Porsche are to return from a year away from the British GT season, adding more variety to a grid that could already see ten different marques in the GT3 class alone.

The German manufacturer will return in the form of a Trackspeed prepared 997 GT3R machine, with team patron David Ashburn sharing the driving responsibilities with an as yet unnamed second driver.

The team, which last competed in the British series in 2008, aims to combine their return with continuing their presence in the GT3 European Championship.

The announcement comes on the same day that the series confirmed a number of cars and teams will take part in a 'balance of performance' test at Silverstone later this month.

The Ascari KZR1 of reigning champions Preci-Spark will join the new Ferrari Scuderia and Audi R8 cars along with the return of the Mosler MT900 that caused so much controversy last year. All cars will driven by official FIA GT3 test driver Kurt Mollekens.

We have organised a national Balance of Performance test to ensure that we gather enough data from cars taking part this year and to evaluate the Mosler,” said championship manager Benjamin Franassovici. “It is important to have this test with Kurt at the start the season; GT3 is getting stronger again in Britain and a test is necessary to guarantee a healthy foundation.”

The series on course to offer up a 20+ car grid for its opener at Oulton Park on April 5.

Chad Racing alone are expected to field three cars, headlined by Daniel Brown and South African Chris Hyman in a new 430 Scuderia clad in the famous racing colours of STP, while the occupants of the team's second new car due to be revealed next week.

A further Ferrari challenge will be launched by the Rosso Verde team and drivers Hector Lester and Allan Simonsen. The pair won three races last year, and currently hold the lap record at half of the tracks on the calander. However, they will once more be behind the wheel of a 430 GT3 car, rather than the 2010-spec Scuderia.

The familiar Ferrari, Barwell-Cadena Aston Martin, and the Dodge Viper returning in the hands of Aaron Scott and Craig Wilkins, will face up against some new cars to the series.

A pair of the Audi R8 LMS machines that debuted in Europe last year will be entered by the new United Autosport with American Zak Brown and Argentine Pablo Perez Companc (younger brother of rally and sportscar driver Luis Perez Companc) already confirmed as the drivers in the first to two planned cars.

And the grid could grow yet further as Franassovici explains; “With more marques set to join as the season progresses, it is shaping up to be a memorable year for British GT.”

Photo credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography