Just eight points separates the five title contenders in the Avon Tyres British GT Championship, which reaches its thrilling conclusion with a brace of one-hour races at Brands Hatch next weekend.

And not only is there a championship to be settled, but there is also the promise of some exciting new competitors taking to the grid.

The men out in front after 12 rounds are twin brothers David and Godfrey Jones, who have put in some notable performances this season in the Preci-Spark Ascari, which is prepared in Team Pyro's race shop.

Jones and Jones kicked off their season in some style at Oulton Park, finishing second in both races, and were second again at Spa-Francorchamps and Rockingham before bagging their maiden British GT win at Knockhill in June.

A further win followed at Snetterton but the Ascari men were absent from the podium in both the Donington and the Silverstone two-hour races.

Just a point behind them, and in with a very real shot at the title, is Hector Lester, who is paired with Danish driver Allan Simonsen in the Rosso Verde Ferrari 430.

Simonsen finds himself out of the championship hunt because he separated briefly from his partner in June to tackle Le Mans and missed the Knockhill rounds.

Lester has made it on to the podium five times this season already, including GT3 victories - with Simonsen - at Rockingham and Snetterton. Last year at Brands Hector and Allan claimed a second-place finish.

The third title-chasing crew is the ABG Motorsport pairing of Aaron Scott and Craig Wilkins, who'd like very much to follow in the wheeltracks of fellow Viper drivers Bradley Ellis/Alex Mortimer, who were British GT champions in 2007, and Jon Barnes/James Gornall, the '08 title-winners.

Scott and Wilkins have a bigger job to do, starting eight points behind the Joneses, but Brands should suit the powerful Viper to a tee. Their 2009 campaign began promisingly with a podium finish at Oulton Park, which they followed with a win and a podium at Spa, a second victory at Knockhill, a third-place finish at Donington and a second last time out, at Silverstone.

"I believe that it's definitely 'do-able'," says Aaron Scott. "To a certain extent it's out of our hands - we have everything to gain and nothing to lose - and it's a case of giving it everything we've got and seeing what happens. The Viper is good at Brands, I like the circuit, Craig relishes a challenge, and there are several quick cars out there likely to take points from our rivals; everything is in our favour and we'll give it our best shot."

There are indeed several other potential race winners in the GT3 field, like the beautiful RP Motorsport Ford GT of Philip Walker and Alex Mortimer, which was the resounding victor in the wet at Donington, and the runaway Silverstone winner, the MTECH Ferrari 430 Scuderia of Matt Griffin and Duncan Cameron.

Still awaiting their first wins of the season are the Ferraris of Chad Racing's Chris Hyman and Paul Warren, and VRS pairing Adam Wilcox and Phil Burton; both cars have made it to the podium this season, as has the Beechdean/Barwell Aston Martin of Andrew Howard and Jamie Smyth.

Further excitement at the sharp end of the grid is expected from several Invitation class entries, like the Barwell Motorsport Ginetta G50Z - an outright racewinner this season already - and the Mark Bailey Racing Morgan Aero 8. The Barwell Ginetta is scheduled to be raced by Phil Quaife and Leo Machitski, the Morgan by Howard Spooner. Also entered in the Invitation class is a Mosler for Dave Shelton and a works KTM X-BOW featuring revised aerodynamics.

The other title to be settled next weekend is that of GT4 Champion, and it's pretty much a foregone conclusion the man wearing the crown will be Yorkshireman Jodie Firth. That's because the only other driver who could deprive him of victory is his own team-mate, Nigel Moore...

Firth has enjoyed a metronomically reliable season in the Team WFR Ginetta G50, winning nine times and finishing second twice, to lead the class championship all the way from Oulton Park to Brands Hatch. His 17-year-old driving partner Moore has been no less impressive, but misses out on the title because he went to Le Mans - where he became the youngest-ever Brit competing - while Firth flew solo in the Ginetta at Knockhill.

GT4 championship third-place man Ian Stinton has been a redoubtable opponent all season, with a variety of co-drivers, and will be looking to end his season on a high note at Brands in the Stark Racing Ginetta.

Fresh from victory in the latest round of the GT4 European Cup, held at the Algarve circuit in Portugal today (Sun), the RJN Motorsport Nissan 350Z is scheduled to make an appearance at Brands Hatch. "We will be working flat-out to get it to Brands," said GT4 Euro championship runner-up Jonathan Buncombe after his Portuguese win.

Brands Hatch marks a first for the championship with the debut of the exciting Lotus 2-11 sports car. The Lotus - prepared by championship-winning team Piranha Motorsport - will be driven by Chris Bialan and Simon Mason in the Supersport class, up against some stiff KTM X-BOW opposition from Mathol Racing.

Provisional GT3 championship placings after round 12
1= David & Godfrey Jones 71
3 Hector Lester 70
4= Craig Wilkins & Aaron Scott 63
6 Allan Simonsen 60
7= Adam Wilcox & Phil Burton 46
9 Daniel Brown 44
10 Duncan Cameron 42 etc

Provisional GT4 championship placings after round 12
1 Jody Firth 66
2 Nigel Moore 57
3 Ian Stinton 40 etc