Photo Above: Andy Lloyd
The 2017 British GT Championship was launched at Snetterton on Tuesday March 28 to a foggy start. That didn’t reduce the enthusiasm, however, for the teams, media and spectators who assembled at the Norfolk circuit for the traditional season launch of the premier national GT series.
Benjamin Franassovici, British GT Championship Manager, explained the evolutions that the championship had undergone during the winter break.
“We want to keep the platform stable so we don’t need to change the format too much. What is important is that we have live TV this year,” explained Franassovici. “SRO is investing in live TV and we will be live for six rounds out of seven. Spa will be streamed live. Front Runner TV will be hosting our programme and they’re very proactive. We look forward to producing a great programme for this new channel. We will be on Channel 4 as usual as we have been the last ten years.”
Franassovici explained some of the sporting changes that have taken place.
“We’ve increased track-time during free practice targeted at the gentleman driver and the (Am) two-hour race format driving time has been increased from 50 minutes to 60.”
The Championship Manager is also delighted at the entry list for the 2017 season.
“We’re again at capacity,” said Franassovici. “We’re very excited to see that GT3 is doing very well. Some people during the winter were saying that it was dead. That is not the case. We’ve been working hard behind the scenes ensuring that the platform is there and you can see that we have twelve cars there full-season which is very healthy. We will have some cars joining us on a race-by–race basis so we are very pleased.”
“It’s great to have new models joining British GT,” said Franassovici. “We have the new Mercedes joining us with AmDtuning.com and Team ABBA. We also have the new Ferrari F488 which will be run as Spirit of Race. There are two Bentleys for Team Parker Racing and Barwell Motorsport with their two very popular Lamborghinis. We’re very happy to have Derek Johnston back fighting for his title.”
“So GT3 is doing very well and will continue to do so.”
“In GT4 we have McLaren coming with six cars which is a great achievement from their side. It’s a popular car. Then we also have the return of Nissan in GT4. I’m very happy to have the variety and numbers across two classes which are both very healthy.”
The season-opening round of the 2017 British GT Championship takes place at Oulton Park on April 15 – 17