Leung teams up with Vanthoor for British GT comeback at Silverstone

Leung teams up with Vanthoor for British GT comeback at Silverstone

Reigning champion Darren Leung is making a one-off British GT return at the Silverstone 500, and he’ll have BMW factory star Dries Vanthoor for company.

Victory in the championship’s showpiece event last year established Leung and Dan Harper as serious title contenders. They ultimately went on to win the crown aboard Century’s BMW M4 GT3.

Neither had planned to defend the championship this year, their programmes instead focusing on Europe and FIA WEC. However, a one-off Silverstone 500 entry was planned until Harper’s last-minute full-time British GT call-up forced Leung to look elsewhere for next weekend’s three-hour race.

In Vanthoor he and Century have found one of the world’s top GT drivers.

The Belgian was a mainstay of Audi’s GT3 factory programme, predominantly with WRT, before swapping to BMW at the start of 2023. He is also a multiple Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS champion, as well as winner of several high-profile events such as the Nurburgring 24 Hours, Bathurst 12 Hour, Suzuka 10 Hours, Kyalami 9 Hour and Indy 8 Hour.

“I’m very much looking forward to the race weekend at Silverstone,” he said. “It will be my first race in British GT, so it will be special and I am looking forward to racing in the UK. Looking at last year's performance from Darren and Dan, there’s not much we can do to do better than that, so for sure we will try and do the same! Hopefully we can have some good fun and a successful weekend together.”

Leung added: “I would love to have done the Silverstone 500 with Dan in what would have been our only British GT race together this year. But then circumstances changed and we had to assess other options,” said Leung. “There is so much GT racing these days but, fortunately, BMW has a very deep pool of factory drivers to choose from, and Dries was available for Silverstone. Speed-wise he’s top tier, but I’ve also always admired his approach. I know he will be flat out at every opportunity, and that’s something I really appreciate. We’re not racing for points, a result or even a podium; I want to defend that win and that’s the mentality we’ll have all weekend.”

Vanthoor joins his BMW factory colleagues Harper and Raffaele Marciello on the Silverstone 500 entry list, which is set to feature more than 40 cars on April 27/28. 

Among them are five Century BMWs: Leung’s example joins two full-season GT3 entries, while another pair of M4s will contest the GT4 class.