British GT to introduce Silver Cup, top pairings banned for 2015

The British GT Championship will introduce a Silver Cup next season, but Gold and Silver driver pairings will be banned

British GT to introduce Silver Cup, top pairings banned for 2015

British GT is largely Pro-Am but has also included a few Gold-Silver driver pairings in the past, including 2014 title challengers Michael Caine and Ahmad Al Harthy (pictured above).

Such driver line-ups, which have traditionally carried 75kg of ballast, will no longer be eligible but all-Silver pairings, which have previously been all but banned, will now be formally allowed.

Silver Cup pairings will be equalised by the same method series promoter the SRO uses to create the series' existing Balance of Performance. They will include separate points classifications, while the GT4 class will get a similar award.

Series boss Benjamin Franassovici said the teams backed the changes at a meeting last week, but 2014 drivers' champion Marco Attard believes the Silver Cup element could undo the championship's progress over the past few seasons.

"I'm worried about this and I think other people are worried," Attard told AUTOSPORT.

"I'd love to go back and defend the title next year but I've got a few things to iron out with the SRO.

"So long as it's going down the same route, I'll look to do it. Benjamin runs a great championship, but they've done so well over the last few years, why change it?"

PENALTY REVISION AMONG MORE TWEAKS

Franassovici also confirmed a raft of other changes to the championship for next season, including replacing its points deduction regulation with a system of in- and post-race penalties, but is unlikely to split the GT3 and GT4 grids after all.

Instead of deducting points, the series will implement post-race time penalties, drive-throughs, pitstop penalties and grid drops as punishments for on-track offences.

In addition, race control will have a dedicated race director assistant and also a driving standards officer.

Further tweaks to the series include a capped number of tyres per weekend (three everywhere except the first round at Oulton and the three-hour race) and free practice altered to comprise a 30-minute bronze-only practice and two 45-minute free-practice sessions.

The SRO has also confirmed 2015 cars and upgrades will be eligible next year, balanced against existing car specifications, while GT3 cars will be fitted with price-capped data loggers.

In addition, platinum drivers will have to carry 15kg of added ballast, up from 10kg.

2015 British GT schedule

April 6 Oulton Park (One hour x 2)

May 3 Rockingham (Two hours)

May 31 Silverstone (TBA)

July 11 Spa-Francorchamps (Two hours)

August 2 Brands Hatch (TBA)

August 23 Snetterton (One hour x 2)

September 13 Donington Park TBA

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