Following hot on the heels of the news that Beechdean Motorsport will return to the Avon Tyres British GT Championship with it’s Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3, 2012 Britcar 24 Hour winners Mark Poole and Richard Abra have confirmed they will also contest the full 2013 season of the leading national GT series with a Vantage GT3, prepared by front running team, Barwell Motorsport.
Poole and Abra debuted the stunning red and black JCam sponsored Aston Martin in the final round of the 2012 MSA British Endurance Championship at Donington Park, having campaigned a Class 2 BMW M3 GTR in previous rounds with mixed success; the 24 hour victory being the stand out highlight of the season for the pair.
In 2011, the duo competed together in the Aston Martin GT4 Challenge with David Appleby's crack outfit, Generation AMR. A race win at Silverstone and a second place at Donington Park didn't reflect the talent of either driver, whereas the fourpole positions and three fastest laps showed more of their promise; Abra was also named 'Best Performing Driver' by AMOC (the Aston Martin Owners Club) in the same year.
Double Championship winner, Barwell Motorsport is expected to announce details of its full 2013 British GT campaigns in the coming weeks. The announcement of working with an Aston Martin will continue the team's established links with the top British sports car manufacturer’s racing division, Aston Martin Racing, having been an Official Partner Team of AMR since 2008.
Previously, Surrey-based Barwell Motorsport prepared multiple Aston Martin DBRS9 GT3s between the years of 2006 to 2011 in British and European competition, and at International endurance events including Sebring 12h and Spa 24h, with much success. The squad claimed the 2006 British GT3 Drivers and 2007 British GT Teams Championship titles.
As the 2013 season approaches, the Avon Tyres British GT Championship is in a healthy position with a host of GT3 and GT4 entries confirmed that include the brands, Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Ferrari, Ginetta, Lamborghini, McLaren, Mercedes, Porsche, and many more.
Round one of the series is at Oulton Park in Cheshire over the Easter weekend (30/Mar-1/Apr) with ticket details and more information available on the official Championship website, http://www.BritishGT.com
Mark Poole, Driver:
"This is only my third year of racing, and the most exciting season to date. I'veworked with Richard at length and last year we took a big step forwards on our GT4 efforts the season prior, this year we need to do the same again and then some. The car is superb, and I'm viewing this season as a learning year, getting used to GT3 machinery - partnering with Barwell, who have a solid history of success preparing racing Aston Martins is without doubt the ideal place for Richard and I to be this year."
Richard Abra, Driver:
"For us, British GT has always been the aim of where we want to be, it's been the goal for a while now. Everything we've raced in so far, we've won in, but we're under no illusions about how big a step up this will be for us. There will be a lot to learn, everything from the tyres to the competition. Our aims for the year are realistic, if we can get on to the podium this year, given the competition, that would be great. As for winning, it would be a nice surprise, but let's start with some top-tens! The championship is going from strength to strength and while there's a lot of competition this year, I'm ready and excited to get started.”
Mark Lemmer, Barwell Motorsport Team Principal:
"We're thrilled to extend our highly successful relationship with Aston Martin Racing, and the Vantage GT3 is an exceptional car. We worked with Mark and Richard at the tail end of last year and they were unlucky to not come away with the win due to a racing incident. We see big potential in them and hope to enable both drivers to achieve their exciting goals in 2013 and beyond.”
2013 British GT Calendar:
Media Day - TBC March Silverstone (GB)
1 Oulton Park (GB) - 30 March (Sat) 1 April (Mon) - Sprint Races
2 Rockingham (GB) - 5 & 6 May Refuelling Race
3 Silverstone GP (GB) 25 & 26-May - Refuelling Race
4 Snetterton 300 (GB) 15 & 16-Jun - Sprint Races
5 Brands Hatch GP (GB) 10 & 11-Aug - Refuelling Race
6 Zandvoort (NL) 6, 7, 8-Sep - Sprint Races
7 Donington Park (GB) - 56-Oct - Refuelling Race
For more information about WP Motorsport, official fuel supplier to the British GT Championship & British Formula 3 International Series and many other topline UK Motorsport series, please contact us today.
Photography courtesy of and copyright to Jakob Ebrey Photography.