The 2020 Intelligent Money British GT Championship have announced a revised calendar for the 2020 season. The team at the Stephane Ratel Organisation have pieced together a 9 race calendar which retains the 15 hours of racing originally planned before the COVID-19 crisis put a hiatus on world motorsport.
The revised dates, which are still provisional given that neither Motorsport UK nor the UK Government have confirmed when major sporting events will be allowed to resume, cover all of the British venues the series was originally planned to take in.
Oulton Park retains its now traditional place on the calendar as the season opener. The two one hour race format also survives the turmoil intact. Thereafter though, only Snetterton and Brands Hatch look as they would have done in the original plan.
Donington Park plays host to the series twice as originally planned but in a change to the original schedule, the first visit will be rounds 3 and 4 of the championship. Additonally, the circuit will host two races on the Sunday for the British GT cars for the first time, a one hour encounter in the morning, followed by the originally planned two hour event at the end of the racing day.
Third stop on the tour of the UK’s premiere racing venues is Brands Hatch, which retains its August Bank Holiday slot and its single two hour competition. The second visit to Donington Park also retains its originally scheduled dates, but not its valued place as the final round of the championship and its supporting series.
Three hours on the Donington Park Grand Prix circuit is a welcome addition, though the availability of venues and logistics made it impossible to move the dates. That means that the Donington round of the championship still clashes with the currently planned date for the 24 Hours of Le Mans and could affect the availability of two of our most promising Aston Martin Racing drivers.
The originally planned rounds 3 and 4 are moved to the back end of the season, Snetterton in October making the little running gained at Media Day much more relevant as conditions could be very similar.
The biggest change is with the two blue riband events on the calendar. Silverstone will host the 500 event, in November, but not as the mid season jewel-in-the-crown it has established itself to be. Instead the big race will become the finale for the championship and all its support series.
This means of course that the annual visit to Spa-Francorchamps is off the table. Its racing hours however have been taken up by Donington Park so the drivers, teams and fans loose none of the competitive action promised at the start of the year.
|August 1st – 2nd
|Oulton Park – Cheshire
|1 & 2 (2 x 1hr)
|August 15th – 16th
|Donington Park – East Midlands
|3 & 4 (1 x 1hr & 1 x 2hr)
|August 29th – 30th
|Brands Hatch GP – Kent
|5 (1 x 2hr)
|September 19th -20th
|Donington Park – East Midlands
|6 (1 x 3hr)
|October 3rd – 4th
|Snetterton – Norfolk
|7 & 8 (2 x 1hr)
|November 7th – 8th
|Silverstone 500 – Northamptonshire
|9 (1 x 3hr)
Championship Manager for British GT Championship, Lauren Grantville, told the series website; “Hosting six events within three months hasn’t been easy to organise – there’s a lot to consider and a finite number of dates available at suitable UK circuits that avoid clashes with SRO’s European championships, which has remained a priority throughout. We’re delighted to present a revised calendar that includes trips to all of our previously scheduled UK circuits and retains 15 hours of racing across nine races.
“We feel that starting the season in Britain in August is the most pragmatic approach to a very complicated situation, hence our decision not to visit Spa this year.
“It’s sure to be a very busy three months for everyone but after being locked down for so long our teams and drivers are even more eager to go racing than ever before. Equally, British GT’s staff and I cannot wait to make up for lost time: we have a fabulous entry list and, now, a revised calendar that’s able to do it justice.”
You can hear the team’s reactions to the news in episode 4 of the British GT Fans Show which hits Motorsport.radio and all good podcasting services on 25th May.