British GT Championship

British GT Championship Heads For Blue-Riband Silverstone 500 (06.06.19)

Photo: British GT Championship / Jakob Ebrey Photography (2018 Silverstone Round)

The 2019 British GT Championship heads for its longest race of the season when the grid assembles at Silverstone for the three-hour Silverstone 500 on June 8 – 9.

A record 42 entries will compete on the Silverstone Go circuit – 16 in the GT3 category and 26 in the GT4 class.

In the GT3 class, the #6 RAM Racing entry returns after missing the previous rounds at Silverstone. Ian Loggie, who had to step aside from Snetterton due to an injury, and Callum Macleod will pilot their Mercedes-AMG GT3 and will be looking to kick-start their season after a frustrating opening weekend to the season at Oulton Park.

The #33 G-Cat Porsche 911 GT3 R driven by Shamus Jennings and Greg Caton will be on the grid at Silverstone as will a new entry for the 2019 season – the #55 JMH Auto Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo to be driven by John Seale and Jamie Stanley. The JMH Auto driving duo of Seale and Stanley are making two appearances in the British GT Championship this season with a view to full-season campaign in 2020. The Silverstone 500 will be the first race for John Seale in GT3 machinery.

“It’s a big step up for John so these two toe-in-the-water rounds will be good preparation for what’s to come in 2020,” said Jamie Stanley, whose driving career stretches back to 2005 and who previously competed in the British GT Championship in 2015 in the Fox Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4. “He’s been very competitive so far this year and we’ve seen how well the new Lamborghini has performed in British GT during the opening two rounds, so we certainly have the tools to do a good job.

“But it’s not about going in all guns blazing: positive weekends at Silverstone and Donington will help us hit the ground running in 2020.”

There are two changes in the GT3 drivers line-ups. In the #9 Century Motorsport BMW M6 GT3, the teammate for Jack Mitchell to sit-in for the injured Adrian Willmott, has yet to be announced. In The WPI Motorsport Lamborghini, Dennis Lind replaces Adam Wilcox.

In the GT4 category, there are three additional entries. Generation AMR SuperRacing has entered its Aston Martin AMR Vantage GT4 to be driven by Matthew George and James Holder. The David Appleby Engineering Ltd entry competed in a selection of British GT and French GT4 races in 2018, putting the previous generation Aston Martin Vantage GT4 on pole at the final race of the French GT4 season at Circuit Paul Ricard.

Balfe Motorsport has entered an additional McLaren 570S GT4, the team’s #21 entry to be driven by Maria Flewitt and Stewart Proctor. Despite this being the duo’s first British GT Championship outing, Flewitt and Stewart have significant experience in the McLaren 570S GT4, both having competed in the Pure McLaren GT4 Series in 2018 with Maria Flewitt taking the title. The team have been testing at Donington Park in preparation.

ERC Sport has entered its Mercedes-AMG GT4, the team’s #30 entry to be driven by Peter Belshaw and Maxi Buhk. Belshaw won the GT4 title in 2011 and Mercedes-AMG factory driver Maxi Buhk is regarded as one of the world’s finest GT drivers.

Buhk is looking forward to his first competitive GT4 outing.

“I know British GT’s GT4 class is very competitive – there’s a lot of good Pros who are used to working with their Ams,” said Buhk, who finished third in the GT3 Pro-Am class at the 2019 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour. “And it’s that relationship rather than outright speed that’s crucial to being competitive. Peter’s won the title before and ERC has recent experience of the championship too, so we should be on the pace. I’m looking forward to it.”

After four 60-minute races so far in the 2019 season, the #72 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini crew of Adam Balon and Phil keen lead the GT3 drivers standings with a double-victory at Snetterton and second place finish in the opening race at Oulton Park. Barwell. Barwell Motorsport has a lock-out on the first two places in the GT3 drivers standings with the #69 driver pairing of Sam De Haan and Jonny Cocker currently sitting in second place on 67 points, 13 behind Balon and Keen, after a win in race One at Oulton Park and a second-place finish in Race Two at Snetterton. The 2019 EVO version of the Lamborghini Huracán has proved highly competitive across Europe in 2019 and it will be interesting to see if BoP comes into play at Silverstone.

HHC Motorsport’s Dean Macdonald and Callum Pointon, teammates in the #57 McLaren 570S GT4, lead the category’s drivers standings on 52 points, four ahead of Tolman Motorsport’s Jordan Collard and Lewis Proctor, after results that have included a win and a third-place finish.

Track action for the Silverstone 500 gets underway on Saturday June 8 with FP1 at 09:30. The four 10-minute qualifying sessions start at 16:05 on June 8 with the lights going out for the three-hour race at 12:35 on Sunday June 9.