British GT, Silverstone, 10 and 11 June 2017

British GT at Silverstone is something a little bit special, because it is known as ‘Silverstone 500’. It’s a three hour race.
I think British GT is a great series anyway, but having a race this long on the agenda is a bonus. In addition the support races are quite good too!
The only thing you can never be sure of is the weather. And this year Silverstone decided on sunny with clouds and a lot of wind. So much wind that the commentators mentioned it as it affected the cars out on track.

The Aston Martin of the defending champions was having issues, which was reflected in their result.
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As usual I attended the whole weekend which allowed me to enjoy as much of the supporting races as possible. I had never witnessed a Caterham race before. It was a lot more exciting than I expected. To be honest, I’m not sure what I was expecting. However, seeing 4 cars fighting for the first spot at the very end of the race is more than you would expect from anything other than Blancpain. It was great to see and I ensured I caught another Caterham race the next day.

My favourite cars with faces – the Ginettas – were also having the time of their lives. The Ginettas did not only have their own series and races, they are also part of British GT itself.
Ginetta race cars are available for various classes, so in some cases they race with what one would consider the ‘big boys’ and definitely hold their own!
They may look cute…these are serious race cars and the races are quite something to watch!

Cars with faces…you can’t go wrong.
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For some reason they (whoever ‘they’ are) decided to do something weird this weekend. The result? A 1965 Routemaster (yes, that’s a double-decker bus) joined the British GT cars on track. Judging by the video from on board the bus it really was going about as fast as it could. Compared to the race cars it was seemingly standing still.
Regardless of reason, it was quite the sight and I do like the Routemasters. There’s always time for a laugh…

British GT itself had five Aston Martins on the grid. What a treat! Next to that there’s of course the Bentley Continentals and I never say no to a few McLarens or Lamborghinis out there.
The Aston Martin of Jonny Adam and Derek Johnston had power steering issues (as in: they lost it) and this was clearly reflected in the result. Derek Johnston started the race and spun on the first lap due to this issue. Defending the championship is not as easy as some people may think, especially with bad luck like this.

The 1965 Routemaster out on track.
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The race was exciting from start to finish, which did not come as a surprise to me. British GT is quite unpredictable. Especially in a longer race like this one anything can and will happen.
The Team Parker Racing Bentley took the first spot after a stellar drive, but it would be unfair to say that even the last car to cross the finish line didn’t try as hard as they could. This is hard racing, just three hours long.

Of course I should also mention that it was Supercar Sunday. I have to say that the organisers and I do not agree on the definition of supercar, but there were definitely some mighty fine cars on display. Lamborghinis and McLarens were rubbing proverbial shoulders with Maseratis, Aston Martins and Audis (of the R8 variety). Quite a few of these took to the track during the lunch break, providing some very nice sights for the public. Supercars or not…I was not complaining.


British GT, Oulton Park, 28 & 30 May 2016

British GT landed at Oulton Park during the very sunny bank holiday in May. I have already written a post about the Aston Martin GT Challenge which took place on Saturday. Monday saw the main event: two races for British GT.

British GT action during practice 1 on Saturday
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Saturday saw practice for British GT and quite a few supporting races.
It also saw a horrible crash during the BRDC British F3 race, which ended the race early (red flag). I was later told it had made the news, as some of my colleagues who do not like motorsports asked me about it. Thankfully the driver was checked and found absolutely fine. He was happily racing on the Monday.

Ameya Vaidyanathan crashed on Saturday, but escaped without as much as a bruise.
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This weekend was the first time I had a seat on the Knickerbrook grand stand. I get the idea most crashes happen in that corner, because I have seen quite a few cars go off. I have mentioned it before: I’d rather see close racing than a crash. Thankfully no one was hurt and there was plenty of close racing.

The supporting races are great fun to watch. The variety of series and cars makes it all a wonderful spectacle. I should also mention that the commentators at Oulton Park seemed to be having quite a good time. I won’t repeat what one of them said about Rollo Tomasi, but it certainly made a lot of people laugh.

Some cars lost bits around the track (not always due to a crash or collision). This McLaren 570S GT4 was no exception; its nose is held together with large quantaties of tape.
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Seeing nine Aston Martins in one series (British GT) is a real treat and I enjoyed every second of it. One of them unfortunately never finished the race.
Jonny Adam and Derek Johnston did not get the win they were hoping for, but definitely not for lack of trying!
There were plenty of overtakes (or at least attempts to overtake) to enjoy and, of course, the cars themselves are a joy to watch. Lamborghinis and McLarens always look good out on track, the Aston Martins are bonus for a fan like me and the lone Bentley (which did very well, I might add) is an absolute joy to see and hear.

British GT is top entertainment and I will be going to the next race at Silverstone next week. Expect more photos and another post…or two.