Zac Chapman is hoping to fight at the front in the Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup this season as he enters the championship for the first time under the #RacingforHeroes banner.
Chapman steps into the Supercup aiming to reignite his career after a successful run at the start of the decade was cut short by a shortfall in budget.
The 24 year old secured title success in club-level Toyota MR2’s in 2010, before a move into Radical SR8 racing saw him secure four wins and six further podiums in his first full season in 2012.
Chapman hasn’t raced in the two seasons since though, but has kept his eye in working as an instructor and competing some GT and prototype testing whilst working on new opportunities.
That break has come about this year in the Supercup, and the Dorset-based racer is looking forward to racing on the BTCC weekends having had some experience of them before in a different capacity.
“The Supercup is a great championship on a great package and it’s the best option for me at this stage. For me, aiming to make a name for myself in motorsport, it’s a great platform for me to publicise myself,” Chapman told The Checkered Flag at the recent Autosport International Show.
“I’ve always been focused on sportscars, I’ve never wanted to race single-seaters which I guess is rare for a driver of my generation. We’ve reached a time now though where drivers are really seeing sportscars as a potential career and that’s what I’ve done since I started my career.
“I spent some time last year driving the medical car at BTCC meetings, so it’s been fun to be behind-the-scenes at the meetings to see how it works but I’m now ready to get back behind the wheel of a car.”
Not only is Chapman returning to racing after two years away in his highest-profile championship so far, he’s doing so with the added exposure of the #RacingforHeroes programme.
Launched for 2015, Chapman is one of five drivers representing the popular military charity Help for Heroes as part of a scheme designed to support young drivers and provide opportunities in motorsport for military veterans.
Chapman feels honoured to be working alongside the charity, and feels the commercial side of the project is a huge benefit for his career.
“Racing for Heroes is a fantastic initiative, working with some real heroes through the Help for Heroes charity and helping to build their brand up through motorsport,” Chapman enthused.
“It’s a massive boost for me to join the programme, as someone who has been out of a race seat in recent seasons through lack of funding. So with the scheme there enabling us to bring corporate partners on board is really useful.”
When Chapman takes to the grid at Brands Hatch in early April for the opening rounds of the Supercup season, it will be a Ginetta racing debut some nine years in waiting.
“Joining the Ginetta Supercup completes the circle for me, as I started my car career in an old Ginetta G20,” he explains. “I did a lot of testing in the car ahead of the Junior Championship in 2006, but I broke my collarbone the week before the first round so never did the series.”
Despite his recent break from a race seat, Chapman is confident of hitting the ground running in the ultra-competitive Supercup and will hope to follow in the footsteps of 2014 championship top-two Charlie Robertson and David Pittard, who both enjoyed great success in their maiden Supercup campaigns.
“What we thrive on as racing drivers is competition, which is exactly what the Supercup provides. I can’t wait to get out in the car, get some testing under my belt and start racing at Brands Hatch,” he concluded.
“I’m not going to say that I’m going to go out there and win from the off, but I’d like to fight for wins and podiums over the course of the season and put myself in title contention. It’s a long season with 27 races, so consistency is key and a strong start is vital to build on.”