British GT youngsters head to Spa with high hopes

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The Independent Online

The Avon Tyres British GT Championship gets a classical continental make-over this weekend, when the super sports cars visit one of the most famous circuits in world motorsport; the stunning Spa Franchorchamps in the Ardennes, Belgium.

Series leaders, and the youngest ever driver pairing in the series, Stuart Hall (24) and Daniel Brown (17), will be looking to extend their lead in their Rollercentre Racing Mossler MT900. The pair have surprised everyone with their pace and they took victory in the opening two rounds of the series. However, from being an unknown package for the first race weekend of the season, they will now be in everyone's sights and very much the team to beat.

The challengers will be lining up thick and fast, and the return of the fearsome Ford GT and the debut of a new Ferrari are just two of the additional challengers for the third and fourth rounds of the action-packed series.

Ford's 5-litre V8 supercar will be in the hands of British GT race winner Michael Bentwood and his new team-mate Philip Walker. The Ford GT won on its Avon Tyres British GT debut last year at Snetterton, and has the pace to do it again at Spa, says Bentwood: "We have to be realistic with our expectations - this is the first weekend together for me, Philip and the team - but I see no reason why we can't compete at the front. The car is quick, Philip is quick and I'm quick; we can finish on the podium."

Further competition for Spa comes in the shape of the new Ferrari 430 Scuderia, the latest development of Maranello's impressive GT3 charger. The MTECH team looks like having won the race to be the first to get the car - lighter and more powerful than its predecessor - to the British GT grid.

MTECH team boss Mike Edmonds can't wait to see how the new car goes in Duncan Cameron's hands: "We are really pleased to have what is only the second customer car delivered and the first in the UK. We shook down the car at Donington last week and it went brilliantly. It's a beautiful bit of kit and much, much better already than the old car."

Another addition to the UK runners is the Aston Martin DBRS9 of 22 GT Racing, which returns to the championship driven by Tom Alexander and his new team-mate, the 2002 Formula Palmer Audi Champion Adrian Willmott.

The Rosso Verde Ferrari 430 - which with great Dane Allan Simonsen at the wheel was the only car other than the Hall/Brown Mosler to take a turn in front at Oulton - will be looking for a rematch at Spa, as will the Godfrey/David Jones Preci-Spark Ascari, with the veteran brothers seeking to go one better than the second-place finishes they scored last time out. The Aaron Scott/Craig Wilkins ABG Viper will be looking for further podium results at Spa also.