British GT

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FIA GT1 World Championship

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FIA GT3 European Championship

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Blancpain Endurance Series

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Le Mans 24 Hours

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Saturday, 12 February 2011

Chevron GR8 to contest British GT in 2011

A works-supported Chevron GR8 is to compete in the 2011 Avon Tyres British GT Championship, the Cheshire-based sports car manufacturer confirmed yesterday. The announcement came at the Autosport International show, where the latest specification of Chevron’s mid-engined 2-litre GR8 was unveiled.

The car will be driven by ex-BTCC racer and Le Mans driver Anthony Reid and talented youngster Jordan Witt, and will contest the championship’s GT Cup category. Reid – with co-driver Chris Hart – gave the Chevron a stunning British GT debut in October, the GR8 finishing seventh overall and a runaway class victor in the season-closing two-hour race.

Reid brings a wealth of experience and chassis development expertise to the project. The 54-year-old Scotsman won the Japanese Formula 3 Championship in 1992 and was British Touring Car Championship runner-up in ’98. Among his many sports car successes was third overall in the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1990.

Twenty-year-old Witt, from Cheshire, enjoyed a remarkable first full season in motor racing in 2010, scoring four wins and five second-place finishes in the inaugural Chevron GR8 series, as well as winning the Class B championship title in the Sportmaxx Production Cup.

Chevron Racing Cars hopes that competitors in its own Chevron GR8 Challenge – which gains championship status in 2011 – will join the works-supported machine on the British GT grid. “Teams and drivers competing in the Chevron GR8 Challenge have the option of running in other championships, like British GT,” said managing director Helen Bashford-Malkie. “The GR8 is designed as a low-maintenance proposition, so in prospect is an entertaining season’s racing at comparatively modest cost.

“The Chevron was extremely competitive at Donington and will, I am sure, be snapping at the heels of the GT3 cars during 2011.”

Avon Tyres British GT Championship manager Benjamin Franassovicci added: “It is great to see the Chevron name back on the grid; I am sure the GR8 will be a popular option for many drivers looking for a cost-effective route into British GT.”

Corvette joins British GT grid with Speedworks

Speedworks Motorsport and drivers Piers Johnson and Ron Johnson are to campaign a Corvette in the Avon Tyres British GT Championship, it is confirmed today. The Corvette will be making its British GT debut after considerable success in the FIA GT3 European Championship, and Speedworks – last season’s G4 champion team – will be stepping up to GT3 for the first time.

The 560bhp V8 Corvette will be joining a host of new and exciting machinery on the grid, with the Ferrari 458 Italia and Mercedes-Benz SLS joining the fray for the first time alongside the Audi R8 LMS, Porsche 911 GT3R, Ascari KZR1, Ferrari 430 Scuderia and other GT3 exotica.

Piers Johnson, a former saloon-racing champion and Le Mans campaigner, believes his return to the sharp end of the British GT field with Christian Dick’s team Speedworks is set to be a successful one: “We did a couple of events with Speedworks last year and I asked Christian what he’d choose if he had the option to buy a GT3 car. He said the Corvette. We wanted to be different, we liked the option and it’s within our budget. It’s worked well in Europe and hopefully it’ll work well here and be competitive with the new cars out there.”

Piers also hopes the new relationship with Speedworks will be a long one. “They won the British G4 championship last year, they’re a relatively young team, and they’re good to work with. I think they can get bigger and better and I’d like to be part of that.”

Dick added: “The Corvette is one of the most durable cars out there and it’s cost effective without compromise. When we first got involved in British GT we loved the environment and it was always the goal to step up. Piers and Ron can focus on bringing the car home and I think the longer races will be good for us. There’s no reason we can’t achieve a win by the end of the year.”

Piers Johnson’s driving partner Ron – no relation – started his track career in the Caterham Academy and progressed through Superlights and R400s to British GT last year with a Speedworks-run Ginetta G50.

