GT

BGTC: Season opener at Donington preview

British GT Championship Set To Rock Donington Park The British GT Championship begins its 2004 campaign next weekend (April 3/4) around the fast sweeps of Donington Park in Leicestershire. A new format of two, 60-minute races over the ...

British GT Championship Set To Rock Donington Park

The British GT Championship begins its 2004 campaign next weekend (April 3/4) around the fast sweeps of Donington Park in Leicestershire.

A new format of two, 60-minute races over the two-day meeting will give teams, drivers and fans plenty of action. 2003 Champion Rollcentre Racing return to the series with its Mosler MT900R in the main N-GT Class. Up against the mighty American monster for the opening round will also be the 2003 runners-up Balfe Motorsport with its Mosler, keen to start this season as it did in 2003.

The popular Eclipse Motorsport TVR T400R, with drivers Piers Johnson and Steve Hyde will also be back in action, along with the Peninsula Motorsport and all new RSR versions to help keep the Moslers in check.

This season will see a return of the Porsche marque to the series, with the 2000 Champion, Mark Sumpter. The 911 GT3-RS has been quick in pre-season testing and with former GT Class champion Mike Jordan as his driving partner, Sumpter should be tough to beat.

Another pair hungry for success will be Tim Sugden and youngster Jonathan Cocker in the brand new Gruppe M/Tech 9 Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3-RSR. The new-for-2004 Porsche has been hampered by a lack of testing miles but the rest of the field will expect 2002 runner-up Sugden to be on the pace from the word go at Donington.

The Scuderia Ecosse team will be pushing the rest of the front-runners hard, too, with a pair of Ferrari 360 GTCs and a strong driver line-up, including former FIA GT team-mates Tim Mullen and Andrew Kirkaldy. This relatively new team has already stated that its aim is to win the championship in 2004.

The dailysportscar.com GT Cup class will also be full of action with a host of new cars taking the fight to the Porsches that dominated last season.

Leading the attack will be Adam Wilcox and Portuguese Ni Amorim in the DRM Racing Ferrari 360. Not content with winning the bigger class last year, Rollcentre Racing is aiming for double titles this year with a brand new Noble M12 GTO. A driver pairing of Simon Pullan and Fanny Duchateau will be hoping that the Noble puts them at the sharp end of the grid.

Cars from manufacturers including Morgan, Lotus, Renault and Vauxhall will also be represented, with all of the teams aiming for the title. Upholding the Porsche honours this season will be two cars from the JW Racing team, another squad hoping to snatch both titles, and Team Parker Racing with current Porsche Carrera Cup Champion Barry Horne as its lead driver.

The Championship will run over 16 rounds at the country's leading venues, with Snetterton, Silverstone, Brands Hatch, Castle Combe, Oulton Park, Thruxton and Mondello Park in Eire all on the calendar.

-bgtc-

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Series GT
Drivers Ni Amorim , Simon Pullan , Adam Wilcox , Piers Johnson , Tim Sugden , Tim Mullen , Andrew Kirkaldy , Steve Hyde , Mark Sumpter , Barry Horne , Mike Jordan