Clio Cup Series race winner Sam Randon has begun testing for the British GT, but sponsorship questions means a drive is still far from a done-deal.
Randon, who competed in a handful of Renault UK Clio Cup races in 2017, is eyeing a Maserati drive in the 2018 British GT championship.
The 22-year-old tested the Maserati Grand Turismo MC GT4 at Donington Park earlier this month, having postponed the test after fracturing his hand.
“We were originally meant to test the car earlier in the year, but Sam fractured his hand shortly before the test and we had to wait until he was strong enough,” explained Neil Randon, Sam’s father.
“Sam tested his strength in a simulator at Silverstone as a final check.
“At last we had some luck, in a week of really bad weather we struck lucky and had glorious sunshine at Donington.
“This meant we could get out on slicks and really get a feel for the car.”
“It’s a beast. There’s no other way to describe it,” said Sam Randon.
“There are no driver aids such as traction control or even ABS brakes, this is just raw power. It’s an amazing car to drive and makes so much noise.
“It’s a big car, too, and rear wheel drive, of course. I felt like a novice all over again. It’s a very different driving technique but the simulator session helped this week.”
Randon impressed during the test, but lack of funding could still limit his running next season.
Last year, he was only able to compete at two Clio Cup rounds despite being able to run competitively, but his father believes a full season is important going forward.
“While we can get away with a limited programme for one year, if his racing career is to progress, we need to make sure next season is a full campaign,” he said.
“We still have to generate a significant race budget to get him out there.
“Sam is looking for local business leaders to get involved. We already get fantastic support from the business community at Marketing Derby.
“It’s an emotional roller coaster and highly addictive. Our sponsors tend to get very involved in the highs and lows of a season.”