bgt-logo 2The 2014 Avon Tyres British GT Championship arrives at Snetterton this weekend (June 21/22) for a brace of hour-long races on the 300 layout of Norfolk’s favourite race track.

After the three-hour endurance race of the Silverstone 500 it’s a change of focus to the double sprint format, and for some teams a hope for a change to fortunes too with changes to driver line-ups and even race numbers through the field.

Notably, the driver line-up for the team heading the GT3 championship standings is revised with Alexander Sims handing over his seat alongside Marco Attard in the #79 Ecurie Ecosse BMW Z4 for this event to Jonathan Cocker. The team heads the GT3 standings by 52 points from Beechdean AMR on 45, with AF Corse on 41.

Elsewhere in GT3, Adam Carroll will be able to add British GT to his CV’s impressive line-up of Formula 3, A1GP, GP2, DTM and IndyCar by joining Gary Eastwood in the #18 FF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia. Ian Stinton makes a welcome return to British GT, sitting in for Colin White in the #40 IDL CWS Racing G55 Ginetta, whilst Wolfgang Reip makes his British GT debut alongside Chris Hoy in the #80 Nissan GT Academy Team RJN Nissan GT-R.

A late call on a team-mate for Rory Butcher in the #5 Oman Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage is expected to be made whilst the #17 M-Sport Bentley Continental will see the debut of Humaid Al Masaoud alongside Steven Kane. The United Autosports #18 Audi R8 LMS Ultra sees Iain Dockerill join Matt Bell and Richard Lyons will re-join Pasin Lathouras in the #29 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia.

In GT4, driver changes are limited to Jade Edwards joining Matt Draper in the #41 Optimum G55 Ginetta as well as a late call expected on a team-mate for Declan Jones in the #45 RLR BMW M3. The class is currently led by TF Sport on 85 points from Beechdean AMR’s 82 and Optimum’s 56.

The Blancpain Gentleman Driver Trophy for eligible amateur drivers adds another dimension to the action with Beechdean AMR’s Andrew Howard topping the points going to Snetterton with 92.5 ahead of Marco Attard’s 79 and Triple Eight’s Derek Johnston’s 60.5.

In terms of race numbers there are two changes, with Triple Eight going for a double eight on the former #8 BMW Z4 of Lee Mowle and Joe Osborne and Trackspeed changing the #33 Porsche 997 to #63 for Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen.
Action starts on Saturday at Snetterton with morning practice and afternoon qualifying, before Sunday’s two races, starting at 11:40 and 16:25.

Quotes
Cooper Tires Motorsport Manager, Paul Coates
Snetterton 300 is one of the fastest circuits we visit on the F3/GT calendar and is one of the most demanding on tyres, so it’s a great challenge for us. The track combines two of the longest straights in UK motorsport with some very technical, twisty sections, meaning that the tyres have got to stand up to just about every kind of challenge they’ll ever face – all in the space of a single lap. Snetterton provides the F3 drivers with some good opportunities to pass so they are likely to be quite hard on their tyres as they battle it out. Meanwhile, the challenge, as ever with British GT, is to cater for a huge variety of different sportscars and driving styles.

Jonny Adam, #1 Beechdean AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT3:
“The season is going to plan with consistent results but we aim to score more podiums this weekend. With the two 1 hour races qualifying will be very important on Saturday afternoon. Snetterton should be okay for the Aston but the BMW and Audi seemed quick last year. The middle part of the lap is important to have a car that has good traction and braking stability.”

Steve Tandy, #2 Generation Bentley Racing Bentley Continental GT3:
“Snetterton holds fond memories for me with a win in 2012 and a second place last year. I hope we can continue that form in the Bentley which has tested well there for us. I know the team have worked very hard since Silverstone.”

