The Mazda MX-5 GT4 will battle Lotus and Ginetta in the Avon Tyres British GT Championship (Photo Credit: Mazda)

The Mazda MX-5 GT4 will battle Lotus and Ginetta in the Avon Tyres British GT Championship (Photo Credit: Mazda)

After a development year in the Britcar Production GTN Championship Mike Ticehurst and Owen Mildenhall are to step up to GT4 class of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship with a Mazda MX-5.

The pair ran a full season in the Production GTN series, finishing fourth in points, fighting against the likes of Lotus, Ginetta and BMW during a season of endurance races.

Moving to the British GT Championship Ticehurst and Mildenhall will come up against some of the same manufacturers in Lotus and Ginetta, both of whom have proven race winning cars after the 2011 season in the Evora and G50 respectively.

“We are looking forward to taking on the supercar brands this year and winning,” commented Jeremy Thomson, Managing Director for Mazda UK. “Last year was a valuable development year when we established the strengths of the car and then developed the power and handling to best exploit those strengths. We are excited and optimistic about our first year in British GT and fully expect the Mazda MX-5 to upset a few established marques.”

The GT4 car is an evolution of the MX-5 GT from last season. Carrying 150kg in ballast the car weighs in a 1,000kg but maintains the same two litre engine delivering 315bhp and a top speed of 160mph, a statistic that makes it the fastest and most powerful MX-5 ever produced.

Mazda hope that further work on the MX-5 base car – already the start of an enormously popular club series – undertaken with the help of the Motor Industry Research Agency (MIRA) will create stable car suited to the endurance challenges of British GT races, which are between an hour and three hours in length.

The season begins with two 60 minute races at Oulton Park on Easter Monday (April 9).