Bri­tish GT set for bumper UK grid

Motor Sport News - - Racing News - Photos: Jakob Ebrey By Rob Lad­brook

A com­bined grid of 51 cars, one of the largest in Bri­tish GT Cham­pi­onship his­tory, is set to line up for this week­end’s mar­quee Sil­ver­stone 500 race.

The three-hour event on Sil­ver­stone’s Grand Prix Cir­cuit will fea­ture a 34-car Bri­tish cham­pi­onship en­try plus 17 cars from SRO’S Euro­pean GT4 Series. The points-scor­ing Bri­tish en­try is one of the largest since the cham­pi­onship was formed, and falls just four short of the 38-strong field that raced at the same track in 2014.

The com­bined en­try of 51 cars is also the sec­ond big­gest ever, with the out­right record be­ing 66 cars at Spa-fran­cor­champs in 2010 when shar­ing a grid with the do­mes­tic Bel­car series.

New en­tries for the event in­clude a third Bar­well Mo­tor­sport Lam­borgh­ini Hu­ra­can for Mark Poole and Richard Abra, a sec­ond Team Parker Rac­ing Bent­ley Con­ti­nen­tal GT3 for Ian Log­gie and Cal­lum Macleod, an As­ton Martin Van­tage GT3 en­try from MB Mo­tor­sport for Mike Brown and Jamie Wall and the Bri­tish GT de­but for the new Fer­rari 488 in the hands of Marco At­tard and Adam Carroll, as pre­dicted by Mo­tor­sport News last week.

Blanc­pain racer Alexan­der Sims also re­turns to share Liam Grif­fin’s Bar­well Hu­ra­can.

Bri­tish GT man­ager Ben­jamin Franasso­vici said: “We’re ec­static with the en­try and I think it’s down to a com­bi­na­tion of fac­tors. Three-hour races are very pop­u­lar and a track like Sil­ver­stone GP has in­ter­na­tional ap­peal, so it en­cour­ages one-off en­tries from out­side the nor­mal cham­pi­onship.

“GT4 Euro­pean is part of the SRO fam­ily, and they run on the same tyres, so hav­ing them there will make this round like a fes­ti­val of GT4. We ex­pect over 50 cars again for the race at SpaFran­cor­champs [in July].”

And Franasso­vici said there could be more three-hour races in fu­ture sea­sons.

“We’ll start look­ing at more three-hour races, but we’re lim­ited by garage ca­pac­ity, so es­sen­tially we have the choice of Sil­ver­stone and Don­ing­ton. We’ll talk with teams and see if there’s the in­ter­est to maybe run two longer races next year.”

Next big­gest UK grid was in 2014

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