Two scoops: former champions Beechdean double British GT3 commitment
> Team adds second full-season entry for Howard and Gunn
> Mitchell joins Hasse-Clot in Silver Cup Vantage
One of the Intelligent Money British GT Championship’s most successful teams, Beechdean AMR, will field two Aston Martin GT3 entries for the first time ever in 2020.
Andrew Howard, one of only two drivers to win multiple British GT3 titles, is joined by 2015 GT4 champion Ross Gunn, while Jack Mitchell – who claimed the same crown three years later – shares a second Vantage with Frenchman Valentin Hasse-Clot.
Beechdean’s British GT programme has increased significantly since January when the team initially confirmed one entry for Hasse-Clot – who impressed during two appearances at the end of 2019 – and Alex Toth-Jones. The latter is considering another Beechdean programme later in the year and has now made way for Mitchell who scored GT3 podiums either side of his title-winning GT4 exploits in 2018.
“It is a real opportunity to continue my journey and ultimate goal of becoming a factory driver,” said Mitchell. “Beechdean have a proven record of investing and managing young talent, and whilst I know it’s going to be a tough journey, I am really excited about this year.”
The team’s second Aston Martin features the familiar names of Howard and Gunn who finished third in the Le Mans Cup’s GT3 standings last season. There was also room for one British GT appearance together at Donington, the first time they had joined forces domestically since 2016 when both began the campaign as reigning champions. Indeed, Gunn – now a fully-fledged Aston Martin Racing factory driver – made a title-winning start to his GT career one year earlier with Beechdean AMR and Jamie Chadwick.
“It’s good to be back full-time – a lot has changed since my last proper British GT season in 2016 but it’s a special championship for me and one I’ve always fancied another crack at,” said Gunn. “My career as a factory driver wouldn’t have been possible without Andrew and Beechdean’s support back in the early days, which has now developed into a really good Pro/Am partnership. It will be interesting to see how we stack up against this year’s strong GT3 entry.”
Meanwhile, two-time champion Howard claimed the first of his 13 British GT victories in 2007 and has remained a mainstay of the series ever since. And an opportunity to team up with his former protegee has got the 2013 and ‘15 title winner fired up for the year ahead.
“Ross and I have always worked well together so hopefully we can translate last season’s European success into a strong British GT campaign,” he said. “We looked at several programmes for 2020, and you’ll definitely see Beechdean’s Aston elsewhere this year, but I couldn’t resist an opportunity to race with Ross in Britain again.
“It’s a championship we both enjoy competing in but this year is going to be the toughest yet with the entry list SRO has assembled. We have no pressure on us and it will be great to see how the ‘old guard’ (Andrew, not Ross…) compare against the incredible young talent in the championship.”
British GT organisers will reveal 2020’s full-season entry list tomorrow during its annual Media Day at Snetterton before Oulton Park hosts the championship’s opening round on April 11 & 13. Fans can attend Media Day for free from 09:00 and reserve tickets for Easter Bank Holiday Weekend here.