Team LNT have confirmed their switch to the V de V Championship, withdrawing their entry from the Avon Tyres British GT Championship.
The Ginetta factory squad was to remain in the British series for a second full season, with Ginetta Chairman Lawrence Tomlinson joining factory driver Mike Simpson in driving the team’s Ginetta G55 GT3.
The team cite the discrepancy between the ACO/FIA and SRO gradings for their 2014 line-up, the FIA assessing the Tomlinson/Simpson pairing as a bronze-silver combination while the SRO, which organises the British GT Championship, levelled both drivers as silver grade.
The SRO agreed to review the assessment following the opening rounds of the championship on Easter Monday. However, Team LNT felt unable to commit to the championship with uncertainty surrounding their drivers’ gradings – and so whether the team would be levied with any penalties, as have been given to similar silver-silver line-ups in the past.
With the switch to the V de V Championship, where the G55 GT3 will run in the GTV 1 class the pairing will take on the seven round series based in France and Spain taking in the circuits of Paul Ricard, Estoril and the Bugatti circuit at Le Mans as well as the F1 track in Barcelona, where the season begins on March 23.
It is not the first time that the SRO’s driver gradings have resulted in teams moving away from the British GT Championship. Following a successful season with Alex Buncombe and Jann Mardenborough in 2012, Nissan and RJN Motorsport intended to run the 2013 season with drivers from the then latest group of Nissan Playstation GT Academy winners. However, when it was revealed that the rookie drivers would be graded at silver level following GT Academy winner Mardenborough’s performance the team moved their focus to the Blancpain Endurance Series.
Tom Sharp and Colin White, themselves returning for a second British GT campaign, will maintain the G55 GT3’s presence in the domestic series.