Silverstone 500 checklist: new entries and a different format
> JM Littman joins Mitchell at Century
> Updated entry list: Silverstone 500
This weekend’s Silverstone 500 is British GT’s longest and most prestigious race of the season. Not only has it attracted the championship’s biggest overall entry since 2013 and another record GT4 grid, but there are also some specific rule changes to be aware of.
So, here’s everything you need to know ahead of Sunday’s three-hour race.
NEW AND UPDATED ENTRIES
A total of five new entries grace the grid this weekend, as well as one returning car that missed Snetterton.
G-Cat Racing’s Porsche makes its long-awaited British GT debut in the hands of Am/Am duo Greg Caton and Shamus Jennings, while fellow full-season entrants RAM Racing return following the cycling accident that prevented Ian Loggie from contesting Snetterton.
JMH Auto’s Lamborghini makes the first of two scheduled British GT appearances, which means a total of 16 GT3s this weekend. Meanwhile, GT4’s 26-strong entry is bolstered by ERC Sport’s Mercedes-AMG, Balfe’s Motorsport’s #21 McLaren, and Generation AMR SuperRacing’s Aston Martin. The latter features Matt George who is once again attempting to drive two cars in the same race - he is also scheduled to appear in the Invictus Games Racing Jaguar.
Elsewhere, Snetterton’s GT4 winners Steller Performance have switched from Pro/Am to Silver Cup status following Richard Williams’ re-grading. He’s again joined by Sennan Fielding in British GT’s only Audi R8 LMS GT4.
Adrian Willmott’s neck injury, which has now ruled him out for the season, means Jack Mitchell is partnered by a third co-driver in as many races. The reigning GT4 champion shares Century’s #9 BMW M6 GT3 with JM Littman who made his British GT debut at Donington last season. He also raced with Century at this year’s Dubai 24 Hours, albeit in the team’s GT4-spec BMW M4.
“It's an absolute privilege to join Century Motorsport in their BMW M6 GT3 for the Silverstone 500,” said Littman. “It's the jewel in the crown for British GT racing and it’s great to be racing with the team again. We have some unfinished business after the Dubai 24h this year and I'm looking to help Jack and the team achieve a strong points finish.”
SILVERSTONE 500 FORMAT
There are some specific regulations governing British GT’s only three-hour race, which differ to those used in one and two-hour contests.
Each crew must make a minimum of three pitstops and driver changes instead of the usual one. As always these are all subject to the Mandatory Pitstop Time, which is calculated from the pit-in to pit-out lines.
Any additional Success Penalties (see below) incurred for finishing in the top-three of the previous race at Snetterton must be served during the last of these three pitstops.
GT4’s Silver/Silver crews must also serve additional time during each of their three mandatory pitstops. This is to balance their natural performance advantage over the Pro/Ams.
There are no pit windows or maximum/minimum stint lengths, and teams are free to make more than three pitstops. However, no driver may exceed 100 minutes of drive time during the race.
British GT’s longest race of the season is also its most prestigious. As such, Silverstone 500’s winners are presented with the historic RAC Trophy, which was first awarded at Brooklands in 1932. Autosport’s British GT competition winner Chris Brown will present the trophy on Sunday as part of his money-can’t-buy experience.
Live coverage begins on British GT’s website and social media channels at 12:15 this Sunday before the race itself gets underway at 12:35.
Fans can also watch Sunday’s support races live on BritishGT.com.
GT3 – 1m59.725s – Marco Sorensen – TF Sport – Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 – 2018
GT4 – 2m12.263s – Jack Mitchell – Century Motorsport – BMW M4 GT4 – 2018
PITSTOP SUCCESS PENALTIES
20sec – #72 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini – Balon/Keen
15sec – #69 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini – De Haan/Cocker
10sec – #22 Balfe Motorsport McLaren – Balfe/Bell
20sec – #5 Tolman Motorsport McLaren 570S GT4 – Collard/Proctor
15sec – #97 TF Sport Aston Martin – Hand/Canning
10sec – #57 HHC Motorsport McLaren – Macdonald/Pointon
POINTS – SAME FOR GT3 AND GT4
1st 37.5, 2nd 27, 3rd 22.5, 4th 18, 5th 15, 6th 12, 7th 9, 8th 6, 9th 3, 10th 1.5