+ 36 cars split equally across GT3 and GT4
+ Eight factory drivers amongst world-class GT3 field
+ 2023 full-season entry list
This year’s Intelligent Money British GT Championship – SRO Motorsports Group’s 20th as the series’ organiser – will feature a capacity 36-car entry.
The full-season list, released ahead of today’s media day at Donington Park, is split equally between GT3 and GT4 cars that collectively comprise nine manufacturers. There is also 10 former or reigning overall champions and eight full factory drivers amongst the 71 currently named.
This year’s entry is the largest since 2019 when full-season numbers were capped at 38 cars rather than 36. It is also the biggest full-time GT3 grid since 2014, while GT4 numbers have rebounded to pre-pandemic levels. Encouragingly, the latter has seen a noticeable uptick in amateur participation, which now accounts for almost half of the class.
Just two entries were not officially confirmed before media day. Race Lab’s second McLaren GT3 is shared by this year’s fourth Silver-Am crew, Iain Campbell and James Kell, while Toro Verde GT’s Ginetta GT4 currently has a space available alongside Joe Wheeler.
Additional race-by-race entries, which will be revealed at later dates, are scheduled to make guest appearances throughout the season.
STAR DRIVERS DOMINATE WORLD-CLASS ENTRY
Season 31 of the Intelligent Money British GT Championship looks set to be the most competitive in series history thanks to an influx of world-class factory drivers and a rebound in GT4 numbers.
Certainly, Ian Loggie faces an almighty scrap if he’s to become the first amateur to retain a British GT title. And that’s despite having Mercedes-AMG ace Jules Gounon – arguably the world’s most successful GT3 driver over the last 12 months – in his corner.
Indeed, Sandy Mitchell (Lamborghini), Rob Bell and Marvin Kirchhoefer (McLaren), Dan Harper (BMW), Jonny Adam and Ross Gunn (Aston Martin), and Raffaele Marciello (Mercedes-AMG) will pose a formidable factory-supported test of 2 Seas Motorsport’s new signings.
But those star names and their Am co-drivers only account for 44% of GT3’s entry, which has plenty of other young and experienced Pros eager to challenge the world’s best. For instance, four of them – Marcus Clutton, Callum Macleod, Sam Neary and Michael O’Brien – are all British GT3 race winners, while Will Tregurtha won the 2017 GT4 crown.
The Am contingent is also top notch with eight GT3 race winners, three of last year’s four title protagonists, and two British GT champions amongst its number. Loggie likely starts as favourite but he’ll be especially mindful of his new team-mate James Cottingham as well as Morgan Tillbrook, Shaun Balfe, Alex West, Richard Neary and Mark Sansom. The return of two-time title winner Andrew Howard adds further intrigue while reigning GT Cup champion Simon Orange shouldn’t be overlooked, either.
There might be less factory representation but GT4 promises to be just as exciting thanks to eight different manufacturers, three former champions and two brand-new cars.
No driver has ever won the GT4 title twice – a stat that Stuart Middleton (2017), Matt Nicoll-Jones (2008) and Daniel Vaughan (2020) will each be hoping to change this year.
Their respective Ginetta, Ford and Porsche have contested British GT before, but the same cannot be said of the new BMW M4 and McLaren Artura. Impressively, five of the latter are entered this season, while Century is attempting the unique feat of winning titles with each iteration of the M4 GT4. Its first and second generation F82-based models swept the drivers’ and teams’ titles in 2018 and 2021.
That good omen is helped somewhat by the full-season absence of last year’s champions and runners-up. However, R Racing and Josh Miller – who remained firmly in title contention until the final 30 minutes of 2022 – return together with the highly-rated Seb Hopkins.
Just two driver combinations are unchanged from last year: Aaron Morgan and Bobby Trundley, who are back with Team BRIT’s adapted 570S, and Ed McDermott and Mikey Broadhurst.
GT Cup’s reigning GT4 champions Sam Maher-Loughnan and James Wallis will give the established teams something to think about, while former British GT champions Optimum make their first British GT4 appearance since 2019.
Elsewhere, 16-year-old Zac Meakin (Team Parker Racing) has the potential to lower three long-standing records: the youngest driver to win a race and set fastest lap (both Sandy Mitchell), and win a title (Jamie Chadwick).
The vast majority of this year’s entries and drivers are attending Tuesday’s media day before all 36 tackle the opening round at Oulton Park on Easter Bank Holiday weekend (April 8 & 10).
MEDIA DAY TIMETABLE
09:00 - 11:15: Test 1
11:25 - 12:00: Tracking shots
12:15 - 12:45: Fan pitwalk
13:00 - 17:00: Test 2