Ginetta opened up their 2012 season with their media day, which saw the cars and drivers from the Ginetta GT Supercup, Ginetta Junior and Ginetta GT5 Challenge series come together at Silverstone.
As well as being a chance for celebrities, invited guests and member of the media to get behind the wheel of a Ginetta G40 race car around the Silverstone National circuit, the day gave the opportunity for the drivers to meet the media, as well as get some all-important testing time ahead of the new campaign.
The Ginetta Junior Championship is shaping up for another strong season in 2012, with a number of the series stars from 2011 returning in what is expected to be a large grid this season. Amongst those taking to the track was the newly-crowned Ginetta Junior Scholarship winner Oliver Basey-Fisher, enjoying his first outing in a junior car since winning the award.
Basey-Fisher said: “My feet haven't touched the ground since I won the Silverstone Ginetta Junior Scholarship. It was fantastic to finally test the car on slicks and I thoroughly enjoyed the day. I am really looking forward to the season ahead, it's set to be an exciting one.”
One of the returning drivers from 2011 was Niall Murray, who made an appearance alongside team-mate Andrew Watson in their new team Douglas Motorsport. Murray set a strong pace from the start and ended the day in positive mood.
Murray commented: “Today has been a great chance for us to test with some of our main rivals for 2012. It's my first time on slicks and they’re fantastic. They totally change how you drive the car, but from the lap times we’ve seen today we appear to be right on the pace towards the front of the field. Looking at the season ahead, I’m really encouraged about our plans for 2012.”
Also in action at Silverstone was 2011 vice-champion Charlie Robertson with HHC Motorsport, Hillspeed duo George Gamble and Nathan Harrison, Beacon Racing rookies Harry Woodhead and Keith Donegan, series returnees Sennan Fielding and Oliver Chadwick with JHR Developments and the youngest driver in the series, RPM Motorsport's Elliot Patterson.
The stars of the Ginetta GT Supercup were at Silverstone getting their first test with the 2012 specification engines in the Ginetta G55's. Amongst them was 2011 championship contender Tom Sharp, who enjoyed a positive shakedown in his IDL Racing car.
Sharp said: “The media day gave us a good opportunity to shake down the new car and get a few miles under our belt before the season kicks off at the end of the month. I had enough time to get a feel for the car and to see how the latest upgrades have affected things, so on the whole, I'm pleased with how things are shaping up.”
Century Motorsport were present with recently confirmed drivers Josh Wakefield and Fergus Walkinshaw, who both enjoyed positive days, in particular Walkinshaw who set the fastest time of the day.
Wakefield said: “This was my first time out in the G55 and I was very impressed. The car has great pace and the substantial down force gives it equally good footing in the corners. I'm also very pleased to be running with Century this year – the combination of great team and Ginetta’s great car in an exciting championship is a real boost to my career and I’m confident that we’ll do well with the G55 in the championship.”
Walkinshaw added: “It's great to be back in the car after a long winter break, our main focus was on shaking down the car and running-in the engine, which feels a lot more responsive than last year, with quite a bit more torque. The biggest change will come when we get the new differential installed, which will be before the first Brands Hatch round.”
Amongst those also in action was Colin White in his CWS Racing G55, whilst in the G50's, Redbrick Racing gave runs to Ginetta Junior graduate Max Coates and former G50 Cup racer Alice Powell, two drivers both hoping to make it onto the grid this season.
The Ginetta Media Day also gave the opportunity for the champions from 2011 to showcase their new machinery for this season. Reigning Ginetta Junior champion Seb Morris was present, showcasing his new Ginetta-backed Formula Renault, as he gets set to enter the Formula Renault BARC series with Fortec Motorsport, whilst 2011 Ginetta GT Supercup champion Adam Morgan was out on track in his Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis BTCC car.