Ahmad Al Harthy, #4 Oman racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3:
“We can’t wait to be back in action at Snetterton, it’s been a fantastic year so far for us in British GT and after the Silverstone win we’ve shown how competitive we can be in longer endurance races as well as the shorter 60-minute races. Silverstone was definitely our biggest, and best, win yet and we’re quicker and more competitive every time we’re in the car. To be in the top three of the championship as we reach the halfway point of the season is exactly where we need to be and where we hoped we’d be. This is an extremely important part of the season, we’ve managed to score in each race so far and it’s vital to keep that run going – any lost ground at this stage could have a big impact. Having won at Snetterton last year, it only adds to the confidence knowing we can be competitive and hopefully challenging at the front again at the weekend.”

Michael Caine, #4 Oman racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3:
“We won last time at Snetterton last year and it’s my home circuit so I hope to be picking up another trophy this weekend. We’ve been told that it’s not a great circuit for the Aston, but we’ve never been there in the Motorbase Vantage so we shall wait and see – podiums would be an outstanding result for us considering the longer pit stop. We’ve got a great week of racing ahead, heading straight to Paul Ricard for the Blancpain after Snetterton, so with any luck we can start on a positive.”

Rory Butcher, #5 Oman Racing Team Aston Martin GT3:
“I’m really excited to get back on track with the Oman Racing Team after our success at the Silverstone 500 last month. It’ll be good to get back to the cut and thrust of the sprint races again and I’m looking forward to the challenges which Snetterton will bring. We are building up momentum and learning all the time and I feel confident that we’ll be right back in the fight to secure another points finish with the Aston.”

Aaron Scott, #13 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia GT3:
“I’m looking forward to the Snetterton races, it’s a circuit I like and have gone well at in the past few seasons. The middle sector is good for overtaking and the one hour format is good for us. We tested there at the start of the season and set some fast lap times so I hope it will be good for the Ferrari and we can close the gap to the Aston Martin and BMW teams. AF Corse will be pushing hard and expecting a good result for both cars!”

Paul Bailey, #28 Horsepower Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3:
“I’m clearly not happy that Andy and I have had three consecutive DNFs during our recent outings in the Blancpain Endurance Series, the Dutch Supercar Challenge and Silverstone’s British GT round, but I feel we’re back in the groove after finishing third in the last race at Spa. Having achieved my first ever race win at Snetterton, I’m hoping for a solid top ten finish that either matches or betters the ninth place we achieved at Rockingham earlier in the season, although it’s difficult to set any specific targets, not knowing how fierce the competition will be. I’ve always liked the Snetterton ‘300’ circuit and it requires a good balance of power and downforce that I think we have with the Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3. Also, the gap between myself and Andy is usually narrower at Snetterton than at any other circuit, so we should be a strong driver pairing.”

Andy Schulz, #28 Horsepower Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3:
“I’m really looking forward to this weekend. Historically, Paul and I have done really well at Snetterton so I’m hopeful we can do the same this time around, especially as the circuit should suit the Aston Martin. If we get the car hooked up, we can certainly finish in the top ten. I like the two one-hour race format, as the sprints mean you have to get on with driving and there’s little need for strategy. You never know what’s around the corner, but we will be looking to put the Silverstone misery behind us and better the ninth place we achieved at Rockingham.”

Ian Stinton, #40 IDL CWS Racing G55 Ginetta GT3:
“I’m so pleased to be back out in the British GT Championship, this marks my tenth season competing in the series. To team up with a BRDC SuperStar like Tom is fantastic, the G55 is a wonderful car to drive and I’m certainly looking for a top ten finish from the weekend.”

Tom Sharp, #40 IDL CWS Racing G55 Ginetta GT3:
“I’ve known Ian for some time now through racing Ginettas. He’s a quick driver, and his experience will be an asset to the team. I feel like the team are on top of things with the car now, and I think that we should have a good chance of picking up a pair of top ten finishes at Snetterton.”

