PREVIEW - British GT Round 9
All too soon the final round of the British GT Championship season has arrived and Beechdean AMR is preparing to head to Donington Park this weekend for the two-hour season finale.
Currently lying in sixth position in both the drivers’ and teams’ championships, Beechdean AMR has shown a return to form recently after a mid-season dip and team boss and driver, Andrew Howard, is keen to finish the season on a high note.
“The final race of the amazing Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 for Beechdean AMR is at Donington this weekend,” he said. “It seems a long time since the first ever Vantage GT3 was handed over to Beechdean back in the winter of 2011/12. It has been a real privilege to race the car for Beechdean AMR over the last seven years and I hope we can go to Donington and finish in fitting style.”
The team unlocked pace in the #99 Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 ahead of Round 7 at Spa-Francorchamps in July but a collision at the start put paid to the challenge for the podium. At the following round at Brands Hatch, Howard and his team mate, Darren Turner, qualified on the front row of the grid and it was only a technical gremlin that kept them off the podium, finishing fourth in the two-hour race in the scorching hot summer heatwave.
So far the British and European Championship-winning team has scored three podiums in 2018 but a win has proved elusive. Both Howard and Turner are very much aware if this fact.
“The season seems to be over in a flash and we need to win a race!” said Turner. “That has to be our focus this weekend. Donington is one of my favourite UK circuits so it’s good to be racing there. I was lucky enough to be working for Jordan Grand Prix at the European Grand Prix in 1993 and I will never forget what a special weekend that was. I’m not expecting British GT to fully live up to such an epic weekend but I’m sure we’ll be able to put on an entertaining race for everyone!”
Beechdean AMR is well-prepped for Donington after running in the GT Cup event there recently. It’s a circuit that Howard loves to race at, as he explains:
“Donington holds great memories for me. Two British GT Championship wins and numerous other races, both driving and managing the team. It’s a great circuit with the monstrous Craner Curves and the fast, flowing corners out the back of the circuit. It’s the perfect circuit to host any championship’s title-deciding race.”
The two-hour British GT finale will get the green flag just after 13:30hrs on Sunday. As always live timing will be available here and the race will be shown live here.
DONINGTON PARK SCHEDULE
09:40 – 10:40 Free Practice 1
11:50 – 12:50 Free Practice 2
15:45 – 15:55 Qualifying GT3 AM
15:59 – 16:09 Qualifying GT3 PRO
09:35 – 09:45 Warm up
13:35 – 15:35 Race