigree in BTCC, Snetterton could see some close on-track action.
Adam Balon and Phil Keen, teammates in the #72 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini, lie third in the standings and after a double win at Snetterton in 2019, will be looking to repeat that epic performance this season. With only three races left on the 2020 calendar, expect nothing less than ‘maximum attack’ from the #72 Lamborghini crew this weekend.
The battle for the GT4 drivers title has been hard-fought so far this season. The #95 TF Sport duo of Connor O’Brien and Patrick Kibble and the sister #97 crew of Jamie Caroline and Daniel Vaughan jointly head the standings on 100 points each, O’Brien and Kibble leading courtesy of their win at Donington in August.
However only 8.5 points separates the top four pairings in the class and with wins for second-placed Jordan Albert and Matt Cowley at Brands Hatch and third-placed Jordan Collard and Patrik Matthiesen at Donington two weeks, the GT4 class promises some excellent racing at Snetterton.
Track action for Rounds Seven and Eight of the 2020 British GT Championship begins at 09:35 on Saturday October 3 with the first of two practice sessions. Qualifying gets underway at 16:00, the four 10-minutes sessions, two for each class divided into pro and Am, determining the grids for Sunday’s two one-hour races.
The lights go out for Race One at 10:15 on October 4 and at 15:10 for Race Two.