BRITISH GT CHAMPIONSHIP


For mopre than 25 years the British GT Championship has formed an intrinsic part of the UK’s national motorsport fabric. But, having undergone a number of changes throughout those that quarter-century, 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.



AWARDS

Blancpain Driver of the Weekend
Most impressive GT3 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.

TYPICAL RACE WEEKEND FORMAT

British GT race weekends typically run Saturday-Sunday. The exceptions to these are Oulton Park (Saturday and Bank Holiday Monday) and Spa-Francorchamps (Friday/Saturday).
Day 1

60mins Free Practice 1
60mins Free Practice 2
10mins GT3 Am Qualifying
10mins GT3 Pro Qualifying
10mins GT4 Am Qualifying
10mins GT4 Pro Qualifying
Day 2

10mins Warm-up
60/120/180mins Race 1
60mins Race 2 (Oulton Park and Snetterton only)

PIT-STOP AND DRIVE-TIME REGULATIONS

In races lasting one hour the top three finishers in each class from the previous round must respectively serve an additional 10, 7, 5 econd success penalty during their mandatory pit-stop. During races lasting two hours or longer the top three finishers in each class from the previous round must respectively serve an additional 20, 15 and 10-second success penalty during their mandatory pit-stop.

Competitors must make at least one pit-stop during all British GT races. During the Silverstone 500, the season's only three-hour race, competitors must make three mandatory pit stops.

All cars are subject to a minimum pit-stop time. This starts as the car crosses the pit-in line and ends as it triggers the timing beam at pit-out. Anyone found to be under this time must serve a stop/go penalty to the same value as they were under time (eg 10secs too fast in the pits equals a 10secs stop/go penalty).

During one-hour races the minimum time a driver can spend behind the wheel is 25 minutes. This minimum time rises to 60 minutes for Am/Starting drivers in races lasting two hours.

Failure to adhere to these time scales will result in a stop/go penalty or additional time added post-race.