British GT: Silverstone 500 Preview

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Credit: Ian Cutting Photography

This weekend sees the British GT rumble back into life at Silverstone GP for the Silverstone 500. The race will be 3 hours long ran over 500km. A total of  30 cars – mixture of GT3 and GT4 machinery will be competing for the RAC Trophy. The trophy dates back to 1932.

Barwell Motorsport will be wanting to repeat their success of their Blancpain win at Silverstone after a disappointing showing at Snetterton last time out. Their pitstop infringement denied the team of winning the first four out of five races.

The duo of Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen in the #33 Huracan will be hard to stop as they surely go into this weekend as favourites. The sister Lamborghini of Sam Tordoff and Liam Griffin will want to keep the pressure going on those around them and will wanting more podiums to go with their previous second places over the last five races.

Second in the GT3 class is duo of Rick Parfitt Jnr and Seb Morris in their Team Parker Racing Bentley. They will be wanting to go for another win again (the duo won at Rockingham) to put pressure on the Barwell Lamborghini and move further away from those around them. In fact there is only nine points between second and fourth in the championship!

TF-Sport and reigning champions Jonny Adam and Derek Johnston will be wanting to build on their success at Snetterton and try and put their own pressure on those ahead of them in the championship if they are to retain the title they won last year. The duo do have to suffer a 20-second success penalty in the pitstops (the result of winning last time out at Snetterton) which given the pace of the Barwell Lamborghini could prove crucial this time out.

A team that put a spanner in the TF-Sport party and take points away from them is the Macmillan AMR Aston Martin team. The duo of Jack Mitchell and James Littlejohn are getting quicker each round. The also don’t have any pitstop time penalties so could be a surprise package. Century Motorsport are back in the GT3 class this weekend after pulling both cars from the Snetterton rounds.

In the GT4 class everything is less clear cut. Young guns Will Tregurtha and Stuart Middleton won the first race at Snetterton but suffered a DNF when they crashed out. The HHC Motorsport duo still lead the championship but by a very little 9.5 points gap. With the DNF in the last race at Snetterton the team do not suffer a time penalty in the pit stop at Silverstone.

The nearest rivals are Lanan Racing pairing of Alex Reed and David Pittard. After a successful opening weekend, they had a less fortune at Rockingham. Pole position and two second place finishes mean that they are back in contention for the title. They do though however have to endure a 15-second penalty, but they overcame this last time out to finish second.

Just behind are Black Bull Whisky Garage 59 pairing of Sandy Mitchell and Ciaran Haggerty in their McLaren. After a troublesome opening weekend, this pairing have been on the podium ever since. The success at Snetterton in last race means that they carry a 20-second pitstop success penalty which might make a win at Silverstone tricky given the speed of their rivals.

Reigning GT4 champions of Graham Johnson and Mike Robinson make a switch from their Ginetta to a McLaren. The initial pictures show a mean machine, plus they don’t have to worry about a pitstop penalty so could pick up considerable points.

As this is the only 3-hour race there are slightly different driving regulations that the teams have to adopt. The teams with two drivers (which is the majority of the field) must make a minimum of three pitstops and driver changes during the duration of the race. No driver can exceed 100 minutes driving behind the wheel.

You can watch the race live on Front Runner TV or the British GT website.

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