With championship successes in the Ginetta GT5 Challenge and Ginetta G50 Cup under his belt from the last two seasons, Sean Huyton heads into the 2014 Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup with the chance to make history as the first driver to win three consecutive Ginetta championships.
After a dominant Challenge success in 2012 that featured ten race wins and a near 100 point winning margin, last season proved to be quite a different experience for the 24 year old.
With G50 grid numbers ranging from a high of four to just one over the season, the lack of consistent challengers meant it was just a case of picking up the points and winning the title as early as possible.
The Lancashire-based racer admits the year just became the chance for him to get to grips with the more powerful machinery, with the highlight being a couple of guest appearances by Ginetta factory driver Mike Simpson that gave him the chance to test how far he’d come.
“We knew there wasn’t going to be great numbers in the G50’s, but because we got the car as a prize for winning the Challenge, it was the easiest way to go for me up the ladder,” he reflected. “It wasn’t a write off, it’s all experience at the end of the day, but it ended up being a learning year for me, ahead of the G55 this year.
“We had Mike Simpson come in a couple of times and that was good for me, to see where I was compared to the guys who’s helped develop these cars in the first place. I beat him at Donington, then he got me back at Oulton, and it was a good platform for me to test myself.”
Huyton eventually wrapped up the G50 crown with three rounds to spare, with Ginetta giving him his prize G55 early so he could complete the season in the premier class.
Despite focusing on them as predominantly ‘test’ weekends, Huyton hit the ground running with a superb podium finish on his first weekend at Rockingham, the scene of his first ever race win in the Ginetta G20’s six years ago
With a couple more top six finishes following in the final two meetings, Huyton is confident that he can be a front-runner from the off this season, and admits that the thought of completing his unique Ginetta hat-trick has crossed his mind.
“With the experience I got in the G55 at the end of last year, and the results we picked up, I’ve got some good confidence for this year,” he commented. “We were challenging in the top six throughout and we got the podium at Rockingham, which was a great boost as it got my name out there as a G55 contender.
“I want to try and win, because then I’ve got the set of the G40, G50 and G55 titles, but realistically podiums and some race wins is what we’re going for as we’re struggling for budget for testing, and we’re looking for more sponsors to make sure we can finish the season strongly when it comes.”
As well as aiming to complete his Ginetta hat-trick, Huyton has an added incentive to win the title for his Academy Motorsport team. The squad has been hugely successful in Ginetta racing over the years, winning a numbers of titles, but one trophy currently missing from their cabinet is the overall Supercup crown.
After spending his whole car-racing career to date with the team, Huyton admits he would love to secure the title for them.
“The team know how I work and I know how they work, I’ve been with them now since 2009 and they’ve always done a fantastic job,” he added. “They’ve been very successful in Ginetta’s over the years, but it’s just this main pedestal in the Supercup they’ve yet to reach and it would be nice if I could bring it home for them.”