Tuesday, July 31 2012
This weekend's (4/5 August) Snetterton 300 round of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship will mark a debut appearance for the sensational McLaren MP4-12C in the series. The Woking-built supercar will be run by the United Autosports team ahead of a full two-car campaign in 2013.
Right from its launch, McLaren have been aiming their MP4-12C supercar as a Ferrari 458 beater and this weekend will see if it can conquer the prancing horse on the track. The United Autosports team, who tasted victory at Snetterton last year, have elected to swap their Audi R8 LMS Ultra for one of the British supercars, which they have campaigned in the European Blancpain series.
The team have also announced their intention to race both of their MP4-12Cs in next year's British GT Championship. Team owner Zak Brown will partner Richard Meins in one car, whilst McLaren GT development driver and 2005 British Formula 3 Champion Álvaro Parente will share the other with a so far unconfirmed partner.
Meanwhile the four Ferrari 458s on the grid will face Italian opposition from a Lamborghini LP600+ entered by Rhino's Leipert Motorsport, who are making their second appearance of the season. Also featured amongst the 26-car entry for the two one-hour races will be cars representing Aston Martin, Porsche, Corvette, Nissan, BMW, Mazda, Ginetta and Chevron.
So far in 2012, no driver pairing has won more than one race, and at the last round at Brands Hatch the series had its closest-ever finish. Jonathan Adam made up a deficit of over 20 seconds to catch the lead battle, taking second on the penultimate lap before losing out to the Nissan GTR team of Jann Mardenborough and Alex Buncombe by just 0.022 seconds after two hours of racing.
The two Snetterton races are expected to continue a vintage season for the series, and the multi-million pound grid will headline alongside the British F3 International Series on the bill. Support races include the Dunlop MSA British Formula Ford Championship, Ginetta GT5 Challenge, Volkswagen Racing Cup and Northern Saloon and Sports Car Championship. Spectators will be able to enjoy all of the action from the panoramic viewing areas surrounding the infield section of the new 300 circuit at Snetterton.
British GT Championship provisional entry list for Snetterton
3, Hector Lester/Allan Simonsen, Rosso Verde, Ferrari 458
4, Ron Johnson/Piers Johnson, Speedworks, Corvette Z06 R, GT3
5, John Dhillon/Aaron Scott, Scuderia Vittoria, Ferrari 458 Italia, GT3
7, Andrew Howard/Jonathan Adam, Beechdean, Aston Martin Vantage GT3, GT3
10, Steve Parish/Benji Hetherington, Motorbase, Porsche 997 GT3 R, GT3
11, Danielle Perfetti/Michael Caine, Motorbase, Porsche 997 GT3 R, GT3
12, Phil Burton/Adam Wilcox, Predator, Ferrari 430 Scuderia, GT3
14, Jake Rattenbury/Ian Stinton, Stark by Hepworth, Ginetta G55, GT3
15, Riki Christodoulou/Jody Firth, Team WFR, Ginetta G55, GT3
21, Duncan Cameron/Matt Griffin, Mtech, Ferrari 458 Italia, GT3
22, David Jones/Godfrey Jones, Preci-Spark, Mercedes AMG SLS GT3, GT3
24, Charles Bateman/Matt Bell, United Autosports, Mclaren MP4-12C, GT3
31, David Ashburn/Richard Wesbrook, Trackspeed, Porsche 997 GT3 R, GT3
32, Steve Tandy/Joe Osborne, Trackspeed, Porsche 997 GT3 R, GT3
33, Jon Minshaw/Tim Harvey, Trackspeed, Porsche 997 GT3 R, GT3
34, Marco Attard/Hari Prozcyk, Rhino's Leipert Motorsport, Lamborghini LP600+, GT3
35, Alex Buncombe/Jann Mardenborough, RJN Motorsport, Nissan GTR GT3, GT3
42, Zoe Wenham/Dominic Evans, Century Motorsport, Ginetta G50, GT4
47, Mark Ticehurst/Owen Mildenhall, Jota, Mazda MX5 GT4, GT4
51, Steven Chaplin/Phil Keen, Complete Racing, Aston Martin GT4, GT4
52, Lee Mowle/George Murrells, Optimum Motorsport, Ginetta G50, GT3
55, Warren Hughes/Jody Fannin, Team WFR, Ginetta G50, GT4
61, Gary Eastwood/Ryan Hooker, FF Corse, Ferrari 458 Challenge, GTC
69, Alex Osborne/James May, APO Sport, Ginetta G50, GT4
79, Alasdair McCaig/Oliver Bryant, Ecurie Ecosse, BMW Z4 GT3, GT3
97, David Witt/Ray Grimes, Chevron Cars, Chevron GR-8, GTC
98, Jordan Witt/Anthony Reid, Chevron Cars, Chervon GT3, INV
Tickets for the British F3 and GT Championships at Snetterton on 4/5 August are available from £17, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.