World exclusive McLaren 570S GT4 unveiling adds even greater variety to packed grid
This year’s British GT Championship will feature a 33-strong grid after series bosses confirmed 15 GT3 and 17 GT4 full-season entries, as well as another GT4 from mid-season, during today’s annual Media Day at Snetterton.
It’s a list packed with variety, too, thanks to a total of 11 manufacturers competing across both classes. GT3 features a total of seven marques while GT4 boasts the greatest diversity in its history with six different brands represented.
Audi and Bentley both return to the senior class after a season away, while fans will also be delighted to see Lamborghini back in British GT. Elsewhere, Maserati’s raucous GranTurismo MC has already proven a popular addition to the GT4 ranks.
But on a day of big announcements there was none more significant than a world exclusive unveiling by McLaren Automotive, which showed off the all-new 570S GT4 that will compete in the hands of Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse this year. It was just one of a raft of previously unannounced entries that included Beechdean AMR confirming a second GT4-spec Aston Martin to be driven from mid-season by celebrity baker Paul Hollywood.
JWBird Motorsport returns for a second year with an Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT4 for its 2015 pairing Kieran Griffin and Jake Giddings, while GPRM have entered two of their self-developed Toyota GT86 GT4s.
Series bosses are also expecting 50-plus grids for their Silverstone and Spa rounds thanks to extra confirmed entries in both classes and the addition of the GT4 European Series, whose cars will compete in the same race but not count towards British GT’s classification.
Elsewhere, this year’s GT4 Silver Cup is sure to be keenly contested thanks to seven all-Pro entries, reinforcing the premise that British GT offers a perfect opportunity for young, up-and-coming drivers to make their mark in sportscar racing.
British GT Championship Manager Benjamin Franassovici: “Once again British GT has attracted a fantastic entry featuring a number of new manufacturers, models and teams. I also think it speaks volumes for the championship that the likes of McLaren has chosen British GT as the competitive platform from which to develop what is clearly a very important addition to its customer racing programme. The 570S GT4 looks fantastic and I can’t wait to see how it compares against our incredibly healthy and competitive GT4 grid.
“The addition of the European GT4 Series at Silverstone and Spa will obviously make for an even more impressive spectacle, but we are also expecting to see a number of other entries and manufacturers throughout the season. 33 cars is a great start but it’s by no means the maximum we will see in 2016.”
The opening round of this season’s British GT Championship takes place at Brands Hatch on April 16/17.