The 2019 British GT Championship media day is underway at MSV‘s Donington Park circuit in the Midlands where a capacity grid for the full season has just been announced. The entry list comprises 38 two driver entries and ten different manufacturers.
Heading the list as always are the fleet of GT3 machines who will battle for the overall championship title. The British GT Championship plays host to the UK debut of five new for 2019 models including the hotly anticipated Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT3 and the Evo version of the Lamborghini Huracan GT3. The Porsche 911 GT3-R, Bentley Continental GT and McLaren 720S GT3 all make their UK debut in customer hands. The BMW M6 GT3 makes its British GT debut.
14 GT3 machines grace the entry list for 2019, a significant turn-around given the class’ recent downtick in entries. Seven different brands are represented including Porsche for the first time since TrackSpeed sold up their GT racing equipment and stepped back to running national rally cars back in 2015. In-fact famine has turned to feast with only Porsche providing cars in all three classes of the British GT Championship this year.
The increase in full season numbers is even more impressive when two significant teams in the paddock, Barwell Motorsport and Team Parker Racing have both scaled their efforts back. Barwell will only field two Lamborghinis this year while Team Parker Racing have stepped back to a single Bentley Continental GT3. Both teams are running brand new cars though.
Yesterday the news also broke about the return of JRM Racing to GT competition, bringing a second new Bentley to the series.
In GT4, the numbers are also very promising with eight brands present including the Ford Mustang GT4 for the first time in British GT history. Equally welcome news is the return of KTM to the national series, this time in fully fledged GT4 specification. Porsche, McLaren and BMW all return. Ginetta are conspicuous by their absence, dropping in little over a year from the most numerous car in the class to completely unrepresented.
The Aston Martin name has rocketed up the list of cars for 2019 however. Five of the new for this year GT4 versions of the new Vantage will line up when the championship heads to Oulton Park at easter for the traditional curtain raiser. Only two of the old model turned out for the 2018 Donington Decider event.
With a blank in the form of the #89 Stellar Motorsport entry we could even be looking at nine brands vying for GT4 honors. Especially has the team have opted for the race number 89 as opposed to the tradition #86 which has been assigned to the Toyota GT86 GT4, which GPRM first, then Stellar last year campaigned.
Equally good news is the return of the GTC class after several years of absence. Occasional entries, such as the John Seale/Marcus Clutton driven Ferrari 488 Challenge from the final round last year, have kept the class in the memory but a full season attack by WPI Motorsport brings it back, hopefully to stay. The Michael Igoe and Adam Wilcox driven Porsche 991 GT3 Cup car may be alone in the class but the combination of experienced drivers and some circuits on the calendar more suited to a cup car than a big GT3, we could see the GTC car mixing it up with the supposedly faster cars ahead during the year.
Below is the full entry list:
[table id=3691 /]