The 25th season of the British GT Championship will see 31 cars compete at circuits across the UK, and Belgium, in both GT3 and GT4.
For the first time, the GT4 class is by far the dominant class, with 19 entries, as teams flock to the more cost-effective category and specifically the McLaren 570S GT4 in just its second year of competition.
Going from one car last year, McLaren’s junior GT will have six entries in British GT this year with two cars for the factory Black Bull Garage 59 team, another entry for Joe Osborne and David Pattison in the Tolman Motorsport entry, one for track-club and a pair for In2Racing which features Marcus Hoggarth, Richard Marsh and former BTCC racer Gareth Howell.
Whie McLaren might me flexing some muscle, it’s Ginetta who are still the biggest manufacturer on the GT4 grid as they bring seven cars to the championship. Two go to reigning GT4 teams’ champions Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing, another two go to Century Motorsport with single entries for reiging GT4 drivers’ champions PMW World Expo Racing, Lanan Racing and HHC Motorsport.
Making their full-season debut in the British GT4 class is Nissan with the 370Z. Popular in Europe for a number of years, UltraTek Racing/Team RJN will bring two cars to the championship for Martin Plowman, Kelvin Fletcher, Tim Eakin and Richard Taffinder.
Also represented in the class are a pair of Aston Martins, a single Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR and GPRM’s mercurial Toyota GT86.
The lead GT3 class has taken somewhat of a knock from its position in previous years but still boasts an impressive 12 cars from six marques. Aston Martin, Bentley, Ginetta, Lamborghini and Mercedes will feature as will Ferrari, as Spirit of Race bring a 488 GT3 for Duncan Cameron and Matt Griffin.
Three Aston Martin V12 Vantages will be in the class, two for reigning champions TF Sport – with the same line-up of Jonny Adam, Derek Johnston, Mark Farmer and Jon Barnes – and a sole entry for Macmillan AMR who will run a GT3 for Jack Mitchell and James Littlejohn alongside their GT4 entry.
Lamborghini’s Huracan will be run for the second year in a row by Barwell Motorsport with two cars – one of which features notable GT convert Sam Tordoff.
Elsewhere, Team Parker Racing will expand to two Bentley Continentals for the full-season as Ian Loggie and Callum McLeod move over from the Blancpain GT Series to join Rick Parfitt and Seb Morris.
Ginetta’s G55 GT3 will be taken over by perennial Ginetta runners Century Motorsport as they step up to the top class for the first time. The car, featuring a new engine from the G57 prototype will be looking for good results in 2017.
Mercedes has two of its new generation Mercedes AMG GT3s in the championship as AmDTuning.com and Team ABBA by Rollcentre Racing swap their venerable BMW Z4 GT3s for the three-pointed star.
British GT’s Championship Manager Benjamin Franassovici said: “I’m delighted to announce another fantastic British GT Championship entry for the forthcoming campaign, and especially so given that this will be our 25th anniversary season. GT4’s upward trend continues, and clearly the McLaren has proven a very popular addition to the class. But it’s also obvious that the influx of aspiring professionals hasn’t deterred gentleman drivers. In fact, the number of Pro/Am crews still outnumber the Silvers despite more and more youngsters seeing GT racing as a viable career path.
“But GT3 deserves a special mention. New drivers, teams and cars prove that the class remains very much a part of British GT. We worked very hard over the winter to secure its place and have been repaid with a fantastic grid. I certainly can’t recall a tougher entry in terms of genuine potential race winners than 2017’s.”