Their campaign will be sponsored by Oilfield Production Consultants (OPC) Ltd, which provides expertise to the global oil and gas industry to assist hydrocarbon exploration and production companies find, evaluate and produce hydrocarbons. OPC has offices in London, Aberdeen, Houston, Doha and Atyrau.

“It is really exciting finally to see a Corvette on the British GT grid,” said championship manager Benjamin Franassovici. “It was a competitive car in Europe in 2010 and I am sure that it will be here also. There is a great battle in prospect between the new GT3 cars like the Corvette, Ferrari and Mercedes and those with a proven track record in the series.

“I am very happy also to see the Speedworks team racing in GT3; Christian and Amy did a great job last year and are part of the British GT family.”

Speedworks, which will also field a Toyota Avensis in the British Touring Car Championship this season, expects delivery of its Corvette next month and hopes to begin testing in good time for the opening round of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship at Oulton Park on Easter Monday (25 Apr).

The British GT Championship is sponsored by UK tyre manufacturer Avon Tyres and is further supported by Sunoco Racing Fuels, Anglo American Oil Company and OAMPS.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Team Magic conjures up GTC Ginetta for British GT

The 2011 grid for the Avon Tyres British GT Championship is expanding in all directions, not just in the field-leading GT3 category. The latest team to announce its participation in the GT Cup class is Swedish squad Magic Racing, which will field a Ginetta G50 in selected events.

Magic’s driver strength will be led by team principal Björn Gustavson, who will be joined at the Donington Park round of the championship by Ginetta G50 Champion and now BTCC racer Frank Wrathall. Magic plans also to race at the Snetterton, Brands Hatch, Spa and Silverstone meetings and there are plans that Björn’s brother, Anders Gustavson, will co-drive at these events. British GT race-winner Phil Quaife will be their driver coach.

“I am delighted to be racing in British GT this season,” said Björn. “After a year racing in various events in Sweden and the UK it’s great to be able to focus on the GTC class for 2011.”

Added team manager Jonny Westbrook: “British GT is the blue riband championship in the UK and that’s why we have chosen to run our Ginetta in the GTC class. While we may not have the outright pace of some our competitors, I believe we have the infrastructure in place for some strong results. We’re a young team and are definitely looking toward GT3 in the future. [Championship manager] Benjamin Franassovici has been a great help and I’m really pleased to have people of the calibre of Phil Quaife and Frank Wrathall on board.”

Frank Wrathall said: “It’s great to have been given this opportunity. I jumped at the chance to work with Björn and the Magic Racing team again. The car is great to drive and I’m looking forward to competing in British GT.”

Franassovici welcomes Team Magic: “With the influx of new and increasingly exotic machinery to GT championships across the globe, it’s easy to forget that the UK is home to some superb engineering talent. Chevron and Ginetta are two UK manufacturers that will be represented well in British GT this year, and the arrival of Team Magic further adds to the diverse and exciting line-up we have across all of the classes.”

The British GT season gets underway on Easter Monday at Oulton Park. The series is sponsored by UK tyre manufacturer Avon Tyres and is further supported by Sunoco Racing Fuels, Anglo American Oil Company and OAMPS.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Two-car Lotus Evora campaign for new British GT team

A two-car squad of Lotus Evora GT4 cars is to be fielded in the Avon Tyres British GT Championship by a works-backed team, it was confirmed today. The machines will be entered under the Lotus Sport UK banner, and one of them will be raced by Porsche champion Ollie Jackson.

Motorsport group CM Consolidated, a recent investor in well-known paddock names such as Showtrax, Corbeau and Luke Harnesses, is behind the new team. Former BTCC and Le Mans racer Gary Ayles is to manage the squad.

CMC has signed a long-term agreement with Lotus Motorsport and will enjoy partner status with the Norfolk-based supercar manufacturer. In addition to the two-car assault on British GT, Lotus Sport UK hopes also to take part in some rounds of the FIA GT4 European Cup.

“We are extremely proud and excited to be working alongside Lotus Motorsport during an extraordinary period in its history,” said a CMC spokesman. “To be associated with such an iconic brand at this stage of its motorsport programme is just fantastic. We cannot wait to get our hands on the cars and to start testing.”

