“I blame sun on the screen for the score”

Motor Sport News - - Racing News - Photos: LAT, Mick Walker Farmer and Barnes’ jour­ney, p22

A new Bri­tish GT teams’ as­so­ci­a­tion panel has been formed in an at­tempt to bring in new ways of boost­ing in­ter­est in the GT3 cat­e­gory in the fu­ture.

The GT3 en­tries have strug­gled against the rise in pop­u­lar­ity of the lower cost GT4 class for this sea­son, with GT4 out­num­ber­ing the top tier at all rounds so far this term.

At Bri­tish GT’S Spa round last week­end GT3 crews held a meet­ing on Fri­day evening to brain­storm ideas of how to safe­guard the class and bring in new en­tries in the fu­ture.

Two team prin­ci­pals have been elected to the panel – Bar­well boss Mark Lem­mer and TF Sport head Tom Fer­rier – along­side driv­ers An­drew Howard and Phil Dry­burgh, who will col­lec­tively put sug­ges­tions for­ward to se­ries or­gan­iser SRO.

A num­ber of ideas were tabled at the meet­ing, in­clud­ing in­creas­ing the min­i­mum driv­ing time for am­a­teurs dur­ing races and the ad­di­tion of an all-am­a­teur Bronze class.

Lem­mer said: “The meet­ing was very pos­i­tive. We’ve seen GT3 num­bers fall, but the in­ter­est in GT3 rac­ing is still very high so we have to work to­gether to get cars out. We want to have at least 18 next sea­son. Bri­tish GT is a very high level so we’re try­ing to find ways of mak­ing the cham­pi­onship less in­tim­i­dat­ing for gen­tle­man driv­ers, who are the lifeblood of GT3 rac­ing.”

Howard added: “The teams’ as­so­ci­a­tion is a great idea as we’re here spend­ing the money and we need a voice in the fu­ture reg­u­la­tions. We’ll put ideas to SRO and hope­fully they’ll lis­ten.”

Cham­pi­onship man­ager Ben­jamin Franasso­vici said: “I wel­come any form of in­put from the teams so this is good by me. We will look to pack­age and pro­mote the Am-am class prop­erly as it will add to the op­tions for GT3 rac­ing, and be a good way for gen­tle­man driv­ers to dip a toe into the cham­pi­onship with­out the pres­sure of find­ing pro­fes­sional team-mates. We’ll also look at the race for­mats, and maybe chang­ing the min­i­mum Am driv­ing time to 60 or 70 min­utes in­stead of the cur­rent 50.”

The Vin­tage Sports-car Club’s cel­e­brated Prescott Speed Hill Climb is the un­doubted jewel in the crown of the Vin­tage motorsport year, hav­ing first taken place in 1938.

Over 300 of the finest Pre-war and His­toric Rac­ing and Sports-cars will be in ac­tion at the fa­mous Hill Climb venue near Winch­combe in Glouces­ter­shire – home of the Bu­gatti Own­ers’ Club – from Fri­day, Au­gust 5, to Sun­day Au­gust 7. Some have trav­elled from all over the world to com­pete, with rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the evoca­tive mar­ques of this spe­cial era of mo­tor­ing, in­clud­ing Bu­gatti, Alfa Romeo, Bent­ley, As­ton Martin, Frazer Nash, ERA, Cooper and more.

From no­ble Ed­war­dians to famed Pre-1961 Rac­ers, six decades of mo­tor­ing his­tory will be on show over the week­end, from the most orig­i­nal ma­chin­ery through to fire-breath­ing, tyre-smok­ing aero-en­gined Spe­cials.

The week­end will com­prise two events, with Fri­day’s ‘Long Course’ con­test – in­clud­ing the week­end’s Post­war com­peti­tors – fol­lowed by the Club’s long-stand­ing tra­di­tional two-day Pre-war Hill Climb util­is­ing the venue’s tra­di­tional ‘Short Course’.

As well as the thrilling ac­tion on track there are plenty of other at­trac­tions to en­joy. Spec­ta­tors are free to ex­plore the Com­peti­tor Pad­dock, where they can get up close to the com­pet­ing ma­chin­ery and driv­ers, whilst the an­nual gath­er­ing of Spec­ta­tor Pre-war Cars in the Or­chard, this year in­clud­ing a Cen­te­nary An­niver­sary Cel­e­bra­tion of BMW, is al­ways worth the en­try price alone. Renowned auc­tion house and club spon­sors, Bon­hams, will also pro­vide another im­pres­sive dis­play of ex­quis­ite cars.

Our fine Trade Vil­lage and ‘Au­to­jum­ble’ will surely of­fer some­thing to suit all in­ter­ests, whilst the tra­di­tional chil­dren’s en­ter­tain­ment area, in­clud­ing bouncy cas­tle and sweet and games stall, en­sures there will be plenty to keep our younger en­thu­si­asts oc­cu­pied. With on-site camp­ing avail­able, the tra­di­tional jazz band lunchtime pa­rade up the Hill on Sun­day and plenty of cater­ing fa­cil­i­ties avail­able on site through­out the week­end, the event is the ideal fam­ily day out!

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