Reigning British GT4 champion Jake Giddings will attempt to defend his crown this season, the 20-year-old confirming his switch to series newcomers JWB Motorsport for the 2015 campaign.
Giddings, who won the 2014 championship sharing a Beechdean AMR run Aston Martin Vantage GT4 with Ross Wylie will drive a similar car this year, joining Aston Martin Challenge graduate Kieran Griffin who will move up with the squad to the championship.
Nick Beaumont’s team are a familiar name to the British GT paddock having run with success in both the supporting VW Racing Cup and the Aston Martin Challenge, where they ran Griffin to three victories last year.
“We always saw last year’s Aston Martin Challenge programme as a stepping stone into British GT,” said Beaumont. “The Vantage is a proven product at this level and we couldn’t have anyone better to race alongside Kieran than the reigning GT4 champion. I think they’ll be a great partnership.”
He continues; “But we’re under no illusions as to how tough the category is. There are a lot of very good teams, drivers and cars contesting GT4 this year, and although we have experience of the Aston, British GT will represent a big step up. I’d still like to think we could score a few podiums this year and then see where we are in 2016. I’ve also got one eye on GT3 in the future, and there’s our VW Racing Cup commitments to consider as well.”
“We had a fun year in 2014 learning the car but this is going to be a big step up and a serious challenge personally,” adds Griffin, the younger brother of Liam who races in the GT3 class for Motorbase Performance. “Jake’s experience will be really important in terms of set-up and helping us to hit the ground running at Oulton Park. I couldn’t have wished for anyone better alongside me.”
Joining a new team for the 2015 season is a departure for Giddings, having joined the championship in 2014 with the then reigning GT3 champions Beechdean AMR. However, while he realises the reality of the situation he has already settled into the team.
“I grew up racing in family-run teams and that’s definitely something I identify with at JWB; we clicked straight away,” he said.
“The car has been fully upgraded to this year’s spec so I’m eager to see where we fit into the pecking order. It’s reasonable to accept that we might take a couple of rounds to find our feet but I’m feeling very motivated to help push them forward throughout the year. Kieran has plenty of talent, as demonstrated last season, although the quality and quantity of this year’s GT4 field has improved on 2014.”
“I know it’s going to be tough,” Griffin admits. “If I can steadily learn from Jake and improve throughout the year then we should be in the hunt for podium finishes. I’ve done a lot of sprint racing in the past but last year’s Aston Martin Challenge programme introduced an endurance element, which I prefer in some respects, so at least that’s one new experience I don’t need to tick off.”
The 2015 Avon Tyres British GT Championship begins with the traditional curtain raiser at Oulton Park on April 4-6.