Another big announcement for the 2018 British GT Championship which is going from strength to strength. Beechdean AMR return after a year away. Team owner Andrew Howard has teamed up with AMR factory driver Darren Turner for a full championship assault as Howard goes in search of a third championship.
Turner is arguably one of the most successful GT drivers in the world right now. Having been an Aston Martin factory driver since 2005, he has three Le Mans 24 Hour victories to his name along with numerous other wins in GT racing around the world. His most recent victory came in 2017 alongside fellow British GT challenger and former Beechdean driver Jonny Adam. With todays announcement, there are now four Aston Martin Racing factory drivers taking on the 2018 British GT Championship; Darren Turner (Beechdean), Jonny Adam (Optimum Motorsport), Nicki Thiim (TF Sport) and Marco Sorensen (TF Sport).
Turner is making a return to the championship after 8 years away. He made is first and only appearance back in 2010 when he competed alongside Howard in a Barwell Motorsport prepared Beechdean backed Aston Martin DBRS9 at Silverstone where they finished third overall. They have plenty of experience together however, having spent the past couple of seasons campaigning in the European Le Mans Series in a GTE spec Aston Martin Vantage, winning the GTE title in 2016.
"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 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."