Winter’s hold finally lost its grip at Donington Park as the ‘Beast from the East’ made way for the roaring thunder of British GT’s class of 2018.

With a capacity grid of 36 (13 from GT3 and 23 from GT4), the assembled cars, representing many of the world’s top manufacturers, treated media and fans to a spectacular preview of the horsepower and factory-driven talent set to thrill when the season commences at Oulton Park over the Easter weekend.

Here are twenty of our favourite images from the day; there’ll be plenty more as the season gets underway.

  • With a 36-car entry, 2018 will see the largest GT grids for four years.

  • Struan Moore will drive the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 for RJN Motorsport.

  • Shaun Balfe and Rob Bell will one again drive a McLaren 650S in the GT3 class.

  • Leo Machitski and Patrick Kujala will drive a Lamborghini Huracan with Barwell Motorsport.

  • Rick Parfitt Jr will fight for GT3 honours alongside Ryan Ratcliffe driving for Team Parker Racing.

  • Six manufacturers will compete for overall honours in GT3, including Aston Martin, Bentley, Lamborghini, McLaren, Mercedes-AMG and Nissan.

  • Left to Right: (1) the #69 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan will be driven by Sam De Haan and Jonny Cocker in GT3. (2) the #11 TF Sport Aston Martin V12 Vantage of Mark Farmer and Nicki Thiim.

  • Left to Right: (1) the #7 Bentley Continental GT3 of Ian Loggie and Callum Macleod. (2) the #33 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini of Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen.

  • The GT4 grid will feature eight manufacturers in 2018, including Aston Martin, BMW, Ginetta, Jaguar, McLaren, Mercedes-AMG, Nissan and Toyota.

  • There will be five McLaren 570S fighting for GT4 honours, while a smorgasbord of McLaren Sports Series models will lead the grid as the official safety cars in 2018.

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Images: Kevin Mc Glone(Red Square Images), Steve Hindle(The Black Stuff).