The rules and regulations for the 2011 Avon Tyres British GT Championship

28 02 2011

The KTM X-Bow in action

The more exotic KTM X-Bow storms round Donington in 2010

WITH pre-season testing getting underway, it seems only right that we look at the rules and regulations for the new season.

With a host of new and exciting cars of various levels, the first thing to explain for newcomers to the series is the class system.

There are five classes in the championship: GT3, GT3-B, G4, GTC and the Invitational class.

The top GT3 tier has been expanded into the GT3-B this year to allow older specification cars that do not meet new FIA ruling, to be eligible and thus reduce running costs.

The GT3 division has a host of premier sports cars from Aston Martin, Ferrari, Audi, Mercedes and Corvette. The championship allows for a small change in the bodywork, engine and suspension but to keep running costs to a minimum they are very similar to their road-going incarnations.

The G4 combines GT4-eligible cars and Supersport machines allowing cars such as the Ginetta G50, Lotus Evora, BMW M3, Nissan 370Z and the more exotic KTM X-Bow, which have all competed before.

The penultimate class is the GTC which is often made up of single-make championship cars such as the Porsche Cup or the Ferrari Challenge. Additional bodywork parts such as rear wings are allowed but the class is governed by power to weight ratios.

The Invitational Class allows race organisers to invite special cars and drivers to compete in cars that do not conform to any other class but make the event that bit more memorable.

Drivers celebrate on the podium

Drivers are looking to celebrate come the end of the season

Beyond the class system, the next major rule is the time penalty which ensures successful cars do not romp away with each race.

Much like the ballast that is employed in the BTCC, time penalties penalise the previous race winners to keep the championship interesting right to the end.

The first three cars in each class are awarded the following time penalty at their mandatory pit stop in the next race.

1st 15 seconds (+5 seconds for races longer than 1 hr)
2nd 10 seconds (+5 seconds for races longer than 1 hr)
3rd 5 seconds (+5 seconds for races longer than 1 hr)

Mentioned above is the mandatory pit stop in each race where drivers have to swap with the other driver. The minimum time to stop and the driving time per driver depends on the duration of the race.

As far as driver pairings go, drivers are categorised into four groups depending on experience and success. Rules govern that a driver from the top two groups can only be paired with one from the bottom two but apart from that, all driver pairings are allowed.

In terms of winning the title it is simple, the one with the most points wins. The four classes competed for throughout the season are awarded points from first to tenth. The winner of the top tier (GT3) is the overall winner of the British GT Championship.

Points are as follows:

1st 25, 2nd 18, 3rd 15, 4th 12, 5th 10, 6th 8, 7th 6, 8th 4, 9th 2, 10th 1


Wilcox can’t wait to get back on track after winter break training

25 02 2011

Adam Wilcox on the grid

Wilcox discusses pre-race tactics

LICHFIELD speedster Adam Wilcox can’t wait for the new British GT season to get underway after a busy winter training schedule.

Wilcox is optimistic about race victories this year as a new backroom team have stripped the car down and rebuilt it to cure some of the reliability gremlins that dogged last season.

He told BritishGT: “We have a new race team behind the scenes now with Gerry Wainright Motorsport and he’s been really thorough with the whole car, it will be fully rebuilt and hopefully ready to challenge for outright victories like we were able to last year.”

Wilcox is keen to get his Ferrari Scuderia out on the track when the official test days start in March after training hard to get himself in shape for the longer endurance events.

He added: “I always train hard over the winter. I have been training at my local gym, outdoors and also training at the Ultimate Fighting Centre in Erdington.

“I have been doing as much cardio-vascular work as I can, some races are going to be three hours long so it’s going to be tough but I’m already prepared so I’m looking forward to it.”

Away from the gym, Wilcox has been keeping his eye in on the track courtesy of his PlayStation, competing against the other drivers on the grid.

He revealed: “I love my PS3. I’ve got a steering wheel and pedals all rigged up and play both Gran Turismo 5 and F1.

“It’s funny when you mention it to other drivers because they all have the same, so we have had some good online battles over the winter and it gets really competitive.

“The only difference is when the race is over I can go and make a cup of tea and then start all over again.”

The British GT season is set to be one of the most exciting for a while as new regulations have seen a host of new cars enter the competition.

A Mercedes SLS, Audi R8 and Ferrari 458 will be on the grid this season but Wilcox is looking forward to the challenge despite keeping the same car for another year.