Tom Oliphant, #42 Century Motorsport G55 Ginetta GT4:
“Snetterton is one of my favourite tracks. I think the combination of tight complex corners with long high speed corners makes it a very unique and challenging track. The Ginetta G55 will be very suited to this track and its ability to execute the tight sections at speed will make the difference I believe, however that’s not to say the other cars won’t be able to challenge for the win. This is my first time racing the 300 circuit so i have no memories of the track however through winter testing it is one of the best tracks I drove, and it is one that I feel very comfortable driving. The season so far has been difficult to say the least, out of the first four races we have started on the front row three times, we have led large proportions of all the races and have had bad luck at every round. I fully believe that we have the team and car to win and hopefully we will get the chance to prove that at Snetterton.”

Rick Parfitt Jnr, #42 Century Motorsport G55 Ginetta GT4:
“I’m really looking forward to returning to Snetterton this year, it suits my driving style well with fast flowing curves and a tight middle section, it reminds me of my karting days! Last year we scored a double victory there and in the second race we came back from a 50 second deficit due to the car stopping, it was probably the best stint of my career so far catching and passing the leader two laps before the end of the race was an incredible moment. Car-wise the Ginetta is bound to be more nimble in the twisty bits however we are struggling in straight-line speed this season and just can’t keep up with the Astons, Porsches or Lotus at any circuit with long straights. We also haven’t been able to test at Snetterton so it remains to be seen how we get on. So far this season has been very frustrating, after scoring two pole positions and having run constantly at the front, we have had three component failures from four races, all of which have snatched any chance of a podium and at Rockingham a near certain victory! I still believe that Tom and I have the pace to win races although the championship may now be beyond our reach, saying that I won’t give up… At Snetterton we will be back with the car covered in four leaf clovers, lucky horse shoes and rabbits feet! And of course we will fight for podiums at every round until the season is over!”

Dan Cammish, #44 Team Parker Racing Porsche 911 GT4:
“Snetterton has always been a good circuit for me, both in the new 300 layout and its pervious iteration. I have enjoyed great results and usually better weather which always makes for an enjoyable weekend. I’m still very much a GT racing rookie so it’s hard to say if the 2×1 hour race programme favours us over the longer races, but it does give us two opportunities to get it right which helps when were still learning. Our season so far has been encouraging and were getting quicker each outing so I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do. I will be giving my all to secure at least one GT4 pole and if we can score two top six finishes I would consider that a good weekend against such strong opposition.”

Devon Modell, #49 TF Sport Aston Martin GT4 Challenge:
“It’s good to be back in the lead of the championship, but I’m not sure if the Aston Martin will suit the Snetterton circuit. It’s a mixed track with long, fast straights and then there are the tight, twisty sections that shift weight balance, which is something we’ve struggled with. This weekend features two one-hour sprints, which I prefer; anything can happen in GT racing, but this format gives you a chance to recover in the second race. We have to take each event as it comes and we don’t really know how we’re going to fare until qualifying.”

Andrew Jarman, #49 TF Sport Aston Martin GT4 Challenge:
“Snetterton is a circuit I’ve driven quite a lot and have fond memories of. I won the Aston Martin GT4 Challenge there last year, but it’s a circuit that doesn’t suit the Aston Martin V8 Vantage, with an infield section that requires quick direction changes. On the straights and through the back end of the circuit, the car excels, but it feels unbalanced elsewhere. Having finished on the podium in all four races this season, the benchmark is to match that again this weekend. As long as we stay ahead of our Beechdean Aston Martin rivals in the races and the championship standings, I’ll be happy.”

Matt Nicoll-Jones, #55 Academy Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4:
“Snetterton is a nice circuit with the 300 layout which will be used. It has been one of the better circuits for the team in previous years. I won the three-hour Guards Trophy race there last year in a Historic Jaguar E-Type, although also was involved in an accident in the Ginetta Supercup. The team has had a very mixed season so far. Rockingham was a fantastic race, definitely the high point of our campaign. But we’ve been let down by parts issues which is the only thing killing our chances at the moment. The team does an awesome job with strategy. We could have gone for the win at Silverstone had it not been for a part failure.”

