20-year-old Ashley White will make his car racing debut in the final round of the Protyre Ginetta GT5 Challenge at Donington Park next month, after claiming his opportunity through success in the 2013 want2race event to achieve the fully-funded prize drive.
Held at Blyton Park on September 4/5/6, the former two-stroke karter White, from Northampton, turned heads most of all across the arduous trio of days that consisted of race simulators, interviews and time behind the wheel at the circuit.
Narrowed down from 200 competitors, the 100 finalists were coached through proceedings in a G40 Ginetta machine by current BTCC aces Jack Goff and Adam Morgan, as well as KX Akademy-backed Ginetta GT Supercup racer Rob Boston and recently crowned GT5 Challenge G20 class champion Stuart Pearson.
The overjoyed White said: “I’m so happy, and it will take a while to sink in. I’ve only ever raced karts, and had so much bad luck we decided not to renew my license this year and stop racing. I then saw this opportunity with Ginetta and went for it, so pleased that I did now”.
Under close scrutiny also from chief judge and historic racer, Mark Hales, the three contingents for spoils proved very tough to separate, Hales declaring: “The decision was so tight at the end as all three performed so well under the pressure of two hot laps. Ashley put in a blistering performance and lap time which myself and the other judges could not argue with.
“From what I have seen today this competition has brought together a selection of inexperienced yet talented drivers and offered them a fabulous experience and grounding to progress further in Motorsport”, 150+ race winner Hales continued. “I wish Ashley the best for his race debut in a few weeks’ time.”
As part of the prize, Ginetta are providing the G40 car to be raced at the final round of the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge at Donington Park in October, as well as race and test fees, insurance, team support and driver tuition, insurance and all the kit required to go racing – a package worth in excess of £6,000.
Want2race is organised and run by current Ginetta racer Ben Hyland, lying eighth in his current GT5 Challenge campaign, who set up the competition to assist newcomers with making the jump into racing cars from karting after he himself fought through the challenging barriers to reach the GT5 Challenge.
“There are so many barriers when trying to start racing”, explains Hyland. “I want to provide the best experience and tuition at our race days along with the chance of becoming a real racing driver.
“It’s a unique and cost effective opportunity and this year the standard of drivers has been superb, making our lives as judges very hard at the end there! Ashley showed enormous raw talent, and I’m excited to see him out on the grid with us in just a few weeks’ time.”
Both Hyland and newcomer White will compete in the final three races of the Protyre Ginetta GT5 Challenge which take place at Donington Park on October 5/6.