By Craig Robertson - Images by Jonny Henchman and Craig Robertson
Rick Parfitt returns with Team Parker - Jonny Henchman
Today's British GT Media day at Donington Park saw the championship finalise and reveal the full season entry list, 36 teams representing 10 manufacturers will contest the 2018 season, 13 GT3 cars and 23 GT4 cars, with additional cars expected in both classes for Silverstone and Spa Francorchamps rounds.
This year's championship is stacked full of factory GT drivers, five out of the six Aston Martin Racing FIA WEC drivers are represented across four different teams. Previous champion Jonny Adam returns to the series racing alongside Flick Haigh for Optimum Motorsport. Darren Turner returns to the series, having only previously raced once at Silverstone in a Beechdean Racing Barwell prepared Aston Martin DBRS9 back in 2010. The duo have been racing together for the past few years in the European Le Mans Series, winning the championship in 2016. Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen will each race for TF Sport with Maxime Martin racing for Jet Stream Motorsport with Graham Davidson. Yelmer Buurman will join the championship racing alongside Lee Mowle for ERC Sport and Joe Osborne was promoted to the factory driver ranks at McLaren and will race in GT4.
Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen join TF Sport - Craig Robertson
As well as seven factory drivers, the 26 GT3 drivers have won 69 British GT races (outright) and 10 British GT titles (all classes), as well as five Le Mans 24 Hours, five ELMS crowns, two Blancpain GT Series championships, two overall Total 24 Hours of Spa, and two FIA World Endurance Championships. Two of the reigning Le Mans 24 Hours GTE Pro winners, plus International GT Open Pro/Am and outright GT Cup champions, will also be on the grid battling, amongst others, 2017 British GT3 champion Rick Parfitt Jnr.
Barwell Motorsport have entered three Lamborghini Huracans and will once again go up against Team Parker Racing who return with a two-car line up. McLaren make a welcome return to the GT3 ranks alongside Nissan who will once again campaign the Nismo GTR GT3 after a couple of years out of the championship.
GT4 is rapidly expanding around the world and this year in British GT is no different. BMW, Mercedes and Jaguar will join the five existing represented brands, Aston Martin, Ginetta, McLaren, Nissan and Toyota for the full season. The 23-car line-up will consist of eight manufacturers and 14 teams but will not feature the two reigning champions, Will Tregurtha and Stuart Middleton have both moved onto the European GT4 championship this year with HHC Motorsport. HHC will remain in the championship though with a new line up this year, Mike Newbold and Will Burns join the team for the 2018 season.
There were also a number of new teams and drivers announced today at Donington. Stellar Performance join the championship with two Toyota GT86s, line ups to be confirmed, whilst Richardson Racing join the championship with the Mercedes AMG GT4 and Century Motorsport return but this time with two BMW M4 GT4s. One of the cars will be campaigned by Ben Green and Ben Tuck with the second driver pairing yet to be announced. McLaren return with a strong GT4 representation this year, Tolman Motorsport extend to a three-car programme running a number of McLaren Young GT Drivers alongside the returning pair of Joe Osbourne and David Pattison.