Tag Archives: British GT

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A Glimpse of British GT, 2015 – style

The Special Correspondent has been a long time supporter of GT Racing, especially in recent years the excellent British GT Championship. So he seized an opportunity to preview the 2015 edition with a visit to Brands Hatch a week or so back.

2015 DB General

Wednesday 25 March – Media Day for the British GT at Brands Hatch. Wet weather was forecast but it was dry and sunny the whole day. This year the splendid entry of 35 cars is almost completely balanced between the GT3 cars (18) and the GT4s (17), this latter class becoming deservedly very popular. A number of cars spent useful time on the circuit – here are some of them:
2015 DB General
One of three BMW Z4 GT3s entered, this being run by Barwell Racing for Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen.
2015 DB General
There are Aston Martin Vantage GT3s aplenty. No. 4 is one of the Oman Racing Team cars.
2015 DB General
This RAM Racing Mercedes-Benz AMG GT3 is one of two expected to run this year.

2015 DB General

New this season are two McLaren 650S cars entered by Von Ryan Racing.
2015 DB General
Hopefully the Toyota GT86 will race more regularly this year.
2015 DB General
Lots of Astons in the GT4 category this season. Here Beechdean’s car is entering Druid’s Bend.
2015 DB General
Good to see three Lotus Evoras – no. 77 is the car for Lotus Engineer Gavan Kershaw;

2015 DB General

no. 54 is one of the two Ultra Tek Racing entries.
TAILPIECE
2015 DB General
The part of the Lotus that hopefully the other GT4 contenders will see!

David Blumlein, April 2015

Lawn Feed

2002 British GT Castle Combe

Keeping up the New Year’s Resolution to get DDC back up into seventh gear and keep it there, even with the pressures of the Real World intruding……….on a picture search this morning I came across this forgotten moment from 2002. Yes it is the Castle Combe British GT round, lap one approaching Quarry, the second placed Geoff Lister slightly overcooked his braking and ended up spinning to the back of the pack. I imagine the moan of photographers standing with me all took evasive action as the sequence ends at this point……..I certainly would have ducked.

Geoff got the Saleen back on track but probably wished he had not. Storming through the field a few laps later he was unsighted in traffic and, at high speed, ran straight into the stationary Porsche of Tony Littlejohn, who had just been knocked into a spin. Both cars were severely damaged and Geoff was hospitalised, though thankfully without serious injury, he never raced in GTs at International level again.

John Brooks, January 2014

All the Sizes, All the Colours

2003 FIA SCC Spa

2003 saw the end of the road for the FIA SCC, whose competitors were affectionately known as Mango’s Barmy Army.  Numbers on the grid dwindled and even John Mangoletsi himself was no longer on the scene. Stéphane Ratel and Patrick Peter joined forces with Martin Birrane and David Kennedy in an effort to breath some life into the Championship but matters were beyond all help. The bright light on the horizon was the prospect of the quartet joining the ACO to create the Le Mans Series, the first step on the road to a proper World Endurance Championship.

2003 FIA SCC Spa

The penultimate round of the FIA SCC was held on the majestic Spa Francorchamps circuit, a truly cunning plan was hatched to increase numbers, step forward the British GT Championship. So 24 GTs were added to the 11 prototypes to give the grid a fig leaf of numerical respectability. Of course SRO’s definition of a GT was typically elastic, so there was both a VW Golf GTI and Renault Clio V6 in the mix, seen here interfacing with Jan Lammers in the Dome and Tom Kristensen in the Audi R8. Utterly bizarre and thankfully not repeated.

John Brooks, December 2012

The New Snetterton – Some Thoughts

The British GT cars share the first major national event on the extended track

The Snetterton 300 represents the third phase in the circuit’s evolution. Originally of 2.7 miles, it veered off after Sear Corner to run alongside the main A11 London-Norwich road. At the end of this long, fast Norwich Straight the cars turned sharp right at the Norwich Hairpin and returned down the Home Straight which is now occupied by the Snetterton market. In 1965 the Russell Bend was introduced to slow the cars down before the start/finish area and this corner has undergone various configurations since.

In 1974 the Short Circuit was introduced, cutting out those fast “Norwich” sections and leaving the overall lap distance just 1.9 miles. Now in 2011 we have the Palmer developed infield section that brings the lap up to 2.99 miles.

Various prominent names have been chosen for the new corners while others have been re-named. Here we see the Williams right-hander which leads on to the back straight now called the Bentley Straight; notice the elevated bank for spectators which will soon be open for the public:


This is one of the GT4 Ginettas at Oggies which leads to the Williams corner with the Chevron GR8 in the background as it comes out of Agostini bend:


 

The British GT Championship this year has a very interesting and varied entry, the best for many a season. Exciting newcomers include the Ferrari 458 Italias, the CRS car shown pulling away from the Montreal corner that used to be Sear corner:

and the Mercédès SLS AMG GT3 which the Jones brothers are campaigning this year instead of their more usual Ascari in which they won the championship in 2009:


The car is seen braking hard for the left-hand turn at Agostini.

In the GT4 category are welcomed the two factory-backed Lotus Evoras, one of which is opposite-locking its way out of the former Russell Bend now re-named Murrays:


This is of course very much home territory for Lotus as their factory is just down the road at Hethel on the opposite side of the A11 from Wymondam, famous for its medieval Abbey:


The DBRS9 Aston Martin still has life as shown by the unexpectedly large lead it established on the opening lap; the others are here struggling to keep up:


And here is the battle for GT4 honours:


The KTM has become competitive and it is good to see an Austrian car doing well on the tracks – it’s been a long time since those Austro-Daimlers!

The Snetterton 300 is certainly a big improvement on the old Short Circuit and perhaps we shall see more endurance racing in the future; after all it was Snetterton which gave Britain its first full 24-Hour race (the Brooklands Double Twelve had to be run as two separate daytime races to avoid night-time noise restrictions) with the Willhire production car events held from 1980-1994.

© 2011 David Blumlein

 

 

Overtures and Beginners

And the World is like an apple,

Whirling silently in space

The year grinds into gear and out of the dark winter months. Like the cherry blossom on the trees right now the motor sport world blooms at the various media days and launches.

Last week it was the turn of the 2011 British GT Championship. Silverstone was the venue for the event and the whole affair is looking very promising with both quality and quantity on the up.

David Blumlein took his trusty Nikon along to capture a flavour of the event. He has kindly agreed to share it with us in this gallery. He is turning out to be a truly Special Correspondent.