BEECHDEAN AND OPTIMUM TO SKIP SNETTERTON BRITISH GT
The British GT3 grid could hit its lowest entry for seven years at Snetterton following a number of high-profile withdrawals, including the reigning champion Beechdean Aston Martin team.
Andrew Howard and Ross Gunn have been forced to skip the double-header in Norfolk next weekend due to the heavy damage sustained to their Vantage GT3 during the previous race at Spa.
Howard was hit by an errant GT4 car at the first turn in Belgium, ripping a wheel off the Vantage in the process.
Howard, who is now ninth in the points alongside Gunn, said: “I am hugely disappointed the car will be unable to take part at Snetterton. We always knew that this was going to be a development year for us, and sometimes you have to take the rough with the smooth. British GT is an important series to us and we will continue to take part in the championship, despite this set back. I hope the championship continues to be the proving ground for the amateur driver.”
Beechdean will continue to run its two GT4 division entries for Jack Bartholomew/jordan Albert and Paul Hollywood/ Jamie Chadwick.
Another GT3 on the brink is the Optimum Motorsport Audi R8 LMS after the team parted company with drivers Ryan Ratcliffe and Will Moore.
Ratcliffe and Moore are 11th in the championship, having scored points in just two races. Despite the split, Ratcliffe will continue to race with the team in the Creventic 24 Hour Series.
Team head Shaun Goff said: “We’re looking for a new driver pairing for the final two rounds as we want to show what the Audi can really do and we’ve had various issues this year which meant we couldn’t.
“We’re looking for a bronze driver now to pair with either a quick silver like Ryan or a gold driver [Craig Dolby is the team’s driver coach], so hopefully we can sort a deal to keep the car on the grid.”
Ratcliffe and Moore’s withdrawal means there will be no all-silver pairing on the grid for Snetterton. It also means the GT3 entry might fall to just 11 cars, its lowest number since 2009. The GT4 entry is expected to keep the grid in the mid-20s.
Beechdean car was damaged in Spa clash
Optimum Audi has struggled this year