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Looking Ahead – Season Opener at Donington Park National
Mar 31 2023

Looking Ahead – Season Opener at Donington Park National

This weekend marks the opening round of the 2023 GT Cup Championship season. Donington Park hosts the first of seven race events which sees the series heading to some of the UK’s best race circuits.

The GT Cup this year features four groups – GTO, GT3, GTC and GTH and championship organisers Bute Motorsport are delighted to welcome over 25 full season entries across the groups.

Group GTO is the championship’s Open Specification group and this year features Richard Chamberlain’s unique Porsche 935, the iconic Brabham BT62 in the hands of Paul Bailey and Ross Wylie and an unusual BMW M3 GTR for Chris Muprhy. National Motorsport Academy return to the championship with their Mosler MT900 and Tecserve’s Graham Tilley moves into the group with his Mercedes AMG GT3 Evo, shared with Senan Fielding.

Group GT3 does exactly what it says on the tin and hosts cars homologated to manufacturer’s GT3 specification. This season we’ve got five manufacturers represented with Audi and Porsche joining McLaren, Mercedes and Lamborghini. Last year’s Overall and GT3 champion Simon Orange is back to defend his title with Tom Roche as his teammate. Enduro Motorsport, G-Cat Racing and Greystone are also back, providing some excellent competition for the Orange car. Drivetac powered by Track Focused, 7TSix and J&S Racing are a trio of newcomers rounding out the Group GT3 grid.

Challenge and Cup cars find their home in Group GTC and this season the group features machinery from Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche and Porsche. Topcats Racing successfully defended their Group GTC title for a second year running and Warren and Charlotte Gilbert are back to try and bag a third title. They’ll be up against two fellow Lamborghinis in the form of newcomers Blackthorn Motorsport and Woodrow Motorsport. AF Corse join the group this year with a Ferrari 488 Challenge for Graham and Dan de Zille, while Porsche is represented by Team Parker Racing and the triple threat of Patrick Collins, Russ Lindsay and Will Dendy with Orange Racing powered by JMH.

Group GTH has a history of being highly competitive and 2023 looks no different. With last season’s GTH champion moving up to Group GT3, it’s all to play for this year. Makehappenracing, Paddock Motorsport, Greystone, and 24-7 Motorsport make up the returning teams with two McLaren and three Mercedes between them. After a year out, Feathers Motorsport also return to the group with their striking Aston Martin Vantage GT4. New to the group are Inari Motorsports, T4 Motorsport with Brookspeed and Ram Racing, bringing the grid up to 9 cars for Donington Park.

Each day during an event will kick off with a 15-minute free practice session followed by two 15-minute qualifying sessions with three groups running in each session. Qualifying times set the grid for the day’s 25-minute Sprint Race. The fastest laps during the Sprint then determine who sits where on the grid for the 50-minute Pit-Stop Race.

This is the first of seven weekends for the GT Cup and there are tons of different awards up for grabs at the end of the season including the Sprint Challenge for sprint races and the Sporting Challenge for purely sporting driver line ups. Track action kicks off on Saturday morning with free practice at 11.10am. Plus, all four races will be broadcast live on Facebook and YouTube.

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