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British GT: what you need to know

British GT: what you need to know


For 28 years the Intelligent Money 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 2004 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.


THE BASICS // BRITISH GT IN A NUTSHELL

REIGNING 2019 CHAMPIONS
GT3 Drivers’: Graham Davidson and Jonny Adam, TF Sport (Aston Martin)
GT3 Pro/Am: Sam de Haan and Jonny Cocker, Barwell Motorsport (Lamborghini)
GT3 Silver Cup: Ollie Wilkinson and Bradley Ellis, Optimum Motorsport (Aston Martin)
GT3 Teams’: Barwell Motorsport (Lamborghini)

GT4 Drivers’: Ash Hand and Tom Canning, TF Sport (Aston Martin)
GT4 Pro/Am: Kelvin Fletcher and Martin Plowman, Beechdean AMR (Aston Martin)
GT4 Silver Cup: Ash Hand and Tom Canning, TF Sport (Aston Martin) 
GT4 Teams’: TF Sport (Aston Martin)

2019 AWARD WINNERS
Blancpain Driver Trophy: Sam de Haan
Sunoco Fastest Driver of the Year: Nicki Thiim (GT3) and Dean Macdonald (GT4)
Allan Simonsen Award: Jonny Adam

CLASSES
• 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

DRIVER GRADING
• 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.

CHAMPIONSHIPS
GT3: Drivers’, Teams’, Pro/Am and Silver Cup
GT4: Drivers’, Teams’, Pro/Am and Silver Cup

POINTS
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

AWARDS

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.

TYPICAL RACE WEEKEND FORMAT

British GT race weekends typically run Saturday-Sunday. The exception to this is Oulton Park (Saturday and Bank Holiday Monday) 

Day 1
60mins Free Practice 1
60mins Free Practice 2
10mins GT3 Qualifying 1 (Am drivers must contest this session)
10mins GT3 Qualifying 2
10mins GT4 Qualifying 1 (Am drivers must contest this session)
10mins GT4 Qualifying 2

Day 2
15mins Warm-up
60/120/180mins Race 1
60mins Race 2 (Oulton Park, Donington and Snetterton only)

PITSTOP 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 and 5-second Pitstop Success Penalty during their mandatory pitstop. 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 Pitstop Success Penalty during their mandatory pitstop.

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

All cars are subject to a minimum pitstop 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).

Minimum drive-time regulations vary per event. One-hour races tend to have separate windows for GT3 (typically minutes 22-32) and GT4 (typically minutes 28-38), whereas two-hour races rely on minimum stint lengths rather than windows. These can be adjusted but typically GT3's starting driver must complete at least 62 minutes, whereas GT4's starting driver must complete at least 58 minutes.

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

QUALIFYING
There are always four qualifying segments determined by driver grading and class…

1x GT3 Qualifying 1 (Am drivers must contest this session)
1x GT3 Qualifying 2
1x GT4 Qualifying 1 (Am drivers must contest this session)
1x GT4 Qualifying 2

…but their significance depends on the number of races being held that weekend.

2x one-hour races: each car’s Am and Pro driver’s best individual time will determine the grid for Race 1 and Race 2, respectively.
1x 2 or 3-hour races: each of the Am and Pro’s fastest lap times are combined to determine the starting order. The lowest combined time takes pole for each class. The Am will start the Race.

Each of the four sessions last 10 minutes.

Classes are split, meaning GT3 and GT4 cars do not run at the same time.

Drivers must complete two timed laps (not including in and out laps).

2020 Published British GT Regulations