British GT newcomer Abbie Eaton believes that her Maserati GranTurismo MC will have a “presence” on-track ahead of the Italian marque’s first appearance in the championship since 1998.
Eaton, who will share the Ebor GT-ran machine with fellow GT Cup graduate Marcus Hoggarth, is a former Mazda Mx5 SuperCup champion and is confident that the Maserati’s pedigree in the Trofeo World Series will help smooth her transition to GT4 class after campaigning a BMW M3 E46 GTR last year.
“We’d been speaking to [Ebor GT owner] Adrian Snook for a while, he ran with Marcus last year and they’d always been quite interested in Italian machines,” she said. “They mentioned possibly buying a couple of the Trofeos and bringing them across to race in GT Cup or British GT, which seemed like a very good direction to go down. The car is proven, it’s got quite a lot of knowledge behind it as it’s been running for a couple of years abroad and the noise it produces is unreal!
“It’s quite a big car as well, it’s a bit bigger than the Aston which is a bit of a tank as well, so it will definitely have some presence on track, that’s for sure!”
Eaton is due to give the car its first shakedown at the Snetterton Media Day, and is hopeful that the Balance of Performance will allow it to compete against the array of Aston Martins, Ginettas and Porsches announced so far.
Although this will be the GranTurismo MC’s first time in Britain, it has raced in GT4 spec before, taking a best finish of fourth at Misano in select GT4 Euro Series outings last year.
“It had its Balance of Performance done last week and we’ve been assured that they won’t hamper it too much because it would be such a shame to jump into something and for it to be unable to compete,” Eaton added. “It’s track record when it came to Silverstone in the Trofeo Series I think was about three seconds quicker than the GT4 cars, but with the BOP done well it should hopefully be about right. It’s just down to us to hustle it and get it to do the things we want with it.
“You always want to go into a championship hoping you can win. I’m not naïve; it’s a new car for the team and it’s a new championship for myself, but I’m an optimistic person and determined that we will get some good results along the year. I’ve already shared a podium with Marcus before; when I won at Silverstone he won his class as well, so I’m taking that as a positive! He proved that he was very quick last year, so hopefully he’s going to push me along and I’m going to push him along.”