Back to British GT
It’s great to be coming back to British GT full time, for the first time since winning the GT4 championship in 2010. I drove in the Silverstone three-hour race last season with Paul, and he decided that after the one off outing he really fancied doing British GT this year. Sadly, the F430 GT3 they had had no one else to race against, and the current cost of GT3 meant that GT4 was the obvious place to be. We have joined the championship at a time when GT4 is on the rise, and I think we are coming into a time where we will see GT4 become as popular as GT3.
So after the Silverstone race, we took up the kind invitation of Mike Simpson and Lawrence Tomlinson to have a tour of the Ginetta factory. Paul, myself and his team of mechanics – who had been running him in the Lotus Cup UK championship – enjoyed the trip, and we kept in touch over the season. Once Ginetta announced that the G55 would be the GT4 car for 2014, it became simple for Paul to make the decision to join British GT. Once the F430 GT3 had been sold, we visited the factory and ordered the car. One week later, we met up with Benjamin and Lauren at SRO to put our entry in.
Since the middle of November it’s been a real hive of activity for the whole team; as well as being the Pro driver in the team, I’m also helping them get to grips with joining the best domestic GT championship. The car was scheduled to arrive in February, and over the winter the guys have been busy sorting the garage boards, air bottles, refueling kit and all the associated equipment. Jon, Russ, Geoff and Keegan have really done a great job adapting to the new challenge and I think they are really looking forward to it.
Ginetta have been great as well. They let the guys into the factory, to help build the car and that means they’ve had guidance and the chance to really get to know the car during the build process. This has really helped us get the most out of our pre season preparations. We had a hand over day at Donington Park in mid February, and the car ran really well despite the best effort of an errant Formula Renault… Ginetta 1 Formula Renault 0! We then went to Brands, to give Paul a chance to get comfortable in the car. Oulton Park followed next, then Silverstone, and finally Rockingham just yesterday. We’ve learnt a lot, but with no firm BoP for the car yet it’s hard to know where we stand – but we can be happy with the job we have done.
Paul and the team are new to the championship but I have experience and we have also brought in knowledge in the form of our engineer Pohl De Visser –he’ll be with us when his WEC commitments allow. Pohl is also one of my best mates, so it makes quite a nice dynamic in the team. He’s been really cracking the whip to get the guys into the right routines for British GT, and come Easter Monday we fully intend to show the more established teams that we aren’t some two bit team, but that we’re here for the long term with ambitious targets.
I’m looking forward to writing a few more of these blogs for Racing.GT. The good news is that ill also be squeezing in some GT cup outings in another car too – but you’ll have to wait till nearer the time to find out more…