The team says that its driver line-up has yet to be finalised: “It will include the recently crowned Porsche Carrera Cup Pro Am 1 Champion Ollie Jackson. The pairings will feature the requisite combination of a quick professional alongside up and coming young talent or seasoned gentleman racers from around the world. Driver interest is high.”

The arrival of Lotus Sport UK on to the Avon Tyres British GT grid is welcomed by championship manager Benjamin Franassovicci: “This is great news for the series and particularly for the GT4 category – it marks a coming of age for the class, I believe, and I am sure that based on the current interest and the variety of cars looking at entering this season, that the racing will be very exciting.”

British GT, the opening round of which takes place at Oulton Park on Easter Monday (25 Apr) is sponsored by UK tyre manufacturer Avon Tyres and is further supported by Sunoco Racing Fuels, Anglo American Oil Company and OAMPS.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

New team plans two-car British GT campaign in 2011 with Ferrari 458 and Ascari KZR1

The Avon Tyres British GT Championship is set to welcome a new team to its ranks this season – one with plans to field a brace of GT3 cars, a Ferrari 458 GT3 and an Ascari, in the country’s leading sports car series.

Scuderia Vittoria has been formed by ex-BTCC racers Tom Ferrier and Danny Buxton and seasoned team manager Piers Masarati to contest not only British GT but also other forms of sports car and saloon racing, as well as the FIA GT3 European Championship. The Essex-based squad is currently preparing an Ascari KZR1 for its first tests and expects delivery of its Ferrari in March.

“The Ascari is currently in build at Ascari in Spain,” says Masarati, “and will be ready for testing in two weeks; we will be out at the Ascari circuit in Spain in mid-February and will be using this chassis to prepare all our drivers. The 458 will arrive from Ferrari in the first batch being sent to the UK, in March.

“We are targeting British and European GT3 – the programme will be led by our customers – and we hope to be able to name our driver line-up within a few weeks. We will be sharing Chad Racing’s entry in Europe and pooling our cars.

“Scuderia Vittoria will also be running a number of cars in the Renault Clio UK Cup, where we hope to make a good impression with Danny Buxton running the team, and we hope also to carry on racing Ginettas, for which programme we are actively seeking drivers.”

Masarati is a former class champion in British GT and since switching to team management has achieved success with single-seater and sports car teams. His new partners Ferrier and Buxton are both seasoned pros in many forms of racing – Ferrier was a race winner in British GT in 2010 with Chad Racing while Buxton has claimed Ford Fiesta and two Renault Clio championship titles.

British GT Championship manager Benjamin Franassovicci said: “We welcome Piers, Tom and Danny and their new team and look forward to their participation in 2011. It is certainly shaping up to look like a remarkably competitive and exciting season, and there will be announcements soon about the return of some exciting marques to the championship.”

Meanwhile, today (Thursday) at the Autosport International show at Birmingham’s NEC, the Avon Tyres British GT Championship gets into the swing of the new season with the launch of new championship branding and the appearance of several contenders scheduled to grace the grid in 2011.

On the Lotus Cars stand, the sports car manufacturer’s latest GT4 offering, the Evora, is featured in full Avon Tyres British GT livery, and visitors to the stand between now and the show’s close on Sunday (16 Jan) can take advantage of a fantastic offer on tickets for the British Formula 3 and British GT meeting at Rockingham in September.

They can pick up a special voucher – in the form of an attractive fridge magnet – which will get them 2-for-1 on Rockingham passes; they are also available from the BARC and Sunoco/Anglo American Oil Company stands.

In addition, the stand of British GT broadcaster Motors TV boasts one of the United Autosports team’s Audi R8 LMS machines, and there will be personal appearances at Autosport International by team drivers John Bintcliffe, Jay Palmer and Matt Bell.

British GT is sponsored by UK tyre manufacturer Avon Tyres and is further supported by Sunoco Racing Fuels, Anglo American Oil Company and OAMPS.