For over 20 years the British GT Championship has been an intrinsic part of the UK’s national motorsport fabric. But, having undergone a number of changes throughout those two decades, it’s difficult to envisage an era more competitive than the current GT3/4 format.
First organised by the British Racing Drivers Club in 1993, the BRDC National Sports GT Challenge (as it was then known) featured grids of wildly different machinery loosely grouped into vibrant classes comprising sportscars and saloons.
The term ‘British GT’ was first used in 1995 just as a new age of GT1 and GT2 cars was beginning to materialise. Indeed, the latter part of the 1990s would see some of the category’s most incredible and iconic cars, such as the McLaren F1 GTR, Porsche 911 GT1, Lister Storm GTL and Jaguar XJ220C contest British GT in the hands of top-line international racers and home-grown amateur talent.
But a GT racing revolution was about to take place, and Britain would be at the forefront. With GT1 becoming an increasingly distant memory and GT2 proving too costly the championship sought a fresh direction. New, balanced GT3 regulations had proven popular in Europe under SRO’s guidance and when the organisation was appointed British GT promoter in 2005 the same cars made their way across the Channel.
Indeed, since then British GT has re-established itself as the world’s foremost domestic GT series. GT4’s arrival and subsequent expansion currently sees two classes running on the same track at once, an important aspect of GT competition that enables a driver to prepare for international endurance racing, while the option to also field GTC entries remains a possibility.
Traditional British sportscar manufacturers have always featured heavily in the series: Lotus, TVR, Marcos, Darrian, Lister and, more recently, Chevron, Ginetta, Aston Martin, McLaren and Bentley have underlined the championship’s unique British spirit.
• GT3 and GT4
• Cars not homologated as either GT3 or GT4 can run as Invitational entries at British GT’s discretion
• GTC remains a legal but currently unused specification
• Rules include performance balancing and handicap weights
• Pro/Am driver crews are the bedrock of British GT. These consist of professional drivers graded as Silver (or higher) and amateur/gentleman drivers graded as Bronze.
• Crews consisting solely of Amateur or Silver drivers may also enter, although the latter’s car will be carefully balanced by the GT Bureau to ensure it competes at the same pace as Pro/Am line-ups, thus allowing both to challenge for victories.
• Silver and Gold/Platinum driver pairings are not permitted.
GT3: Drivers’, Teams’, Pro/Am, Silver Cup, and Blancpain Gentleman Driver Trophy
GT4: Drivers’, Teams’, Pro/Am, and Silver Cup
Races lasting two hours or more are worth an additional 50% points
• 1 hour races: 1st 25, 2nd 18, 3rd 15, 4th 12, 5th 10, 6th 8, 7th 6 8th 4, 9th 2, 10th 1
• 2-3 hour races: 1st 37.5, 2nd 27, 3rd 22.5, 4th 18, 5th 15, 6th 12, 7th 9, 8th 6, 9th 3, 10th 1.5
Blancpain Driver of the Weekend
Most impressive amateur performance across the weekend wins a Blancpain clock (wall-mounted)
Sunoco Fastest Race Lap of the Weekend Award
Awarded to both the GT3 and GT4 driver who sets their class’ fastest race lap. Weekends comprising two races will still only reward the overall fastest time in both classes. The driver with most fastest laps at the end of the year will be crowned at the end-of-season prize-giving.
Professional Motorsport World Expo Team of the Weekend Award
The Professional Motorsport World Expo Team of the Weekend Award will be offered to the outfit that has gone above and beyond or produced a stand-out act during each 2016 British GT event. This, amongst other considerations, might include overcoming a particularly difficult technical issue, executing an innovative race strategy to perfection or achieving an unexpected result in the face of adversity. The award is open to all full-season teams competing in both GT3 and GT4. A trophy will be awarded to each winner at every round before one overall ‘champion’ is crowned at the end-of-season prize giving ceremony where their sporting attitude, dedication and spirit will be recognised.