British GT - The Finale!

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Reigning British GT Championship winning squad Beechdean Aston Martin Racing (AMR), will be back in action this weekend at Donington Park (10th and 11th of September), for the 2016 British GT Championship finale. The two hour race is the ninth and final race of the season and will be the last chance for each driver and all the British GT teams to score some championship points.

Donington Park, that famously held the 1993 European Grand Prix, has been popular with drivers for many years. The 2.498 mile lap starts with the high speed downhill ‘Craner Curves’ before heading uphill towards two medium speed left-handers at Mclean’s and Coppice. The lap is then concluded by the Esses and two slow speed hairpins.

This coming weekend will see the team’s three cars back in action. Following the unexpected withdrawal from Snetterton, after damage to the car in round six at Spa Francorchamps, the Aston Martin Vantage V12 GT3 car returns to the track. Last week the team announced that the GT3 will be driven by Andrew Howard and Rory Butcher. The duo, who have a competitive history, pair together for the first time and should present a strong challenge for the other drivers in the class.

Team owner and driver, Andrew Howard commented on the upcoming finale at Donington saying “Having been involved in British GT since 2004, it is going to be a strange day driving in what will potentially be my last British GT event. But I am excited as ever to be racing in such a competitive field and am looking forward to one Scot beating another”

Butcher, who has spent the season competing against Beechdean AMR and Howard, in ELMS commented on the upcoming race saying, “I am looking forward to joining Beechdean AMR and Andrew this weekend, and I am thankful for the opportunity. It has been a full year since I competed in British GT and driven in the GT3 category, so it is really exciting to be back in the paddock, especially with the reigning champions. It will certainly be interesting to see how Andrew and I can challenge the GT3 field at the season finale.”

Ross Gunn continues his paring with Jack Bartholomew in the #407 Aston Martin Vantage V8 GT4, after the duo had a successful two races at Snetterton. The pairing, took second in the seventh round and a win in the eighth round. Both Bartholomew and Gunn are ready for battle and are hoping for a strong race, ending the season on a positive note.

Gunn commented on the final race of the season saying, “It’s great to be driving this weekend at Donington in the Beechdean AMR GT4. Snetterton was very encouraging for everyone in the team and I will be pushing as hard as possible to make sure that title stays in the Beechdean family.”

Bartholomew, who is looking forward to his end of season race at Donington commented on the upcoming weekend saying, “The car, the team, Ross, and I are prepared. It is not going to be an easy weekend but I am ready for the challenge. It's been an awesome year up till now I've learnt so much. Now it’s time to take what I have learnt and fight for the title - bring on the battle.”

Finally, celebrity baker Paul Hollywood and reigning British GT4 Champion Jamie Chadwick complete the weekend’s line up, and are in the #408 Aston Martin Vantage V8 GT4. The pairing joined forces and started their season together at Spa Francorchamps - Donington will be the fourth and final round for the pairing. Despite getting off to a slightly rocky start, both Chadwick and Hollywood now have a solid understanding of each other’s driving style. Teamwork prevailed for both of them at Snetterton, which saw them walk away from the eighth round with a very respectable sixth place.

Chadwick, who recently starred on Blue Peter, commented about the upcoming race stating, “I am eager to get back in the Beechdean #408. Following our recent top-6 success at Snetterton, I am keen to emulate our previous strong form this coming weekend.”

Hollywood - who is still relatively new to British GT - had an outstanding race at Snetterton, commented on the upcoming final race at Donington, saying, “I can’t wait for Donington. Last time I was there was in 1993, watching the great Ayrton Senna in a very memorable European GP. It is a challenging track, which I’m looking forward too.”

Source material - Beechdean AMR

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