British GT title winners crowned at Tower of London’s SRO Night of the Champions

British GT title winners crowned at Tower of London’s SRO Night of the Champions

> Keen claims prestigious Allan Simonsen Award

> Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse duo Mitchell and Haggerty named top rookies


The historic Tower of London provided a suitably stunning backdrop for SRO’s Night of the Champions and British GT awards ceremony on Sunday evening (November 27).


More used to hosting heads of state, it was actually British GT’s 2016 title winners that were crowned at the Historic Royal Palace on an occasion that brought together teams, drivers, manufacturers, sponsors and media from across all categories promoted by SRO Motorsports Group.


TF Sport’s Derek Johnston and, for a second time in as many years, Jonny Adam were presented with their GT3 championship-winning trophies, while PMW Expo Racing/Optimum Motorsport’s Graham Johnson and Mike Robinson were on hand to receive their GT4 equivalents. 


Johnston, who also picked up the GT3 Pro/Am gong, was awarded a personalised limited edition Blancpain 8885S timepiece as his prize for winning the Blancpain Gentleman Trophy.


“We’ve had a great season; it’s been tough and it’s been difficult but that’s part of the reason we do it. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed myself,” he said. “I’ve won many championships but claiming the British GT title has been spectacular. The car’s been everywhere since Donington! The trophies are great and the Blancpain watch is phenomenal - I’m over the moon with it! - but this venue at the Tower of London really is something special.”




Only retirement at the final round denied Phil Keen a first British GT title, but the Barwell Motorsport driver’s efforts throughout the year were still recognised with the coveted Allan Simonsen Award. Three victories, including a memorable double at Snetterton - the first time that feat had been achieved since 2010 - set Keen apart from his fellow Pros this season.


“I feel very honoured to have been awarded this trophy in Allan's memory,” said Keen. “I had the pleasure of sharing the grid with him and witnessing his talent on a number of occasions. It is an absolute privilege to have my name on the trophy, and especially so given the quality of my peers. It’s been a great year for us and I would like to thank everyone who has supported and helped achieve what we have.”




A standout year for British GT debutants made it almost impossible to pick 2016’s winner. Indeed, the judging panel ultimately settled on two given their contributions throughout the season. Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse duo Ciaran Haggerty and Sandy Mitchell had never driven a GT car before this season but performed beyond their teenage years to not only score victories, pole positions and fastest laps but also spearhead the all-new McLaren 570S GT4’s development.


Both were fast and consistent, but also produced some standout moments of their own. Haggerty performed heroics by overcoming intense pain to win at Donington after injuring his right hand pre-event, while Mitchell became the youngest driver in British GT history to claim a pole position, fastest race lap and victory. Third in the final class standings was some achievement.


“It was nice to snatch third at the final round, especially as after Spa we didn’t think there would be any trophies at the end of the year,” said Mitchell. “But to come back the way we did was very impressive. I’d like to thank [McLaren GT Managing Director] Andrew Kirkaldy for giving Ciaran and I the opportunity to race the new 570S GT4 - I’ve enjoyed every minute of racing and helping to develop it. The same goes for Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse; together we put in a lot of hard work to get to where we were by the end of the season.”


“What a fantastic trophy haul tonight!” added Haggerty. “I knew we’d be picking up third overall in the class and second in Silver Cup but I wasn’t expecting to receive Rookie of the Year - I thought one or two others might pip us to that. It’s fantastic to win it. I knew before the year that the car would be fast and that I could do the job. The only question mark, with such a new car, was reliability. But once we sorted that everything else started falling into place. It’s been an awesome season.”


Team principal Tom Ferrier accepted the GT3 teams’ championship trophy on behalf of TF Sport, while RCIB Insurance Racing’s Tony Gilham picked up the GT4 teams’ prize.


Team Parker Racing chief Stuart Parker was another to go on stage after his outfit was named the inaugural PMW Expo Team of the Year. The Bentley squad was twice tasked with major rebuilds during race weekends this season, the first coming at Rockingham and second at Silverstone.


