OULTON Park hosts its first headline event of the new season this weekend when the British F3 and GT Championships arrive for their customary curtain-raiser.

The UK’s premier sports car series has promised more than 20 machines for a double-header on Monday, a field that includes a Speedworks Motorsport-prepared Corvette Z06.

Ron and Piers Johnson will once more be at the helm after spending last season getting to grips with the 500bhp machine.

“We’re happy to be back with significant upgrades to be delivered soon that should help push us up the grid,” said Ron.

“It was a big learning year in 2011, but we know the car is good.”

Northwich neighbours Chevron Racing Cars will be represented by a GR8 driven by Nantwich racer Jordan Witt and former British Touring Car Championship regular Anthony Reid.

Cheshire brothers Ben and Freddie Hetherington will share on-track duty in a Nissan GT-R.

On Saturday, the prestigious Cooper Tires British F3 International series starts with three races while circuit owners MotorSport Vision launch their F3 Cup.

Support comes from the British Formula Ford Championship, which launches a new car and fuel-efficient engine this season, the Volkswagen Racing Cup and the Ginetta GT5 Championship.

Admission for adults is £16 on Saturday, £21 on Monday, while U12s watch for free.