A 30 car grid will grace the Brand Hatch Grand Prix circuit for another two hour race this weekend as the Avon Tyres British GT Championship returns to action after a month away following their breathless Snetterton encounter over the same distance.
The grid at the Kent track will include several changes compared to the field that started in Norfolk last month. CRS Racing debut a second Ferrari 458 Italia for Alex Mortimer and Andrew Tate, joining the similar car of Glynn and Jim Geddie that lost the Snetterton win on the final lap.
Mortimer's concerns will also extend to the Ford GT run by his family's RPM team. The Ford has been a regular in British GT in recent season, by has mainly run in GT Open so far this season. Peter Bamford will share the car with Thomas Mutsch. Mutsch finished as runner-up in last season' FIA GT1 World Championship, driving the up-specced Ford GT for Matech Competition. The German has also raced and won in the European GT3 Championship and is a long term member, both behind the wheel and on the technical team, of the Matech team that brought the Ford to European racing.
Despite a strong racing CV, however, this weekend will be both his Brands Hatch and British GT bow, though Bamford has confidence in his co-driver. “I am sure he will learn it very quickly,” he said. “I am very pleased to be returning to the championship to test the waters: I have watched what has been happening with the series and clearly now it has not only a very large field but also a very competitive one.”
After two weekend United Autosports' due of Matt Bell and Michael Guasch lead the championship after winning at Snetterton, but now saddled with a longer mandatory pitstop after their success the pair face renewed opposition. The Geddies return as do Matt Griffin and Duncan Cameron after a clash with a backmarker ended their Snetterton outing. Oulton Park winner Charles Bateman and Michael Lyons complete the 458 ranks for Scuderia Vittoria.
Trackspeed will be looking to bounce back from their disastrous Snetterton with Porsche Carrera Cup front runner Stephen Jelley the latest man to team up with David Ashburn in the no.1 Porsche. The Carrera Cup, meanwhile is sitting out the TOCA meeting at Croft before taking on the Nordschleife next weekend. After missing Snetterton Ron and Piers Johnson will be back with the Speedworks Corvette.
The increased car count is even more pronounced in the other classes. For the first time this year John Dhillon and Aaron Scott will face competition in GT3B. Their MTECH entry will be joined by a second Ferrari from the team for drivers Paul Hogarth and Jamie Pickford. 22 GT Racing also join the class, Tom Alexander and Adrian Wilmott in a Aston Martin DBRS9.
The GT4 class also welcomes newcomers with a pair of Aston Martin Vantages joining the KTM, Lotus and Ginetta battle. Established Aston Martin squad Barwell Motorsport are preparing the Secure Racing entry for Chris Holmes and Peter Erceg while Aston Martin Belgium enter a car for Arnold and Jean-Paul Herreman.
Former BTCC and Clio Cup driver Phil Glew makes his first appearance in the Lotus Evora, replacing Jack Drinkall alongside Leyton Clarke.
The field is completed by Anglo-Swedish run team Magic Racing with drivers Bjorn and Anders Gustavson. The pair join the GTC class, going up against Jordan Witt and Anthony Reid, meaning competition in every class in an increasingly strong year for British GT