EVENT PREVIEW: Halfway Point for British GT at Silverstone With seven of the fourteen races run, the battle for the title of 2007 Avon Tyres British GT Champion is wide open as the teams ready themselves for the second of the 2-hour races...
EVENT PREVIEW: Halfway Point for British GT at Silverstone
With seven of the fourteen races run, the battle for the title of 2007 Avon Tyres British GT Champion is wide open as the teams ready themselves for the second of the 2-hour races at Silverstone this weekend (11/12 August).
With six different winners from the first seven races, just five points separating the top ten drivers and with race wins for Porsche, Ferrari, Aston Martin and Dodge, British GT is the UK's most closely contested major racing championship -- bar none.
Two wins for Alex Mortimer and Bradley Ellis at Brands Hatch put the Dodge Viper into 'Victory Lane' for the first time in British GT history and handed the two drivers the lead in the driver's title. However it is the slimmest of leads, just 1 solitary point ahead of Tom Alexander and Michael Bentwood in the mighty Aston Martin DBRS9 and another point in front of Guy Harrington and Ben de Zille Butler in the no. 3 Barwell run DBRS9.
The third Aston Martin in the Barwell stable is the DBRS9 of 2004 British GT Champion Jonny Cocker and Paul Drayson and runs on bioethanol fuel. The green machine made UK motorsport history at Snetterton by becoming the first bio fuelled race car to win a major championship race in Great Britain, proving that you can go racing in a more environmentally conscience way and win. Two non finishes due to accidents not of the teams making at Brands Hatch has dropped the pair down the championship order but they are still only 5 points adrift of the championship lead and expect to see the no.1 Aston Martin near the front at Silverstone.
The Christians in Motorsport Ferrari 430 of Hector Lester returned to the podium at Brands Hatch, with a third and second places in the two races with the help of Denmark's Allan Simonsen. The Ferrari won at Oulton Park at Easter when Lester was joined by reigning British GT champion, and fellow Ulsterman, Tim Mullen and the team hope to return to the top step at Silverstone where Mullen will be at the wheel of the Ferrari for the first time since Donington.
The number of Ascaris is set to double this weekend, with Damax running a second car for Oulton Park race winner Oliver Bryant, who is switching from the Tech9 Porsche, and Phil Keen, alongside series regulars Tommy Erdos and Steve Keating. FIA GT3 team Berlanga are entering a car in BGT for the first time this year for Michael Greenhalgh and Erik Zwart but they all have to catch the front running Team Eurotech - Preci Spark run Ascari KZ1R of brothers David and Godfrey Jones.
Another notable returnee to British GT this weekend is 2006 GTC Champion Jonny Lang, who will be racing the Trackspeed Porsche 997 with David Ashburn.
In the GTC Class, the smaller than usual grids have not led to a lack of race action, with a three way battle for the class honours between a Morgan, a Porsche and a Ferrari.
The RSS Performance Porsche 996 of Graeme Mundy and Jamie Smyth left Brands Hatch in the lead of the GTC championship race thanks to a couple of well deserved podium finishes. Their cause was helped by the demise of the Team Aero Morgan of Keith Ahlers and Steve Hyde when engine problems in qualifying forced the team to withdraw. However the Mundy/Smyth Porsche has finished on the podium in the six of first seven races and this consistency has put them on top.
Last seasons 2-hour race on the 2.2-mile Silverstone International circuit was a real cracker and with the championship this year being closer than ever expect the unexpected as the Avon Tyres British GT Championship gets ready for the second half of an already classic season.
The question remains, who can join the queue of cars in 'Victory Lane' in Northamptonshire this weekend?