Car-racing rookie James Taylor will compete in the final weekend of the 2014 Protyre Ginetta GT5 Challenge at Donington Park next month after winning this year’s Want2Race competition.
The 26 year old, who finished second in the competition last year, beat off competition from karter Ashlee Whiteman. In a final one-on-one shootout to win the £6,000 prize fund.
130 drivers were invited to Blyton Park for the three-day competition after successfully qualifying from regional karting contests, and they found their driving skills put to the test in five race-prepared Ginetta G40 race cars under the watchful eye of a panel of judges.
BTCC drivers Jack Goff and Adam Morgan, GT4 Supercup front-runner David Pittard and former Ginetta racers Max Coates and Louise Richardson instructed on the two heat days, before being joined by Ginetta factory driver Michael Simpson and Track Driver Magaine editor Mark Hales for the final assessment day.
Twenty drivers made it through to the final stages to tackle a new configuration at Blyton devised for the contest, with Taylor, Whiteman, karter Harry Hardy and former rally scholarship finalist Mark Stephenson selected as the final four.
After another intensive three-lap driving session, Whiteman and Taylor were chosen as the final two and the final shoot-out saw them take to the track with no instructors alongside them. Taylor impressed in greasy conditions and was chosen the winner.
“I genuinely can’t believe it,” said Taylor, who will take his ARDS license this Friday. “The competition was so close this year, especially at the end in the shoot-out with Ashlee. I’d like to say a huge thank you to want2race and Ginetta for a fantastic week.
“I absolutely cannot wait to get out on track at Donington and it’s a dream come true to be entering my first ever race behind the wheel of a Ginetta G40.”
James’ full prize package for winning is a fully funded entry in the Ginetta GT5 Challenge at Donington Park on September 13/14, including car hire, insurance, test and race entry fees, race suit, boots, gloves, team support, tyres, driver coaching and an ION Air Pro Wifi Lite action camera.
“Another fantastic year for want2race. It was great to see a mixture between old faces from past years and fresh talent eager to impress out on track for the first time,” added organiser Ben Hyland.
“The calibre of our final four competitors justifies the ethos of the competition giving those new or inexperienced with car racing a chance to compete at a national level based purely on their natural talent.