April 25 1993: the BRDC National Sports GT Challenge hosts its first-ever race. Just seven cars, all of them Porsches, enter a 30-minute contest won by John Greasley’s G-Force 935 K3.
Fast forward 13027 racing laps spanning 27 seasons and the championship is preparing for its 300th race at the very same venue.
Much has changed in that time, including the name, organiser, circuits and drivers. But it’s the cars spanning myriad classes that have remained British GT’s most enduring quality. So, what better way to celebrate the championship’s milestone than by gathering some of its legendary supercars and forgotten curiosities?
13 will be on display in Donington’s main paddock this weekend, most of which will also complete a parade lap just before British GT’s season finale.
Tracking them down hasn’t been easy. Many hail from a pre-customer racing era when less stringent homologation rules meant very few racing versions were produced. Just two TVR Cerbera Speed 12s raced in British GT, while only one Harrier GT1-98 is thought to survive. Both are in attendance this weekend.
Others from British GT’s golden GT1 era are now so valuable that public displays are few and far between. That explains why the McLaren F1 GTR, Porsche 911 and Lister Storm are all missing this weekend despite SRO’s best efforts to secure them. Others, like the one-off Sintura S99 and Marcos Mantis LM600, now reside overseas.
Still, there are plenty more famous cars for fans old and new to savour this weekend.
Aston Martin’s very first British GT winner – the Marsh Plant-developed V8 driven by Gerry Marshall and David Leslie in period – sits alongside its GT3-era Prodrive-built DBRS9 and V12 Vantage cousins, while Team LNT’s Panoz Esperante GTLM also makes a rare appearance.
Jason Clegg’s TVR T400R, still resplendent in its original Rollcentre Racing livery, is joined by another car made famous by Rollcentre – the Mosler MT900R – while one of only a handful of Morgan Aero 8 GTs is also in attendance along with Team Tiger’s Marcos Mantis.
There’s also the quirky Gulf Air Racing Volkswagen Golf GTi that contested 2003’s GTO class despite being front wheel-drive and, well, a hatchback!
|Ginetta G50 GT4||2009||First chassis ever manufactured by LNT Automotive||No||N/A|
|Panoz Esperante GTLM||2006||Team LNT - 2nd in Drivers' Championship||No||N/A|
|Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3||2012||Beechdean AMR - first and most successful V12 Vantage||TBC||TBC|
|Aston Martin DBRS9 GT3||2011||Beechdean AMR - 2x wins in 2011||TBC||TBC|
|Mosler MT900R||2012||Rollcentre Racing - 'Super GT' variant of 2003 title-winning MT900R||No||N/A|
|Aston Martin DBS V8 Marsh Plant||1972||Marsh Plant - Aston Martin's first British GT victory||Yes||David Beatty|
|Harrier GT1-98||1998||Harrier Cars with Evesham Micros - one of two built||Yes||Ian Stinton|
|TVR Cerbera Speed 12||2000||TVR Engineering - one of three built (now converted for the road)||Yes||Graham Abbott|
|VW Golf GTi||2003||Gulf Air Racing - the hatchback that beat Ferraris and Porsches!||Yes||Steven Wood/Stuart Scott|
|Marcos Mantis||1998||Team Tiger - 11x British GT race winner||Yes||Benjamin Beighton|
|Morgan Aero 8 GT||2002||Richard Thorne Motorsport - one of two Morgan factory cars (Sunday only)||Yes||Tom Andrew|
|TVR T400R||2001||Rollcentre Racing - most successful T400R (Sunday only)||Yes||Matt Holben|
|Jaguar XJ220||1991||Chamberlain Engineering - road-to-race car and back again (Sunday only)||Yes||Alastair Macqueen|
Watch British GT’s two-hour #DoningtonDecider live this Sunday on the championship’s social media platforms and website, as well as SRO’s GT World Youtube channel. Support races are also streamed live on BritishGT.com/live along with the #BritishGT300 parade lap.
DONINGTON PARK TIMETABLE
Saturday 14 September
09:35 – 10:35: Free Practice 1
12:45 – 13:45: Free Practice 2
16:35 – 16:45: Qualifying – GT3 Am
16:49 – 16:59: Qualifying – GT3 Pro
17:03 – 17:13: Qualifying – GT4 Am
17:18 – 17:28: Qualifying – GT4 Pro
Sunday 15 September
09:10 – 09:20: Warm-up
12:10 – 12:35: Pitwalk and driver autograph session
13:00 – 13:05: British GT 300th race parade
13:15 – 15:15: Race