MTECH, the leading proponent of Ferrari in recent British GT seasons may have bowed out of the series, but four of Maranello’s GT3 creation remain on the grid, including a pair of full season entries from AF Corse, the brand’s team of choice for GT racing. Also riding the prancing horse will be one of the form teams of 2013’s late races and a team that should put a smile on the face of GT fans the world over.
#3 – Hector Lester/Benny Simonsen
Following the tragic death of Allan Simonsen last year the continued involvement of Ulsterman Hector Lester and the small Rosso Verde squad was in – understandable – doubt. The news that Lester would team up with Benny – Allan’s younger brother – immediately gave the grid what will likely be a sentimental favourite.
On track the younger Simonsen has formidably hot shoes to fill and even without the events of last June the increasing depth of quality at the front of the field may have made runs into the major points a serious challenge.
#13 – John Dhillon/Aaron Scott
#29 – Pasin Lathouras/Richard Lyons
Like any Lester/Simonsen combination the team of Dhillon and Scott is very much a traditional Pro-Am line-up. As such they are unlikely to figure in the fight for too many podium spots, but could easily be one of the teams that consistently picks up the smaller points finishes, especially if Dhillon continues the improvement he has shown in recent seasons as Scott’s British GT partner.
While they are series regulars – having first teamed up for the 2011 season – their new stablemates are genuine unknowns in the championship. Thai driver Lathouras has forged a successful path through Ferrari racing in Asia while Lyons returns to the UK having enjoyed success in the Japanese Super GT series. How he stacks up against the best of the British GT regulars – the likes of Jonny Adam, Matt Bell and Joe Osborne – will be intriguing and key to any championship aspirations they hold.
#18 – Gary Eastwood/Rob Barff
The British Ferrari specialists, not to be confused with their Italian near namesakes and championship rivals. Eastwood and Barff ended 2013 in championship winning form, closing the year with three successive podium visits. That late surge elevated them to finish amongst the teams who had started the season finale with a chance of taking the title. If the winter break, lengthened by the late Easter pushing back the traditional curtain raiser, hasn’t come at the wrong time and wiped out any late season gains then they could well be one of the combinations fighting over championship glory later this year.