Ginetta Junior Championship front-runner Jamie Chadwick got behind the wheel of a Beechdean Aston Martin GT4 yesterday (23rd October) to kick off her winter testing programme ahead of the 2015 season.
Former Ginetta Scholarship winner Chadwick completed her second season in the Juniors this season, taking five podium finishes en-route to eighth in the championship standings.
The 16 year old headed to Donington Park for the test with Beechdean AMR, getting behind the wheel of the Aston that Jake Giddings and Ross Wylie took to the GT4 title in the Avon Tyres British GT Championship this year.
With support from her driver coach, British GT race-winner Jonny Adam, Jamie feels she adapted to the 440bhp Aston, which is a big step up from the 100bhp Gineetta G40 she’s raced for the last two years.
“I immediately felt comfortable,” said Jamie. “Jonny [Adam] said it [Aston Martin] would better suit my smoother driving style, and that was apparent straight away.
“There’s definitely an awareness of the extra size and performance, but it’s a credit to the little G40 that it prepares drivers so well for higher formulae. The GT4 is actually easier to drive, which is obviously important over longer durations – I don’t think anyone could race a G40 for more than an hour!”
Joining her for the GT4 test was her older brother Ollie Chadwick, who was a front-runner in the Ginetta GT5 Challenge this year with five wins helping him to second in the championship standings.
“It was a fun experience,” added Ollie. “You can obviously feel the ‘roadcar’ origins, but it’s been well adapted for this level of motorsport and you just know that, with a competitive field, there’d be some close racing.”
For both drivers, this starts an extensive testing programme as they assess their options for next year and both will be back at Donington next week. While Jamie will run in a Xentek Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge G40, Ollie will step up to a GT3 specification Aston Martin V12 Vantage.
“We’ve got some more testing planned in the coming weeks, including the GT3 Aston Martin, which I’m really looking forward to, and hopefully a Porsche Carrera Cup test too, so it will be interesting to make the comparisons,” Ollie added.