One of the most successful and iconic teams in British GT history, Beechdean AMR, will make its championship return this season with an all-star GT3 driver line-up comprising Andrew Howard and Darren Turner.
The team will once again enter its familiar blue and white Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3, which last contested British GT in 2016.
Two-time GT3 champion and team owner Howard, who won the title in 2013 and 2015, stepped away from the championship in 2016 to concentrate on Beechdean AMR’s ELMS and Le Mans graduation. Now, after a full season away, the Prodrive-supported squad is back as Howard attempts to become the first driver to win three senior class crowns.
With this year’s GT3 Pro roster packed full of talent, Beechdean AMR has turned to one of the most successful GT drivers of his generation and a bona fide Aston Martin Racing legend to partner Howard. Turner joined the factory roster in 2005 and has since claimed three Le Mans class victories, the most recent coming in 2017 when he partnered new British GT rival and former Beechdean AMR driver Jonny Adam.
Indeed, the news means four of AMR’s six FIA WEC drivers will contest British GT’s GT3 class this season after TF Sport confirmed Dane Train members Marco Sorensen and Nicki Thiim in late December.
2018 also marks Turner’s first full British GT season. Incredibly, given his factory connections, the 43-year-old has only one previous appearance to his name, which also came alongside Howard in a Barwell Motorsport-prepared Beechdean Aston Martin DBRS9 at Silverstone in 2010 when the pair finished third overall.
Howard and Turner have also spent the last two seasons racing together in the ELMS and won the GTE title together in 2016. It’s a partnership the latter cannot wait to now showcase in British GT.
“It has been a long time since I’ve raced at many of the circuits on the British GT Championship calendar,” said Turner. “British GT has been booming for many years now and the depth of competition this year is equal to many of the international championships. With full, competitive grids, it’s going to be an exciting season for the drivers, the teams and of course the fans.
“I’m looking forward to sharing a car with Andrew [Howard] again. It has been a lot of fun competing with Beechdean in the European Le Mans Series over the past two years and I know we have the potential to win races this year.
“Andrew has won the British GT Championship twice in the Vantage GT3 so he knows how strong the car is and how well it works on the British circuits. I’ve always really enjoyed the time I’ve spent behind the wheel of the GT3. With a 6-litre V12 up front how can you not enjoy driving that car?”
Howard added that the cut and thrust of GT3 had been a major factor for returning after two seasons of long-distance racing.
“I am really looking forward to competing in British GT again,” he said. “I strongly believe it’s the best Pro/Am championship in Europe and this year looks extra special. The ultimate endurance test of ELMS and Le Mans has been amazing but a year off to concentrate on close GT3 racing and, hopefully, testing with a new car later in the year was something that couldn’t be missed.”
This year’s British GT Championship gets underway at Oulton Park on its traditional Easter Bank Holiday weekend date (March 31 – April 2). Receive discounted rates for Oulton, and any other round, by ordering tickets in advance below.
2018 BRITISH GT SCHEDULE
1 Oulton Park, March 31-April 2 >> TICKETS
2 Rockingham, April 28-29 >> TICKETS
3 Snetterton, May 26-27 >> TICKETS
4 Silverstone 500, June 9-10 >> TICKETS
5 Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium), July 21-22 >> TICKETS (FREE ENTRY)
6 Brands Hatch, August 4-5 >> TICKETS
7 Donington Park, September 22-23 >> TICKETS