The 2017 British GT Championship calendar has been announced and has gone with a policy of ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ as the same venues feature as this year but in a slightly different order.
Most obviously, the traditional season opener at Oulton Park has returned after it’s normal calendar date was usurped by Brands Hatch because of how early Easter fell in 2016. Held on April 15&17, the North West circuit will hold two one-hour races to get the championship off with a bang on a circuit notorious for catching out the unprepared.
After that it is off to the speedway at Rockingham at the end of the month before another calendar change in what will be the 25th British GT season – two one-hour races at Snetterton at the end of May.
This will be the earliest Snetterton has appeared on the schedule since 2011 and it means that all four one-hour races will take place in the first two months of the season.
Elsewhere, British GT’s crown jewel – the Silverstone 500 – will stay in mid-June before the teams ship out to Belgium and the Circuit de Spa Francorchamps in July.
The final rounds of the year are in early August and late September respectively as a two-hour race at Brands Hatch leads into the #DoningtonDecider.
Designed to fit in alongside other SRO championships including the Blancpain GT Series and the Blancpain GT Series – Asian Cup, the hope is that teams will run in as many races as possible throughout the season.
Notably, and no doubt the teams will be happy with this, no rounds include the European GT4 Series in 2017 – but one-off entries are welcome.
Stephane Ratel, the head of SRO, said: “British GT’s 2017 schedule builds on a tried and tested formula, starting with Oulton Park returning to its traditional Easter weekend. The championship always receives interest from other venues but the combination of Britain’s six best circuits plus Spa – a driver favourite and one of the world’s most challenging – is always difficult to overlook. It will be interesting to see what impact, if any, loading the first half of the season with two one-hour races per weekend has on the championship.”
2017 British GT Championship Calendar
R1/2, Oulton Park, April 15 & 17, 2x 1hr races
R3, Rockingham, April 29/30, 1x 2hr race
R4/5, Snetterton, May 27/28, 2x 1hr race
R6, Silverstone 500, June 10/11, 1x 3hr race
R7, Spa-Francorchamps, July 7/8, 1x 2hr race
R8, Brands Hatch, August 5/6, 1x 2hr race
R9, Donington Park, September 23/24, 1x 2hr race