The Sunoco Fastest Drivers of the Year were also crowned, with Jonny Adam (again, for the second year running) and Sandy Mitchell recognised for their respective outright speed in GT3 and GT4 throughout 2016.


Meanwhile, Seb Morris received a cheque from Anglo American Oil Company managing director Anders Hildebrand as part of his prize for winning this year’s Sunoco Whelen Challenge. The Welshman will be in the US this January to prepare for 2017’s Daytona 24 Hours after scoring heavily throughout his maiden British GT campaign with Team Parker Racing.


2017’s nine-round British GT Championship campaign begins at Oulton Park on April 15 & 17.




British GT3 Drivers’ Championship

1st Derek Johnston and Jonny Adam, TF Sport

2nd Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen, Barwell Motorsport

3rd Rick Parfitt Jnr and Seb Morris, Team Parker Racing


British GT3 Pro/Am Drivers’ Championship

1st Derek Johnston and Jonny Adam, TF Sport

2nd Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen, Barwell Motorsport

3rd Rick Parfitt Jnr and Seb Morris, Team Parker Racing


British GT3 Silver Cup Drivers’ Championship

1st Ryan Ratcliffe and Will Moore, Optimum Motorsport

2nd Miguel Toril and Abdulaziz Al Faisal, Black Falcon Racing


British GT4 Drivers’ Championship

1st Graham Johnson and Mike Robinson, PMW Expo Racing/Optimum Motorsport

2nd Jack Bartholomew, Beechdean AMR

3rd Ciaran Haggerty and Sandy Mitchell, Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse


British GT4 Pro/Am Drivers’ Championship

1st Graham Johnson and Mike Robinson, PMW Expo Racing/Optimum Motorsport

2nd Marcus Hoggarth and Abbie Eaton, Ebor GT

3rd Anna Walewska and Nathan Freke, Century Motorsport


British GT4 Silver Cup Drivers’ Championship

1st Jack Bartholomew, Beechdean AMR

2nd Ciaran Haggerty and Sandy Mitchell, Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse

3rd William Phillips and Jordan Stilp, RCIB Insurance Racing


British GT3 Teams’ Championship

1st TF Sport

2nd Barwell Motorsport

3rd Team Parker Racing


British GT4 Teams’ Championship

1st RCIB Insurance Racing

2nd PMW Expo Racing/Optimum Motorsport

3rd Beechdean AMR



Allan Simonsen Award Winner: Phil Keen

Rookie of the Year Winners: Ciaran Haggerty and Sandy Mitchell

Blancpain Gentleman Trophy Winner: Derek Johnston

Sunoco GT3 Fastest Driver of the Year Winner: Jonny Adam

Sunoco GT4 Fastest Driver of the Year Winner: Sandy Mitchell

PMW Expo Team of the Year Winner: Team Parker Racing



Allan Simonsen Award:

Following the tragic loss of popular Danish driver, Allan Simonsen, at the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2013 British GT Championship organisers, SRO Motorsports Group, announced that a special award would be created in his honour. Allan had been a regular in the series since 2004 and the prize was intended to ensure his spirit and legacy lived on.


Allan was a familiar face in the British GT paddock and Rosso Verde garage, but it was his ability to produce last-gasp pole position laps and thrilling race stints that really elevated him from the rest. The stylish trophy created in his honour is awarded annually to the driver that races with pace, humility and good humour; characteristics that Simonsen possessed and demonstrated during every British GT weekend.


Previous winners:

2013: Nick Tandy

2014: Jonny Adam

2015: Alexander Sims


Sunoco Fastest Driver of the Year:

First presented in 2015, the Sunoco Fastest Driver of the Year prize is awarded to the consistently quickest driver from both classes over the course of the season. It’s based on the total number of overall fastest race laps recorded by each.


PMW Expo Team of the Year:

The Professional Motorsport World Expo Team of the Weekend Award is presented to the outfit that goes 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. A trophy is awarded to each winner at every round before one overall Team of the Year is crowned at the end-of-season prize giving ceremony where their sporting attitude, dedication and spirit are recognised.