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Huge GT battle set for Brands Hatch GP circuit this weekend

Thursday, August 28 2014

A bumper entry of 32 supercars will take to the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit this weekend (30/31 August) for the penultimate round of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship, with three driving squads in contention for the 2014 title.

Heading the entry is the championship-leading Ecurie Ecosse BMW Z4 of Marco Attard, who will be joined once again by young hot-shot Alexander Sims. "I've only really done a handful of laps around Brands Hatch in a Radical," Sims admitted. "From what I can remember it is a pretty awesome track that is rather old school in that it has fast, ballsy corners with no run off."

Sims missed the Snetterton round, so is unable to win the title, leaving the Beechdean Aston Martin duo of Jonny Adam and reigning champion Andrew Howard in a net second place. The pairing won last year's two-hour race at Brands Hatch and just missed out in 2012, and will start as joint favourites for overall honours. "It's one of my favourite circuits in the UK," said Adam. "On paper it's the strongest circuit for the Aston as well. The GP section of the lap is great fun and rewarding when on the limit! We are aiming for a great result this year."

With 37.5 points on offer at Brands Hatch and the Donington season finale, 2012 champion Michael Caine and Ahmad Al Harthy are also in contention in the Oman Racing Team Aston Martin. The squad, run by Wrotham-based outfit Motorbase, has won two rounds this year and Caine is a fan of the circuit: "Brands GP is one of the best circuits in the UK and it's a pleasure to race in Motorbase's back garden! The Aston's a great car to race and Motorbase have done an amazing job in running the car for the first year".

The Brands Hatch round will also see the return of Nick Tandy to the championship, and the Porsche ace is looking forward to his return to the venue after missing out earlier in the season: "I was scheduled to drive a one-off in the Blancpain Endurance Sprint Series in May, but the car was damaged in free practice! I didn't even get to race, but it does mean that I've already done some laps this year in a similar car around the Grand Prix circuit."

Another squad expected to perform well is Nissan's pairing of Olympic hero Sir Chris Hoy and PlayStation GT Academy winner and GP3 ace Jann Mardenborough. Hoy finished second last time out at Spa and Mardenborough won here in 2012.

The entry list also includes ten cars contesting the GT4 class, where the Beechdean Aston Martin pairing of Ross Wylie and Jake Giddings will be defending a 19-point lead from the TF Sport Aston Martin of Andrew Jarman and Maidstone's Devon Modell.

"As Brands Hatch is a fast circuit, I believe the Aston Martin will perform really well, especially round the back part of the circuit," Modell said. "Your home race is always special, and I have some friends coming down to support me, so it should be a really good weekend. There is always a great spectator presence, which gives you that boost come race day."

Third in GT4 and also in contention is the Twisted Team Parker Ginetta of Adrian Barwick and former overall champion, Croydon's Bradley Ellis: "I'm really excited to be heading back to one of the UK's best tracks and my home circuit," Ellis said. "It is going to be very important that Adrian and I have a solid test plan, to ensure we get the most out of ourselves and the car before qualifying. I've enjoyed a lot of success here in the past, including in British GT, so I hope I can keep that up and try for our third win of the season."

Avon Tyres British GT Championship Brands Hatch entry list
1, Andrew Howard/Jonny Adam, Beechdean AMR, Aston Martin Vantage, GT3
3, Hector Lester/Benny Simonsen, Rosso Verde/Hector Lester, Ferrari 458 Italia, GT3
4, Ahmad Al Harthy/Michael Caine (+75), Oman Racing Team, Aston Martin Vantage, GT3
5, Jeff Smith/Rory Butcher, Oman Racing Team, Aston Martin Vantage, GT3
6, Phil Dryburgh/John Gaw, PGF - Kinfaun AMR, Aston Martin Vantage, GT3
8, Jody Firth/Warren Hughes (+75), Triple 8, BMW Z4, GT3
13, John Dhillon/Aaron Scott, AF Corse, Ferrari 458 Italia, GT3
17, Humaid Al Masaoud/Steven Kane, M-Sport, Bentley Continental, GT3
18, Gary Eastwood/Adam Carroll (+10), FF Corse, Ferrari 458 Italia, GT3
21, Paul White/Tom Onslow-Cole, Strata 21, Aston Martin Vantage, GT3
22, David Jones/Godfrey Jones, Preci -Spark, McLaren MP4 12C, GT3
23, John McCullagh/Matt Bell, United Autosports, Audi R8 LMS Ultra, GT3
28, Paul Bailey/Andy Schulz, HorsePower Racing, Aston Martin Vantage, GT3
29, Pasin Lathouras/Matt Griffin (+75), AF Corse, Ferrari 458 Italia, GT3
31, David Ashburn/Nick Tandy (+10), Trackspeed, Porsche 997, GT3
40, Colin White/Tom Sharp, MP Motorsport, Aston Martin Vantage, GT3
63, Jon Minshaw/Phil Keen, Trackspeed, Porsche 997, GT3
79, Marco Attard/Alexander Sims (+10), Ecurie Ecosse, BMW Z4, GT3
80, Chris Hoy/Jann Mardenborough, Nissan GT Academy Team RJN, Nissan GT-R, GT3
88, Lee Mowle/Ryan Ratcliffe, Triple 8, BMW Z4, GT3
888, Derek Johnston/Joe Osborne, Triple 8, BMW Z4, GT3
42, Rick Parfitt/Tom Oliphant, Century Motorsport, G55 Ginetta, GT4
43, Aleksander Schjerpen/Morten Dons (+30), Century Motorsport, G55 Ginetta, GT4
44, Barrie Baxter/Dan Cammish, Team Parker Racing, Porsche 911, GT4
45, Jeff Wyatt/Declan Jones, Geoff Steel/Declan Jones, BMW M3, GT4
46, Adrian Barwick/Bradley Ellis, Twisted Team Parker, G55 Ginetta, GT4
48, Paul McNeilly/Jamie Stanley, Fox Motorsport/Paul McNeilly, G55 Ginetta, GT4
49, Andrew Jarman/Devon Modell (+30), TF Sport, Aston Martin, GT4
55, Oli Basey-Fisher/Matt Nicoll-Jones  (+30), Academy Motorsport, G55 Ginetta, GT4
77, Oz Yusuf/Gavan Kershaw, ISSY Racing/Oz Yuzuf, Lotus Evora, GT4
407, Ross Wylie/Jake Giddings  (+30), Beechdean AMR, Aston Martin, GT4
86, James Fletcher/Stefan Hodgetts, GPRM, Toyota G86, INV

Tickets for the British GT and F3 Championships at Brands Hatch on 30/31 August are available on the gate for £14 on Saturday and £22 on Sunday, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.