MOTORSPORT team Ebor GT Motorsport finished eighth when they opened their account in the 2016 British GT Championships at Brands Hatch.

The race car preparation specialists, based at Warthill, near York, have entered the British GT this year rather than the lower-ranked GT Cup, bringing the Maserati car back into the series too.

York driver Marcus Hogarth, second in the GT Cup last year in a Ferrari, shared driving duties with newcomer Abbie Eaton, and the pair's aim at Brands Hatch was to gain as much mileage as possible in the maiden race in the Italian marque.

In qualifying, an incident early on halted progress with a red flag, Hoggarth yet to post a decent time. Once the session resumed traffic interfered with his charging run and tenth place was the best he could manage.

Eaton's run was clean and changes made to the car worked, but she had to fight to keep the rear of the car in line and could only secure 13th.

Combined times put the Maserati 11th on the grid for its debut.

A big accident, which saw a GT3 barrel roll down the back straight, saw the new "full course yellow" flags waved for 25 minutes, and most teams had their pitstop during this slow-go, changing driver, tyres and fuel.

With Eaton now in the car, the race was red flagged after only 13 more laps due to a fire on a retired GT3 Ginetta, with Maserati in eighth place at the close.

The two-hour test session amid torrential conditions had seen Eaton run fourth quickest only for the lap to be aborted. Hogarth's times quickened with each lap.

Free practice was dry and both drivers completed as many laps as possible, making changes and improving lap by lap. Eaton posted a lap time of sixth quickest, only one second behind the pole time.

She said: "The car feels natural to drive. I know we will have work to do in dry conditions as the other teams have had way more experience in tuning set-ups for their established machines, but it’s a great relief to know we haven’t far to go."

Ebor GT lie joint eighth in the overall GT4 Championship and third in the GT4 Am standings. The next round is at Rockingham on May 1.