All good things must, unfortunately, come to an end.
The Avon Tyres British GT Championship has had a stunning year with some of the best grids, best racing and best drivers that the championship has ever seen. I’ve been privileged enough to follow the championship to every round in 2013. From the freezing Oulton Park all the way through to the season showdown at Donington Park whilst touring some of the best circuits in the UK (and The Netherlands!) including; Rockingham, Silverstone, Snetterton, Brands Hatch and Zandvoort. It’s been an adventure that’s for sure.
There were doubts in my mind about this season of the GTs. After following on from a superb year for the championship in 2012 it seemed impossible for it to get any better. The grids increased in size with more and more teams signing up. Oulton Park, to some extent proved some of my fears to be true, driving standards appeared to have gone down considerably with some brash moves being made that would never work out for either party.
I’m happy to report that I was wrong. The championship has once again gone down to the wire with many, many close and exhilarating races along the journey.
Going into the finale Andrew Howard (Beechdean AMR), Marco Attard & Olly Bryant (Ecurie Ecosse), Mark Patterson & Matt Bell (United Autosports), Nick Tandy (Trackspeed Racing), Steve Tandy & Dan Brown (888Optimum) and the Michael Caine & Ahmad Al Harthy (Oman Air Motorbase) were all in with a chance of taking the spoils in the GT3 class. An impressive selection of driving talent and a testament to the series organisers for making this championship really work, again.
Yet again the Avon Tyres British GT Championship delivered. It was a great race – and was even broadcast to a live audience on MotorsTV. What a perfect way to end a season of racing for the series. After a long, close fight for the race win the Audi R8 LMS ultra took the win with Mark Patterson and Matt Bell at the wheel for United Autosports. Despite the race win they missed out on the championship win – just. The championship title would go to co-founder of Beechdean Farmhouse Dairy Ice Cream, Andrew Howard with a 1.5 point gap between him and the United Autosports Audi squad. In GT4 the Century Motorsport Ginetta took the win and control of the race, alas it wouldn’t be enough to secure the championship for Declan Jones. The title would go to Rick Parfitt Jnr and Ryan Ratcliffe who took the title by just 2 points.
It’s been a fantastic year and a big thanks to all involved with making it so special. I’ll take some very fond memories of this year away from me. Thanks once again to (in no particular order); Chris Gurton, James Broomhead, Dan Bathie, Jake Yorath, Will Belcher, Tom Loomes, and special thanks to James Warnette for being so helpful throughout the season.
Also thanks to both l’endurance and Dailsportscar for supporting me this season and giving me the opportunity to cover the full season of this superb championship.
Here’s a selection of my favourite photographs from the event. Hopefully I’ll be back in 2014 for more British GT action.
Coming Soon: Spires & Steeples Challenge