British GT Media Day

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Tuesday saw the SRO hold the annual Media Day event for their British GT Championship at the Snetterton 300 circuit in Norfolk.

In typical UK weather style, the proceeding day's clear blue skies and sunshine had been replaced with a dank grey morning shrouding the circuit in thick (but at least) clearing fog that would hold up the proceedings on track and those travelling to the track for about an hour.

#TeamAMR arrived with a somewhat reduced force in comparison with previous years with just four cars from three teams. 2016 GT3 Champion Jonny Adam was at the circuit early along with his Aston Martin Racing V12 Vantage GT3 and a couple of engineers from TF Sport whilst co-driver Derek Johnston was apparently enjoying the delights of the A14 on a foggy Tuesday morning travelling the notorious stretch between Huntingdon and Cambridge - he would eventually arrive just in time for the start of the first session!

Sadly, neither the team's other car nor Jon Barnes and Mark Farmer were not at the circuit and the #1 car would run only limited laps during the first session before all departed the circuit just after lunch with pressing engagements for some elsewhere in Europe this week.

Speaking with Derek Johnston in the paddock he couldn't praise the efforts of his driver coach highly enough, speaking about Adam being on a whole new level of professionalism and commitment what with his reinstated factory drive in the WEC and continued Blancpain duties with Ahmad Al Harthy.

Principle objective - successfully defend their GT3 titles (obviously!)

Sharing the garage alongside TF Sport were BGT returnees Academy Motorsport with the single AMR V8 Vantage #62 GT4 of Matt Nichol-Jones joining forces again with Will Moore.

The #62 car also ran limited laps over the first and middle session either side of lunch as both the car and drivers are also competing within the SRO sister series - the European GT4 Northern Cup Championship that kicks off this weekend in Misano, Italy having last raced together in Europe in the now defunct Euro Series by Nova in 2015.

That left the two cars from MacMillan Racing - the return of the teams #42 GT4 from last year now in the capable hands of Will Phillips and Dane Jan Jonck and the teams (new for 2017) V12 #24 GT3 for James Littlejohn and Jack Mitchell, who himself steps up from the teams GT4 car. Both cars are now being prepared by the Prodrive factory.

Both cars are entered into their respective class's Silver Cup Championship although the team made it no secret that they will want them to be battling for both class and overall race wins.

Following the 'trend' that soon became apparent during the day, both of these cars also only ran limited laps over the first two sessions with each driver completing only about ten laps per session. Why? - we are not really too sure as the day was (as confirmed by Mitchell) their first test since the collective AMR test in Portimao back in February but tyre availability and part lifespan was given as a reason.

Then, there are no prizes for damaging your car unnecessarily in pre season testing!!

Amongst the crowd was spotted a certain John Gaw from Aston Martin Racing chatting freely amongst the MacMillan Racing management team ahead of his travel across to Monza where the European Le Mans Series and World Endurance Championships are holding their Prologue Tests this week. It was good to see that an obviously very busy man can take time out to support his Partner Teams in other championships!

Whilst it was disappointing not to see the five, full season entries at the test or those who were there to run for the majority of the time but at least it is not very long until the start of the 2017 season proper - over the Easter weekend in fact at Oulton Park circuit in Cheshire in just over two weeks time.

See you there!
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