British GT kicks off from Oulton Park with another capacity grid

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Another healthy capacity grid of thirty six GT3 and GT4 cars will greet the travelling fan base this Easter weekend as the SRO British GT Championship kicks off its 2024 campaign from Oulton Park.

As confirmed at the Championship’s Media Day from Donington Park just a few weeks ago, the attending Aston Martin Racing powered participation has increased significantly from the solo GT3 and GT4 cars of last season to three new 2024 Vantage GT3’s and two new 2024 specification Vantage GT4’s.

Championship stalwarts Beechdean AMR will again be back with their new specification car – the car that was used by AMR to develop their new iteration of GT3 race car over the previous two years, but this time will an adjusted driver line up and class of entry to reflect the changing times of motorsport.

Andrew Howard is this time joined by Aston Martin F1 Academy Ambassador and former single seater racer Jessica Hawkins within the #97 car which will also run a colour scheme outside of their usual blue and white design as the team pay homage to a former DBR9 car used at Le Mans within their new for 2024 Silver-Am Class entry.

Howard showed decent overall pace at the recent collective test at Oulton Park, but Hawkins was absent from that due to her F1 commitments so a recent flight back from Australia and a long Bank Holiday weekend of active motorsport will determine her ‘match fitness’.

Joining them within the Silver-Am class will be the #10 Blackthorn AMR entry of double former British GT GT4 Pro-Am Champion Matt Topham alongside Josh Rowledge for their first collective assault within the GT3 class together.

Having suffered something close to a nightmare start to the year with an off at the recent Media Day, their beautifully liveried Blackthorn car will (we believe) run in its 16A configuration after the team were unable to source the required new parts in time for last week’s collective test nor this weekend’s season opener. The time that it takes to convert (up or down) between 2019/2024 configurations was apparently a deciding factor in that decision making process.

Across the garage to them will be their sister #87 Pro-Am entry for Giacomo Petrobelli and British GT GT3 record chasing former Champion Jonny Adam who will also (we believe) will be running in a 16A configured car for this opening round.

We heard from the team at Media Day how their expected four AMR Vantage GT3 operation in 2024 (running between British GT, Le Mans Cup and other series) will be with three converted 16A cars and one built to the new 38A configuration.

Thanks to last minute arrival to the teams new Snetterton headquarters earlier this week, sees the Forsetti Motorsport team not have the same issues at Blackthorn as they now have both of their expected 40A AMR Vantage GT4 cars for their British GT Campaign for their driving crews of Mikey Porter/Jamie Day and Marc Warren/Will Orton.

Thanks to their pre-season exploits down in Spain and Portugal over the early months, both crews will arrive at Oulton Park with significant test and racing mileage under their belts with the new GT4 although the #7 crew of Porter and Day will find the class opposition significantly more challenging this time around than who they were up against within the GT4 Winter Series.

We do still await confirmation of the livery of both cars going into this weekend’s opener as both ran in a near neutral plain black scheme at Donington Park.

As always, the Oulton Park opener will again be split between the Free Practice and Qualifying sessions of Saturday with the warmup and races 1 and 2 of the new season on Bank Holiday Monday and again, taking so many new cars and new drivers to the tight and challenging circuit that is Oulton Park – well, that just adds to the excitement!!

Good luck to all the teams and crews and lets just hope that the weather gods are kind this time around!

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