With three weeks still remaining until the deadline for entries the grid for this year's Avon Tyres British GT Championship already appears to be on course to match – or even eclipse – that of the 2011 season.
“With over 14 applications already received and several weeks to go ahead of the final entry deadline on the 29th February, interest and enthusiasm for this year's British GT championship is immense,” said championship manager Benjamin Franassovici.
“We are currently working hard on adding new brands and models to the already exciting GT field we have, and more will be revealed between now and the Media Day at Silverstone. Last year was good, this year will be better.”
The latest confirmations bring three Ferrari 458 GT3 to the grid. Two will be entered by MTECH, with title contenders Matt Griffin and Duncan Cameron again combining in one car. After dominating an admittedly thin GT3B category in 2011 Aaron Scott and John Dhillon make the step up to the premier GT3 class in a second 458 for the team, Scott combining British GT commitments with a previously announced Blancpain Endurance Series campaign in a GT3 Racing run Dodge Viper.
MTECH, who have come close the title with Griffin and Cameron the past two seasons, picking up four wins in the process, are due to announce a third car, though in which class remains unclear. Rivals Trackspeed have already announced their intention to run a trio of Porsches in the main GT3 class.
After debuting the new car in the closing rounds of the 2011 season Hector Lester's Rosso Verde team will enter a single 458 for Lester and an as yet unnamed co-driver.
The older GT3 Ferrari – the 430 Scuderia – will continue to be represented in the series as Adam Wilcox and Phil Burton will again drive the black Predator CCTV machine.
Long a fixture in a the GT4 category Ginetta stepped up to the top class in 2011 with their new G55. After a tough development season – punctuated with strong performances in difficult conditions at Rockingham and Donington Park – the Yorkshire based manufacturer introduced a massively updated car for the final round in October.
After further running through the winter the new GT3-spec Ginetta G55 is already entered by two teams – Stark Racing with Hepworth and Team WFR. While Team WFR – who will also run a G50 in the GT4 class – have not announced their drivers the Stark entry will be helmed by Ian Stinton with Jake Rattenbury, the young Welshman a race winner with Century Motorsport in GT4 last season.
Rattenbury's former team expand to a pair of Ginetta G50 for their 2012 campaign. Once again the squad have turned to the Principality for driving talent, signing Welsh Sports & Saloon Car Champion Dominic Evans for one of the cars.
“My ambition has always been to race GT's at the highest level,” said Evans. “Some of the alternative championships simply do not have the mix of cars, the levels of professionalism, TV exposure or Kudos needed to make racing at this level a viable option, so for me British GT was the only credible option. I can't wait to get stuck in.”
Not content with boosting the GT3 grid – running a BMW Z4 in the British championship for the first time – a Ginetta G50 will also be run from the Barwell Motorsport garages for Peter Erceg, who switches from Aston Martin over the off-season.
Following the media day in late March the opening round of the championship takes place on the Easter weekend – April 7-9.