British Porsche supremo, Tim Bridgman, has been confirmed as the driving partner to experienced historics racer, Gregor Fisken, at Trackspeed for the entire 2011 Avon Tyres British GT Championship campaign it was announced today.
Bridgman was one of a number of drivers earmarked for the role. The likes of Jonny Cocker, Benjamin Hetherington and more were touted to partner Fisken; several trying out for the role in a shoot out in March at Silverstone. However, Fisken opted for Bridgman and you can’t help but think he’s made a great choice.
The 2011 British GT season is shaping up to be a classic, with at least seven different marques set to compete in the GT3 class, and around 26 cars expected on the grid for round one at Oulton Park this weekend.
“I'm obviously very pleased to be joining Trackspeed alongside Gregor for what looks set to be one of the most competitive seasons of the British GT Championship for many years,” added the 2009 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Champion, Bridgman. “I'm also excited to be continuing my relationship with Porsche. Since its launch last year, the 911 GT3 R has enjoyed success around the world and, with a strong car, a strong team and a strong co-driver I think we have every chance of continuing that trend this season.”
Gregor Fisken and Tim Bridgman are indeed an enticing package in one of Trackspeed's Porsche 911 GT3 Rs. However, one of their main challenges will come from the neighbouring garage. GT star, Richard Westbrook is joining reigning champion David Ashburn in the no.1 car, both carrying the livery of Fiskens, one of London's foremost historic automobile specialists.
“The team has a race-winning pedigree and I'll be working hard to ensure that continues in 2011,” said a clearly excited Fisken. “I'm also very pleased to welcome Tim Bridgman as my team-mate. With four motorsport titles already under his belt, Tim is one of the UK's most exciting young racing drivers and he has proven his speed in Porsches before. I have no doubt that will continue this year.”
Indeed, 25-year-old Bridgman, a member of the BRDC's Superstars programme last year, makes the switch from the Porsche Supercup having also won titles in Porsche Carrera Cup GB, Formula Palmer Audi, Formula BMW UK and Zip Formula.
Fisken is no slouch himself. Having raced in British GT last year on occasion, alongside the Mosler UK supremo, Martin Short, Fisken was regularly a problem for the Ferrari’s of CHAD Racing and the like.
“Neither of us is underestimating the challenge that lies ahead, as the British GT grid has strengthened considerably this season, particularly with the influx of new cars such as the Mercedes AMG SLS and Ferrari F458 Italia. However we're both confident in the team, the car and each other and I think we can challenge at the front throughout the year,” said the upbeat Scotsman.
Trackspeed has undergone some personnel changes since its successful 2010 campaign where it picked up the team and driver prizes. Popular team manager, Ricki Martino left in the winter and former engineer Keith Cheetham, has been promoted to the role.
“We're very happy to have signed both Gregor and Tim for this season and with Richard Westbrook and David Ashburn in the other car I firmly believe that Trackspeed has the best driver line-up in the paddock,” said a steely Cheetham. “The Porsche 911 GT3 R is a strong car and, presuming SRO's equalisation test for the new entries has been successful, I see no reason why we can't repeat our success of 2010 and win the title.”
Indeed, Championship organiser, Benjamin Franassovici has a job on his hands to ensure all the cars performances remain balanced. However, new for 2011 is the move from success ballast to a pit-stop time penalty formula. Essentially this means that cars achieving success will not have their performance pegged back by the addition of extra weight, rather they’ll be penalised with a longer driver-change pit stop.
This is an important change because ballast can effect different cars in different ways. Adding 20kg of ballast to a Porsche for example has a very different result when compared to adding it to a Ferrari 430 Scuderia.
The 2011 British GT Championship begins at Oulton Park this weekend and also includes visits to Snetterton, Brands Hatch, Spa-Francorchamps, Rockingham, Donington Park and Silverstone over the course of the next six months.