He explained: “I think we know the Scuderia very well, and the first year for a new car is always going to be about learning and seeing what will last the distance and what won’t.

“We have to do lots more two and three hour races this year, I feel confident the Scuderia will last the distance whereas with a new car you just don’t know.

“Certainly for 2012 the latest cars will be the ones on top, but for this season it may pay to go with what you know.”

“We will have to see how that pans out at Oulton Park once the lights go green!”

New top class challengers for 2011 British GT season

25 02 2011

OVER the past few weeks it has been announced that a host of prestigious sports cars will be on the grid for the first race in Oulton Park on April 25.

An AMG Mercedes SLS will be driven by the Jones twins who triumped in 2009 and are hoping for a championship winning season in the 6-litre V8.

Joining the impressive Ferrari F430s and Aston Martin DBRS9s from last year, a pair of Audi R8s will fight it out in the top GT3 class.

Former BTCC star John Bintcliffe will be driving one of the LMS Audis and his experience will be vital in the longer endurance races as the season unfolds.

Last season’s championship runner up Glynn Geddie returns to the grid this year in a new Ferrari 458 as part of Team CRS Racing’s two car assault on the title.

Elsewhere, the new GT3-B class is hotting up and the organises hope that this more affordable class will entice people into the competition.

The second tier allows teams to run older spec cars which do not conform to the new 2011 FIA homologation ruling.

Dodge Vipers, Lamborghinis and older Ferraris are all eligible and are much cheaper to run than the top class cars.

In the bottom tiers of the British GT, a Lotus Evora, Ginetta G50 and Chevron GR8 have been confirmed with another ex-BTCC driver Anthony Reid at the wheel of the Chevron GR8 which performed so well in the season finale at Donington last year.

Wilcox wants to be a winner in 2011 British GT title race

25 02 2011

Adam Wilcox leads the pack

Wilcox hopes to be leader of the pack for 2011

LICHFIELD GT racer Adam Wilcox believes that 2011 could be a championship-winning season.

Dogged by car problems and misfortune, Wilcox and amateur team-mate Phil Burton finished eighth overall in the 2010 title race and were left disappointed.

Wilcox, 34, told BritishGT: “As a racing team, driver or mechanic you’re never happy unless you’re winning so I think we all feel results could have been a lot stronger.

“I think we had enough pace to win races as well as do a lot better in the Championship but we always seemed to have something just not going quite right for us.”

“I believe if we can iron out all the issues from this season we could be in with a real chance of winning the Championship which has to be our main goal for 2011.”

One area definitely not lacking is Wilcox’s racing ability. The Staffordshire driver holds an impressive resume including being nominated for the prestigious Autosport McLaren Formula 1 Young Driver of the Year Award which has been won by drivers such as David Coulthard and Jenson Button.

He became the youngest ever 250cc FIA European Karting Champion at the age of 17 and vice champion in the 1997 Formula One support series.

Add to this an impressive spell in Japanese GT racing which saw him break ex-Formula One star Ralph Firman’s non-Japanese points record, and you can see why Wilcox was disappointed with 2010.

For the 2011 season, Wilcox will be again lining up in a Ferrari Scuderia GT3 alongside Phil Burton and it is one of his favourite cars to drive.

He explained: “The best race car I’ve ever driven was either a 1998 Formula 3000 car or the 2000 GT1 Dodge Viper.

“I love really powerful cars and the challenges they offer.

“I’d like to line up next to Vettel and Webber sometime. I have come close but never managed to sit in a current Formula One car, I’m still looking forward to that opportunity.”

“But I have to say the current Ferrari GT3 car is a pleasure to drive and is often the fastest GT3 car on some circuits.

“It’s always nice when you have a car that you know with the right setup and a good lap you can be at the front of the field.”

Beyond the track, Wilcox is a fitness fanatic and believes this helps with the physical demands of motor racing where concentration and physical endurance are paramount.

He said: “I train five days a week for at least two hours, as well as MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) at the Ultimate Training Centre in Birmingham twice a week.

“I feel it’s something I need to do, so it keeps me capable of racing for long durations and I’m pretty sure I would be the fittest driver on any GT grid.”

Wilcox hopes that this fitness combined with the Ferrari power will propel him to the front of the field in the 2011 British GT Championship.