Marco Attard crowned 2014 Avon Tyres British GT Champion
Marco Attard became the 2014 Avon Tyres British GT Champion at the end of a dramatic season finale at Donington Park last weekend. For the third year running, the title went down to the wire with another intense and unpredictable showdown.
For Attard, an engine change after warm-up for the No. 79 Ecurie Ecosse BMW Z4 was followed by an early retirement and then an agonizing wait to see how the race would unfold before discovering whether he would be the champion. Attard’s retirement opened the door for Ahmad Al Harthy and team-mate Michael Caine to potentially take the championship. Sharing the No. 4 Oman Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3, which started in pole position, the pair needed to win the race to snatch the title.
They led for more than three-quarters of the two-hour duration before Phil Keen finally overcame Caine’s resistance to take his and Jon Minshaw’s third win of the year in the No. 63 Trackspeed Porsche, giving the GT3 drivers’ championship and the Blancpain Gentleman Driver Trophy to Attard.
The Trackspeed Porsche drivers Minshaw and Keen were joined on the podium by the No. 18 FF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia pairing of Gary Eastwood and Ollie Hancock, with United Autosports taking their first podium of the year with a spirited race from Mark Patterson and Matt Bell in their Audi R8 LMS Ultra.The No. 4’s eventual fourth placed finish did confirm Oman Racing Team as the GT3 teams’ champions, but Al Harthy and Caine’s points tally was insufficient to topple Attard’s drivers’ championship lead. Third in the standings went to Alexander Sims.
GT4 was a tense affair too - nothing less than a win for the TF Sport Aston Martin would wrestle the GT4 Championship from the grasp of the No. 407 Beechdean AMR Aston Martin GT4 Challenge of Jake Giddings and Ross Wylie going into the two hour final round. Although this concluded in favor of the championship leaders, the fight was not without drama.
Avon Tyres Motorsport General Manager, Paul Coates, said, “We wish to congratulate Marco Attard for winning this closely-fought title. Even though on-track at Donington it wasn’t the final race result he was looking for, Marco had done enough in the previous races to ensure that he became the 2014 Avon Tyres British GT Champion, and it is a well-deserved accolade. It has been a thrilling conclusion to a year that has seen the British GT Championship elevated to a new level. All of us at Avon Tyres are delighted to be involved in such an exciting race series.”
Avon Tyres, title sponsor of the British GT Championship, also unveiled at Donington a new slick tire for the 2015 season. Next year there is a compound change for the new Avon slick, which will be supplied to all GT3 and GT4 teams.