Follow a sensational six rounds and nine races, including a maiden trip to Germany as support for the 24 Hours of Nurburgring, the 2012 Avon Tyres British GT Championship will be settled this weekend (29/30 September) at Donington Park in a two-hour winner takes all finale.
Just nine and a half points separate fivecrews at the top of the GT3 points table, with a further pair of drivers also in mathematical contention should those ahead falter. Leading the way are MTECH’s Duncan Cameron and Matt Griffin in their Ferrari 458 Italia GT3, half a point ahead of Alasdair McCaig in the Barwell Motorsport prepared Ecurie Ecosse BMW Z4 GT3, fresh from a sensational second-place finish at Silverstone three weeks ago. McCaig will have Oliver Bryant alongside him at Donington after missing the three previous races on medical grounds.
Third in the standings, four and a half points back are the RJN Motorsport crew of Alex Buncombe and 2011 GT Academy Winner, Jann Mardenborough in the ever-present Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3. A further four points further back is 2010 Champion, David Ashburn who has seen his title challenge disappear following two DNFs in succession. Phil Keen, will againjoin Ashburn in the #31 Trackspeed Porsche 997 GT3 R.
Motorbase’s Porsche stars Daniele Perfetti and Michael Caine round out the top five and will be looking to score theirfifth podium this year, and their first trip to the top step. Stephen Jelley returns to the Motorbase fold with Steve Parish, and will seek to continue his stunning form for the Kent-based crew; two races, two pole positions is hisrecord so far in 2012.
With two wins in the last three races, the men of the moment are United Autosports’ Charles Bateman and Matt Bell, who will again drive the impressive McLaren MP4-12c. Joining the pair in a United Autosports McLaren are Blancpain Endurances Series duo, Alvaro Parente and team co-owner, Zak Brown.
Following a very successful outing at SpaFrancorchamps in 2010, Reiter Engineering return to British GT with Dutch duo Peter Kox and Nico Pronk at the wheel of a 5.2 litre V10 Lamborghini LP560-4 GT3.
Another returnee to the British GT fold are Rosso Verde’s charismatic leader, Hector Lester and Danish sports car ace, Allan Simonsen. Having last competed at Brands Hatch, the pair will hope toreplicate past performances at the challenging East Midlands circuit, which has seen them compete for overall victory.
Cyber Racing, the customer Aston Martin team will hope to build on an impressive debut last time out at Silverstone, where a lowly twelfth place finish didn’t reflect John Gaw and Phil Dryburgh's overall pace.
With the GT4 championship tied up now following a seventh class win for Team WFR’s Jody Fannin and Warren Hughes in round six, our 2012 GT4 Champions return to finish on a high at Donington Park and secure win number eight.
Runner-up in the 2012 Championship, Century Motorsports’ Zoe Wenham will be able to enjoy her final race of 2012 as her Welsh co-driver, Dom Evans has now secured third place in the class from fellow Ginetta crew, APO Sport who will not attend the Donington meeting.
In with a strong chance of lifting the GTC class title this weekend are FF Corse’s Gary Eastwood and Ryan Hooker in the Ferrari 458 Challenge car which scored a ninth place overall finish two rounds ago at Snetterton. Eastwood and Hooker will have a strong challenge from returnees David Witt and Ray Grimes in the Jordan Racing-prepared Chevron GR-8.
Donington Park will also see British GT have it have its first-ever same day TV coverage, thanks to series promoter SRO,Motors TV and HayFisher. A 90-minute show will follow the race at 6pm BST, with the regular highlights programmes airing a fortnight later on Channel 4 andMotors TV across the UK and mainland Europe.
“In many ways 2012 couldn’t have been a better year,” said Benjamin Franassovici, British GT Championship Manager. “We’ve had an average of 27 cars per round and a healthy mix of GT3, GT4 and new interest in GTC. For us to arrive at the finale of the championship with the top drivers separated by so few points is truly incredible. Our aim for2013 is to obviously increase the grids, but ensure that British GT as a championship becomes the best it can be for teams and drivers alike. Our provisional calendar shows we have more great weekends ahead in 2013, but first I’m excited to see who will win in 2012.”
Championship points after round six:
1. Duncan Cameron/Matt Griffin MTECH 113pts
2. Alasdair McCaig Ecurie Ecosse 112.5pts
3. Jann Mardenborough/Alex Buncombe RJN Motorsport 108.5pts
4. David Ashburn Trackspeed 104.5pts
5. Daniele Perfetti/Michael Caine Motorbase 103.5pts
6. Charles Bateman/Matt Bell United Autosports 83.5pts
7. Steve Tandy/Joe Osborne Trackspeed 81.5pts
8. Andrew Howard/Jonny Adam Beechdean 75pts
1. Jody Fannin/Warren Hughes Team WFR 224.5pts - CHAMPIONS
2. Zoe Wenham Century Motorsport 145.5pts
3. Dominic Evans Century Motorsport 118.5pts
4. James May/Alex Osborne APO Sport 104.5pts
1. Gary Eastwood/Ryan Hooker FF Corse 43.75
2. David Witt/Ray Grimes Jordan Racing 25
‘Live’ TV Coverage:
Motors TV UK: 18:00-19:30 30/9
Motors TV Europe: 19:00-20:30 30/ 9
Donington Park Timetable:
Sat 29 Sept: 10:40-11:40 FP1; 13:00-14:00 FP2; 17:50-18:20 Qualifying
Sun 30 Sept: 9:35-9:45 Warm-up; 14:40-16:40 Race
Image by Jakob Ebrey Jakob Ebrey Photography
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