Silverstone is due to host the sixth round of the International GT Open season next weekend, an event marked by a number of innovations. After the last race in Austria and the summer break, the series restarts on the historic British track, the scene last weekend of the first round of the WEC and the host of the final act of the Ferrari Challenge UK on 21 and 22 September. In the Pro-Am class, two Ferraris are set to start in the colours of Spirit of Race and Kessel Racing.
Big returns. After a few races away, one of the most competitive crews in the series returns to the track. The Spirit of Race duo of Duncan Cameron and Matt Griffin won Race-1 at Hockenheim and are ninth in the overall standings on 20 points. The British drivers will also face the challenge of compatriots John Hartshorne and Oliver Hancock at the wheel of the 488 GT3 of Kessel Racing.
The Swiss team thus marks its return to the series in which it has previously been very competitive with six overall victories and the double GTS (drivers and teams) title for three consecutive years (2010-12), after a first GTS drivers’ crown in 2009.
New format. The other novelty at Silverstone is the new qualifying format. Starting this weekend, the drivers will take part in both qualifying sessions, with the position on the grid decided by the average of the best time of each driver. The format of the qualifying sessions will include a 15-minute session for each driver, with a 5-minute interval between the two. Should one of the drivers fail to record a time, the grid position is set according to the average of the two best lap times of the driver who successfully completed a session. The new system doesn’t change the order of the drivers: each of the two drivers will start one of the races, in the order decided by the team.
Programme. The first qualifying session under the new format takes place on Saturday, from 10:50 am to 11:25 am, while in the afternoon Race-1, due to last 70 minutes, sets off at 4:15 pm. On Sunday the programme will be similar, although at different times. Qualifying will start at 10:05 am, and the race begins at 3 pm, ending an hour later.