Oli Basey-Fisher, #55 Academy Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4:
“Snetterton is my home circuit, so I’m looking forward to having some great local support. But the circuit has always been a bogey one for me. I’ve always been quick around the circuit but suffered bad luck when it comes to races. I’m looking to put that right this weekend. The twisty infield sections of the track should suit us although we may struggle along the straights. The sprint race format enables us to go all out without worrying too much about endurance-style tactics. To get my first British GT win at Rockingham was fantastic and Silverstone could have been great had it not been for the part failure.”

Joe Osborne, #88 Triple Eight BMW Z4 GT3:
“The old track was unique, it was a real one-off and it was all about slipstreaming your rivals along with some lunges into the stops. The new one is a bit of a car park and it’s lost its special qualities. It’s a bit beige, but does allow for some close racing. Last year Lee got taken out at turn one, which is now one of our things. Then Nick Tandy hit us in the rear and spun me round in the second race, and in one of the most sportsmanlike gestures I’ve experienced, gave me back the place on the start/finish line. We ended up finishing fourth, but we had a race-winning car, so to not be on the podium was frustrating. As a team we’ve done quite a bit of development work at Snett; the car is strong on the 300 circuit as we saw last year. It’s also Lee’s home track which means there will be lots of local fans in attendance, clapping away. That’s always a bonus. There’s no pressure on us now we’re out of the championship. It’s a real shame that we’ve had our year ruined by mistakes outside of the team, but there’s not a lot you can do about that. We’re now just going to try and win every race, we have nothing else to race for; we’re the veritable fox in the turkey coop. It’s pretty logical when you see how lucky 888 has been this year compared to us. We’re doubling the luck of the number eight. The number 88 is special to me for two reasons. Firstly it was the door number of my parents’ house for over nineteen years, which has a lot of sentimenality for me. It also reminds me of one of my most eventful nights out, which is often referred to as 88 by friends, in that it involved two fat ladies – the bingo call associated with the number.”

Lee Mowle, #88 Triple Eight BMW Z4 GT3:
“We had a strong weekend last year and the car was really quick there. In the first race last year we got hit into turn one on the first lap; it’s becoming a bit of a theme for us sadly. That scuppered a podium for us, but we were quick. Then in the second race there was a pit stop issue, which sent us down the order and cost us another podium. Joe and I are really looking forward to returning to Snetterton. Hopefully we’ll show the same level of pace as last year, if we do that, then we should definitely get on the podium. It’d be nice to avoid contact. After Silverstone I sat down and worked out that I’d been hit in six out of the nine races I started, and then there is the Oulton Park weekend where I didn’t even get to race. We’ve got to score some big points here at Snett. The car and team deserve some decent results and currently our points total is worse than if we started the season now. It’s all about getting race wins from here on in. Technically Snetterton is one of my home circuits. I have a house in Swaffham and one in London, so I do feel a sense of urgency when I get in a car and race here. “We know that eight is meant to be a lucky number, and the origins of the Triple Eight name come from the fact the number is synonymous with bringing luck. I’m not sure what has happened with us using this in British GT, but it hasn’t just been unlucky, it’s been phenomenally unlucky. Our thinking is that 88 can’t be as unlucky. We literally can’t do twice as badly as we have this year, so it can only be a good thing! We’re going to have the car and factory blessed before the Snetterton weekend and we’ll be stopping for some lucky heather on the A11 too. I need to ask Joe if he broke some mirrors before the start of the season again.”

