The second part of the International GT Open 2014 season starts this weekend in the United Kingdom. For the second time, the Silverstone GP track will host the British round of the series, and teams and drivers are anxious to race on the fast and legendary Northamptonshire circuit. British fans will have much action to enjoy over the weekend as, besides the GT Open and the sister GT Sport series, the Euroformula Open, two major mono-brand championship, the SEAT Leon Eurocup and the Maserati Trofeo MC International Series, complete the racing programme.
In the GT Open, the last round at the Hungaroring has brought a situation as close as ever on top of the overall standings, with the V8 Racing Corvette of Miguel Ramos-Nicky Pastorelli retaking the lead, by only two points, over Andrea Montermini-Niccolò Schirò on their Villorba Corse Ferrari F458, with Daniel Zampieri-Roman Mavlanov (SMP Racing Ferrari) being a close third. The battle promises to be exciting at Silverstone!
The GTS class is no less exciting, with Spain’s Alan Sicart (Ombra Racing) and the SMP Racing duo of Vyacheslav Maleev-José Manuel Pérez-Aicart closing the gap on the points leader, AF Corse young star Giorgio Roda.
While attention will focus on the championship battles, the British round will also bring to the forefront some British contenders. Breaking news is that GT Open regular Archie Hamilton is switching Corvettes, from V8’s to SRT’s machine. The 23-year-old will finish the season along Isaac Tutumlu with the Belgian team and explained the situation: "I had some great races with the V8 Racing team and I want to thank them for everything. We had more than our fair share of bad luck and could have had much better results without some minor issues. I was given the opportunity to race with Isaac and SRT and have moved across with Nicky understanding my decision. It was important to me to drive with the best possible chance of good results but remaining on good terms with V8 Racing was a big priority. We now have eight races to go and I’m looking forward to trying my best to get back on the podium at Silverstone.”
For Maxime Soulet, the fast Belgian driver who has been driving for SRT so far, finding another seat has been not difficult, as he has been recruited by V8 Racing! “We are extremely happy to have secured a top driver such as Maxime”, commented V8 Racing’s Nicky Pastorelli, “and this raises our championship chances, as Maxime is among the title bidders.”
The other top novelty is the presence of the Aston Martin V12 Vantage of TF Sport. The Surrey-based team, which has collected many successes in GT4, will make its debut in the series, in the SuperGT class, with a stellar duo composed of Darren Turner, the 40-year-old works Aston driver and a double Le Mans 24 Hours winner in GT, and 20-year-old Jody Fanin, the 2012 British G4 champion.
Daniel Keilwitz will again be at the wheel of the GT3 car of the Dutch V8 Racing squad, alongside Dennis Retera. At Ombra Racing, Álvaro Barba is again alongside Alan Sicart, following their excellent weekend in Hungary and while Stefano Costantini completes his recovery. The Ebimotors Porsche is back for a second outing, with Switzerland’s Ivan Jacoma and Adriano Pan, while the Team LNT Ginetta seen last year is expected to join.
The Silverstone round will also see the introduction of a small change in the handicap system for the SuperGT class: whenever the number of cars in the class will be equal or lower to 6, they will get handicaps according to their position in the overall results (and not in the class) and the extra handicap of 15” for three first finishes in a row will not apply.