Entries for the 2021 Intelligent Money British GT Championship have officially opened, with awards for the 2020 season also being given out.
The GT3 and GT4 classes remain as in 2020, as does the GTC class which made a wildcard appearance at the season-ending Silverstone 500.
The Silver-Am class replaces last year’s Silver Cup, and works alongside the existing Pro-Am class. Additional changes mean that not all Silver-graded drivers will automatically be eligible for the Silver-Am class.
The new Silver-Am class is intended to open GT3 up for promising young drivers, drivers who will contribute financially to the team while partnering a Bronze-graded Am driver, and graduates from the GT4 class.
Though entries only officially opened on Monday, a number of teams have already announced line-up changes for 2021.
British GT’s “winningest” driver Phil Keen will partner Michael Igoe at WPI Motorsport, staying in the Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo with which he is very familiar.
While Keen leaves a space in the #72 Barwell Motorsport Huracan, a seat was also made available by team-mate and outgoing 2020 champion Rob Collard who partnered Sandy Mitchell to the title in the #78 car.
Newly-announced Lamborghini factory driver Mitchell will drive alongside Adam Balon as the #72 is re-badged with the #1 plate. The second Barwell Huracan will be filled by fellow Lamborghini Squadra Corse drivers Dennis Lind and 2006 champion Leo Machitski, in the customary #63 car.
There are more familiar faces returning to the British GT grid in the form of Beechdean AMR, who will compete with 2015 champions Jonny Adam and Andrew Howard.
Only one team has announced an unchanged line-up from 2020 so far. ABBA Racing have retained their father-son partnership of Richard and Sam Neary who stay in the previous-generation #8 Mercedes AMG GT3.
As far as the schedule is concerned, the season is set to begin in Cheshire, with Oulton Park hosting the opener on the Bank Holiday weekend, April 3-5. It will run over seven rounds and end at Donington Park on September 11/12.
However, to cut costs, the British GT and BRDC British F3 championships have decided to opt against their customary Media Day this season. Both championships will instead hold test sessions ahead of each weekend, except Spa-Francorchamps..
A British GT weekend isn’t just comprised of the flagship championship. Last season’s support series’ are retained and expanded, with British F3 staying on and going to Spa.
The Ginetta GT Academy and Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge stay on the programme for five of the seven rounds, while Porsche Sprint Challenge GB stays for a second season and will feature at Brands Hatch, the Silverstone 500 and the season-ending Donington Decider.
GT2 cars will return to the British scene for the first time since 2006, thanks to series organisers SRO Motorsports Group who have established a new GT2 European Series. The Series will run alongside British GT in two 50-minute races at Silverstone and Spa, and will run Audi, KTM and Porsche entries.
Finally, the GT Rebellion Series will feature alongside British GT at the Silverstone 500, with current and older GT3 cars making up the grid in its first time supporting British GT.
The Intelligent Money British GT Championship was unable to host its usual end-of-season awards ceremony, and has now allocated its awards for the 2020 season.
British GT’s most prestigious individual award, the Allan Simonsen award was
given to 2020 champion, Barwell’s Sandy Mitchell. The Award is named for the Danish
driver who lost his life in a crash at Tertre Rouge in the 2013 24 Hours of
Mitchell and Rob Collard took two victories in the #78 Black Bull Huracan on
the way to the title. Newly-announced Lamborghini factory driver Mitchell’s
pace over one lap in qualifying and in longer race stints played a huge part in
the Scottish driver receiving the accolade.
Mitchell told britishgt.com, “This is a wonderful and poignant
award to win.”
“To win the Allan Simonsen Award, and be recognised by the judges at
British GT for the performances I delivered last season, is humbling.”
Previous winners of the Allan Simonsen Award include the returning Jonny Adam, Nicki
Thiim, Joe Osborne and new WPI driver Phil Keen.
Mitchell said he was “delighted” to join “some big names on the
list”, calling the award “a fantastic way to start the new year.”
Outgoing Barwell man Phil Keen took the Sunoco Fastest Driver of the Year in GT3, after taking five fastest race laps from six weekends. TF Sport’s Jamie Caroline took the honours home as well as the GT4 Drivers’ Championship he won alongside Daniel Vaughan.
Featured image credit: barwellmotorsport.co.uk