Luke Hines. #888 Triple Eight BMW Z4 GT3:
“Snetterton’s a great circuit. I was always a big fan of the old track, but the new layout has some character to it too. It can take a little bit of time to get into it at Snett, it’s very twisty and technical now, but I like that. I prefer the more British tracks, which require you to do a lot of work on a lap, rather than some of the newer FIA circuits. It’s a shame they’ve resurfaced some sections of the track over the winter; I’ve always loved bomb hole and it makes it a bit easier now. It was more fun when it was bumpy and loose on entry. My last race here was three years ago in a Seat Leon in Britcar, but I took a win here in the BTCC and I have some good memories of that. Derek and I did some testing here pre-season and we went well. We’re very confident of being on the pace this weekend. It’s great to get in the car with Derek again. He’s a very quick driver in his own right, and he always improves. He keeps me on my toes and I was a bit disappointed with my performance at Silverstone if I’m honest. I’m going to be fighting back hard at Snetterton; we want to win the title.”

Timetable
Saturday 21 June
09:35 Practice 1
12:35 Practice 2
16:40 Qualifying 1
17:00 Qualifying 2
Sunday 22 June
09:00 Warm-up
11:40 Race 1
16:25 Race 2
Provisional Entry List
# Team / Entrant Car Driver Driver Class
1 Beechdean AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT3 Andrew Howard Jonny Adam GT3
2 Generation Bentley Racing Bentley Continental GT3 Steve Tandy James Appleby GT3
4 Oman Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3 Ahmad Al Harthy Michael Caine (+75) GT3
5 Oman Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3 tba Rory Butcher GT3
6 PGF – Kinfaun AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT3 Phil Dryburgh John Gaw GT3
12 Trackspeed Porsche 997 GT3 R Jody Firth Warren Hughes (+75) GT3
13 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia John Dhillon Aaron Scott GT3
17 M-Sport Bentley Continental GT3 Humaid Al Masaoud Steven Kane GT3
18 FF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia Gary Eastwood Adam Carroll (+10Kg) GT3
21 Strata 21 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 Paul White Tom Onslow-Cole GT3
22 Preci -Spark McLaren MP4 12C David Jones Godfrey Jones GT3
23 United Autosports Audi R8 LMS Ultra Iain Dockerill Matt Bell GT3
28 HorsePower Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3 Paul Bailey Andy Schulz GT3
29 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia Pasin Lathouras Richard Lyons (+75) GT3
38 MP Motorsport AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT3 Mark Poole Richard Abra GT3
40 IDL CWS Racing G55 Ginetta GT3 Ian Stinton Tom Sharp GT3
63 Trackspeed Porsche 997 GT3 R Jon Minshaw Phil Keen GT3
79 Ecurie Ecosse BMW Z4 GT3 Marco Attard Jonathan Cocker GT3
80 Nissan GT Academy Team RJN Nissan GT-R GT3 Chris Hoy Wolfgang Reip GT3
88 Triple 8 BMW Z4 GT3 Lee Mowle Joe Osborne GT3
888 Triple 8 BMW Z4 GT3 Derek Johnston Luke Hines GT3
41 Optimum G55 Ginetta GT4 Jade Edwards Matt Draper GT4
42 Century Motorsport G55 Ginetta GT4 Rick Parfitt Tom Oliphant GT4
43 Century Motorsport G55 Ginetta GT4 Aleksander Schjerpen Morten Dons (+30) GT4
44 Team Parker Racing Porsche 911 GT4 Barrie Baxter Dan Cammish GT4
45 RLR / Alain Schlesinger BMW M3 GT4 tba Declan Jones GT4
46 Twisted Team Parker G55 Ginetta GT4 Adrian Barwick Bradley Ellis GT4
48 Fox Motorsport / Paul McNeilly G55 Ginetta GT4 Paul McNeilly Jamie Stanley GT4
49 TF Sport Aston Martin GT4 Challenge Andrew Jarman Devon Modell (+30) GT4
55 Academy Motorsport G55 Ginetta GT4 Oli Basey-Fisher Matt Nicoll-Jones (+30) GT4
77 ISSY Racing / Oz Yuzuf Lotus Evora GT4 Oz Yusuf Gavan Kershaw GT4
407 Beechdean AMR Aston Martin GT4 Challenge Jake Giddings Ross Wylie (+30) GT4