Front Runner to broadcast live and free-to-air MINI CHALLENGE UK races from all 6 of the UK British GT rounds
British GT Championship & MINI Challenge fans will be able to watch this season’s, as well as those of its MINI CHALLENGE support category, live, for free and in High Definition thanks to a new deal with Front Runner.
Launched in October 2016, Front Runner is the UK’s first and only free sports channel. It is currently available in 19 million homes across the country via Freeview HD, FreeSat, TalkTalk, YouView, BT and Sky’s television services.
2017’s campaign is the first in British GT’s and the MINI Challenge’s history to feature live coverage from every UK British GT round.
Oulton Park’s two 60-minute British GT races and 2 x 20 minute fast and frantic MINI CHALLENGE races kick off the season on Easter Monday (April 17) – the first time that particular round has aired live – before the championship visits Rockingham for a two-hour British GT contest and 2 more MINI CHALLENGE sprints a fortnight later (April 30). Snetterton’s then takes centre stage on May 28 ahead of the Silverstone event on June 11.
Front Runner leads the way in showcasing the best action sports from across the globe. Its output also includes lifestyle and documentaries from the worlds of motorsport, ice hockey, snowboarding, surfing, boxing and poker. However, British GT and MINI CHALLENGE are the channel’s first season-long live motorsport signings.
Viewers can watch Front Runner on Freeview HD channel 91, FreeSat 250, YouView/TalkTalk/BT 91 and Sky 468.
British GT Championship Manager Benjamin Franassovici:
“This is fantastic news for British GT & MINI CHALLENGE, their drivers and teams, who together with Front Runner now have a platform capable of reaching millions of new and existing fans. It’s really exciting to be bucking the trend of motor racing, and sport in general, by offering live free-to-air coverage throughout our 25th anniversary season. There’s nothing quite like seeing Ferraris, Aston Martins and Lamborghinis battling for real on track, while the manic MINIs also add thrills and spills to proceedings, but at least now anyone unable to attend our races needn’t miss out on the action at home.
“We have already received more than 30 paid entries across GT3 and GT4, and additional interest in both classes remains high. Further exciting team and driver announcements are expected in the coming weeks.”
Front Runner’s Ryan Scarratt:
“We’re delighted to be broadcasting live British GT and MINI CHALLENGE coverage on Front Runner. I’m sure motorsport fans everywhere will be tuning in to watch all the action as it happens this season. Offering more live sports is certainly an area of focus for us this year: we screened the 24H Series Dubai live in January; live darts is coming to Front Runner screens this month; and there will be British GT in April. There are exciting times ahead for sports fans across the UK.”
MINI CHALLENGE UK Promotor Antony Williams:
“Thanks to SRO, MINI UK, Front Runner TV and of course all our drivers, fans of GT & MINI racing in the UK will be able to watch some of the most iconic cars do battle at the best circuits our country has to offer live and free via the UK’s only free to air sports channel. The MINI CHALLENGE offers a door to door Touring Car style viewing experience, with 30 identical cars and drivers that all want to use the same piece of tarmac, it all adds up to deliver some of the most exciting and action packed racing seen anywhere in the UK and Europe”.
MINI UK Head of Product Nicolas Griebner:
“We are delighted that viewers will be able to experience the thrills of MINI CHALLENGE Live on free television. It is a testament to the MINI brand’s commitment and dedication to British motorsport and I am looking forward to this new and exciting chapter in our John Cooper Works racing heritage”.
The opening rounds of the British GT and MINI Challenge take place at Oulton Park over the course of Easter weekend (April 15 & 17).
About the British GT Championship
For 25 years the British GT Championship has been an intrinsic part of the UK’s national motorsport fabric. But, having undergone a number of changes throughout that quarter-century, it’s difficult to envisage an era more competitive than the current GT3 and GT4 format.
First organised by the British Racing Drivers Club in 1993, the BRDC National Sports GT Challenge (as it was known until 1995) featured grids of wildly different machinery loosely grouped into vibrant classes comprising sportscars and saloons.
Today, under SRO Motorsports Group’s guidance, British GT grids comprise 30-plus GT3 and GT4 specification supercars tuned to varying degrees of race preparation. Both classes take their cues from road-legal models – examples include Ferrari, Aston Martin, Lamborghini and Porsche – that have been developed specifically for the track.
GT racing is traditionally seen as an endurance discipline, and British GT honours that by mandating two drivers per car. Driver changes take place during pit-stops, when tyres are also replaced and fuel added. Race durations vary and can last one, two or three hours.
In 2017, British GT celebrates its 25th anniversary.
For more information visit www.britishgt.com, or follow the championship on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
About the MINI CHALLENGE
The MINI CHALLENGE has been THE Championship for the new MINI in the UK since 2002 and has always enjoyed great grids, colourful cars and close racing.
Over the years The MINI CHALLENGE has built a reputation for affordability, fairness and fun, building on the iconic MINI Brand.
Since the current promotor has taken on the Championship, with increased support from MINI UK entries have trebled to 60 drivers, facilitating the need to split the classes and for the top JCW Class to join the British GT Package for 2017.
The John Cooper Works Class cars racing on the British GT package feature 255bhp 2lt MINI Twin Power Turbo engines, slick tyres and sequential gearboxes combining to deliver a Touring Car style experience at a fraction of the cost.
Budgets are also kept under control through restrictions on tyre use and widespread use of control parts in areas where performance advantage could be gained.
The MINI CHALLENGE is ‘The Place to Race’.
About Front Runner
Front Runner is the first and only free-to-air dedicated sports channel in the UK and leads the way in showcasing the best in action sports from across the globe.
It offers action, lifestyle and documentaries from the worlds of motorsport, ice hockey, professional fighting, poker – and now live sports.