British GT - Rockingham preview
The British GT 2015 season continues on the first weekend in May at the Rockingham Circuit near Corby in Northamptonshire. A total of 33 cars have so far been listed as participating in this race – 16 in the GT3 class and 17 in GT4 class. This race is also the first two-hour race of the campaign.
Rockingham is best known as probably the fastest circuit in Europe with cars topping speeds of more than 120 mph. To triumph in this race, all the teams must prepare a new strategy mostly because of the duration of the race and also because 50% more points will be at stake for the teams.
The season opening at Oulton Park a month ago, proved to be particularly good for Aston Martin as Liam Griffin and Rory Butcher of Oman Racing Team and Beechdean AMR’s Jonny Adam and Andrew Howard claimed both GT3 class wins, both from pole positions. On the other hand, the drivers of Aston Martins realised that Rockingham is not the ideal track for their cars and that they would have to work extra hard to win big in the competition.
They will confront the ambitious FF Corse Ferrari drivers Gary Eastwood and Adam Carroll who won the distinction last year of setting the fastest lap. BMW Z4 GT3 and Barwell Motorsport, have ambitions to go a step further than at season opening while champion Marco Attard of Ecurie Ecosse wanted to improve on the disappointing performance last month.
Von Ryan Racing with McLaren could be one of the dark horses at Rockingham after showing some potential at Oulton. The same can also be said about Team LNT whose Ginetta cars are expected to meet the requirements of the demanding track.
Mike Lynch, Technical Manager of Avon Tyres, the official tyres supplier of the series, says the banked corners prove challenging for the both tyres— carcass and compound.
“Rockingham is unique on our calendar as it’s the only track we encounter that has truly banked corners. That, and the nature of the surface challenges the tyres with respect to temperature, wear and load. The new tyre has been optimised to perform more consistently in these very harsh conditions. We can expect race times to be quicker here than previous years. We’ve come from the easiest track of the season to possibly the most aggressive.”