It has been an honour to serve the Drivers and Teams in the 2017 GT Cup Championship and a real pleasure to look back on our tenth season and review what a year it has been. We all miss founder Marc Haynes dearly, however we’re certain he would have loved the action on track and the atmosphere in the paddock. Bute Motorsport is ready to head into 2018 building on the success of the previous season and remaining true to his core values.
Our 2017 champions had to work hard to earn their honours, with challengers pushing them all the way to the final chequered flag. Graham Davidson opened his Group GTO campaign at Donington Park back in April hoping for some podium finishes, and promptly won six races in a row! We were sad to lose Richard Chamberlain after his car woes mid-season, and Nigel Hudson persevered all season alongside Adam Wilcox, deservedly taking a solo victory at the penultimate meeting. Graham was pushed for the overall title by Dominic Paul, who was similarly dominant in Group GTA, but the GTO driver held on at the final meeting to secure double honours.
We visited the iconic Spa Francorchamps as part of our tenth anniversary celebrations, and the drivers relished the chance to challenge themselves through some of the toughest corners in world motorsport. For 2018, we’re delighted to return to the Ardennes and to hold our final round at the Silverstone GP Circuit. With half the rounds being held on Grand Prix circuits, and weekends carefully chosen to reduce clashes, we believe the 2018 calendar offers the best balance of venues and dates.
Pit stop timings have produced some fantastic battles at the end of races, which is what drivers want on track. We continue to monitor car performance to maintain parity with the technical team working hard to ensure greater balance of performance and accordingly we are very excited to introduce the GTH group for 2018.
The championship provides up to three hours’ track time over a two-day weekend, with two sprint races and one pit stop endurance race. Whilst the GT Cup is focused on the amateur driver, we do allow Prodesignated drivers, but they are restricted to the second half of the pit stop race to provide maximum driving time for our amateur competitors.
Not only do our drivers and teams enjoy exposure via our traditional media outlets and social media channels, but the Group Champions receive an invitation to the British Grand Prix as guests of Bute Motorsport and Pirelli, enjoying fantastic hospitality overlooking the pit lane.
Once again, we’ll be sharing headline billing at six events with our sister series, the LMP3 Cup Championship, as well as continuing to develop our MSVR race package with the F3 Cup, Radical Challenge/SR1 Cup and the Lotus Cup to name but a few, creating an attractive weekend race package in support of the GT Cup.
I would like to thank Hannah, Tom, Philip, and the whole team behind the GT Cup for what has been an outstanding season. I am so excited for 2018 and cannot wait to get going, and with your support we will continue to deliver the best Championship for sporting amateur drivers and continue to do Marc proud!
With best wishes,