The 2017 British GT Championship calendar will feature the same seven venues and nine rounds as this season, albeit with several key changes to the running order.
The series’ 25th campaign begins with Oulton Park returning to its traditional Easter Bank Holiday Weekend on April 15 and 17 after the Cheshire venue – for so long home to British GT’s curtain raiser – was switched to late May for 2016. However, the event’s typical format of two 60-minute races on the Monday remains unchanged.
Rockingham again plays host to the first two-hour round of the season a fortnight later before a signifiant break with tradition sees Snetterton welcome British GT in late May. Indeed, the Norfolk circuit hasn’t appeared so early in the season since 2011, while its switch from penultimate to fourth and fifth rounds also means all four of the schedule’s 60-minute contests take place within the first five races.
The championship’s blue riband, three-hour Silverstone 500 round retains its mid-June slot, one month before British GT makes its annual cross-Channel excursion to Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium. Brands Hatch, which staged this season’s opening weekend, switches back to its early August date before Donington Park once again hosts the final round, albeit two weeks later than in 2016.
British GT’s calendar has been devised to avoid clashes with SRO’s Blancpain GT Series and Blancpain GT Series – Asian Cup, thus allowing teams to compete in several championships. Elsewhere, and unlike 2016, the newly-revised GT4 European Series will not form part of British GT’s Silverstone and Spa grids, although individual entries will still be welcome on a one-off basis.
Once again British GT will share all of its rounds with the BRDC British Formula 3 Championship, as well as several other support series including the recently announced Mini Challenge JCW class.
Further important developments concerning British GT’s 2017 campaign will be made in the coming weeks.
“British GT’s 2017 schedule builds on a tried and tested formula, starting with Oulton Park returning to its traditional Easter weekend,” said Stephane Ratel, SRO Motorsports Group founder and CEO. “The championship always receives interest from other venues but the combination of Britain’s six best circuits plus Spa – a driver favourite and one of the world’s most challenging – is always difficult to overlook. It will be interesting to see what impact, if any, loading the first half of the season with two one-hour races per weekend has on the championship”.