The question of logistics

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Many of us have been talking for some time now about the apparent absurdity of booking the opening round of your domestic GT series on the same weekend of your country's premier, international GT event.

Well, at the moment that is the stark choice many of us UK based GT racing enthusiasts will have to face in mid April when we need to decide between attending either Round 1 of the 2016 British GT Championship at Brands Hatch or the opening round of the 2016 World Endurance and European Le Mans Championships being held at Silverstone, both over the weekend of 16-17th April.

For many of us we could simply attend one or the other or even both over the course of the weekend - best of both worlds!

Now for some of the drivers (and their teams) they will be facing a logistical dilemma as some will be contracted to race for teams entered into both championships - commitments possibly made prior to any calendar announcements. Two such individuals affected by this are Jonny Adam and Andrew Howard (but there may be more).

Adam is due to compete in British GT alongside Derek Johnston in one of TF Sport's V12 Vantage GT3's and is (assuming factory confirmation on February 19th) also due to be in the #97 AMR GTE in the WEC alongside factory stalwart Darren Turner. Howard on the other hand is also due to compete in his Beechdean GT3 alongside Evolution Academy winner Ross Gunn but also (again assuming ACO confirmation tomorrow) in the European Le Mans Series in his AMR V8 GTE.

Now that lies the problem.

Looking at last years WEC timetable and the expected timetable of the British GT at Brands Hatch, the 120km or so between the two racing locations could prove difficult (if not impossible) for either driver to attend statutory sessions at each respective location yet alone race a committed race programme in both series.

Qualifying and race day for the ELMS are both on Saturday whilst the WEC's is qualifying on Saturday with the race on Sunday - the trouble is that British GT is also a Saturday qualifying and Sunday race format. The time slots for the expected timetable make helicopter transfers extremely difficult to project and arrange with the margin of error being minute. Transfer time may only be about 30minutes in the air but any issue at either end or along the route will far out way any benefit of this arrangement. Drivers have transferred between the two series in the past but that was with the opening British GT race at Oulton Park where there was no track there activity on the Sunday making for just a chaotic Saturday.

Speaking with Tom Ferrier at Snetterton this morning his response to my question was one of slight bemusement, shoulder shrugging and the mention of the fastest helicopter in the world! Repeating the same question to Adam received a similar response - "we don't really know at the moment!"

It would be a crying shame for the British GT loving public to get short changed over the calendar clash and devastating to the drivers and their respective championship ambitions if either has to pick one series over another. Each series has clearly demonstrated that you cannot afford to drop points at any event for any reason and still expect to win it.

Lets just hope that the SRO will see the error in their ways and reschedule the Brands Hatch event. We can only hope!!

Photo credits - Beechdean / Aston Martin Racing / Social Media
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • MySpace
  • LinkedIn
  • Live
  • Google
  • Reddit
  • Sphinn
  • Propeller
  • Slashdot
  • Netvibes