The 2008 Avon Tyres British GT championship will kick off its 6 event calendar on the March 22 & 24 March with two 1 hour races at Oulton Park, Cheshire.
The series comprises 3 classes, the GT3 cars remain close to their road car equivalents except with stripped out interiors, safety enhancements and closely controlled modifications to suspension and mechanical components. The GT4 class is new addition for 2008 and comprises production cars with lower power/weight ratios than that of the GT3 providing a relatively cost effective entry into championship level of GT racing.
The last category, called the invitation class is designed to allow cars selected by the organisers which do not comply with the regulations for GT4 or GT3 for various reasons.
The 3 classes allow for a mouth watering selection of exciting GT cars to be entered. In GT3 the regulations allow for the Aston Martin DBRS9, Ferrari 430, Dodge Viper, Ascari KZ1R, Porsche 997, Jaguar XKR, Lamborghini Gallardo, Morgan Aero 8, Ford Mustang FR500 GT3, Lotus Exige, Mosler MT900R as well as the awesome Ford GT.
In GT4 the entry list can include the Aston Martin N24, Ginetta G50, BMW Z4M, Nissan 350Z, Porsche Cayman, Maserati Trofeo, Ford Mustang F500c as well as the nimble Lotus Exige.
The published entry list includes 27 cars featuring 19 cars in GT3 and eight in the new GT4 class.
Last season the championship was claimed by Team RPM campaigning in a Dodge Viper driven by Bradley Ellis and Alex Mortimer. RPM will be defending that win this year with two cars in the GT3 class and an additional three cars in GT4.
The series has attracted many renowned drivers, from the BTCC championship the entry list includes Paul O'Neill, Luke Hines, Richard Marsh and Anthony Reid.
Other competitors include 2007 Porsche Carrera Cup GB champion James Sutton, 2007 European Ferrari Challenge Champion Michael Cullen, British F3 National Class race winner Michael Meadows and Formula Renault UK race winner Jeremy Metcalfe.
The championship will travel to some of the UK's most famous and challenging circuits as well as Oulton Park the GT field will travel to Knockhill, Fife, Scotland for rounds 3 and 4 on the 12th and 13th of April, next up is Snetterton, Norfolk on the 7th and 8th of June, rounds 9 and 10 will take place at the very fast Thruxton circuit in Hampshire on the 28th and 29th of June. In July the racing will take place at Brands Hatch in Kent on the 12th and 13th. The drivers will get a chance to tackle the international circuit at Silverstone on the 17th of August. The season finale will take place at Donington Park, Leicestershire on the 12th October.
While additional cars may be added on a race by race basis the current field including eight Ferrari 430's, two Lamborghini Gallardos , two Aston Martin DBRS9's and a couple of mighty Dodge Vipers, the recipe for a thrilling season of racing is all there. In the BTCC the mantle of 'rubbing is racing' is taken to extremes, throwing a few battle hardened BTCC drivers in to the BGT means the racing will be close, perhaps too close at times, but exciting.