Academy Motorsport have announced that Matt Cowley will be staying with the team in 2021 for a third attempt at the Intelligent Money British GT Championship title.
The team’s Ford Mustang GT4 took one class victory last season, in the championship’s visit to Brands Hatch GP for Round 5, also securing one pole position in British GT’s second trip to Donington Park in Round 6.
Cowley ran with two different team-mates during 2020, in the form of Jordan Albert and Will Moore. A mixed driver line-up, and only running one car, will have contributed to Academy’s distant fourth-place finish in the GT4 standings, behind two-car outfits TF Sport, HHC Motorsport and Century Motorsport, who ran the Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT4, McLaren 570S GT4 and BMW M4 GT4 respectively.
The 23-year-old took the Mustang’s title challenge to the final round at the Silverstone 500 but it was Daniel Vaughan and Jamie Caroline who took top GT4 honours with TF Sport.
The team is looking for a Silver-graded driver to compete alongside Cowley on a permanent basis for the 2021 season, as they look to mount a lasting title charge.
“I’m really pleased to have the opportunity to re-join Academy Motorsport for my third season, along with my second season in the superb Ford Mustang,” Cowley said.
“We had some fantastic results last season, we know the car well, it’s a proven front runner and capable of winning the championship.
“Academy Motorsport is a fantastic team, with high levels of commitment in technical and engineering support from Multimatic.
“Thank you to everyone who has encouraged and supported me along the way. It’s great to be able to do what I really enjoy and to keep supporting Caudwell Children, Nordoff Robbins and Shaw Mind charities.“
The Mustang’s pace has been well-proven over recent years; racing as Multimatic Motorsports in 2019, the car won on debut with Seb Priaulx and Scott Maxwell behind the wheel, falling short of the GT4 title by 7.5 points.
Team manager Matt Nicholl-Jones added, “I’m ecstatic to have Matt back for 2021.
“He has proven how strong his ability is time and time again. He narrowly missed out on becoming GT4 champion last season, so we certainly have unfinished business with Matt this year. He’s fast becoming part of the furniture here at Academy Motorsport and it’s great to have him back in the car.
“We’re keen to jump right back on the pace and pick up exactly where we left off last year. We’re halfway there with Matt, but we also need a Silver-rated driver to partner him. We’re looking to speak to interested drivers as soon as possible.”
Executive vice-president of Multimatic’s special vehicle operations, Larry Holt, underlined the support Academy will receive from the brand this season.
“It’s great that Academy Motorsport will be back in the British GT Championship with the Ford Mustang GT4 this season. They have their sights firmly set on the championship and I’m confident that they have everything required to achieve that goal.
“At Multimatic we are committed to the success of the Mustang in GT4 and so will continue to provide the highest level of technical and engineering support to the programme.
“Matt [Cowley] did a fantastic job for the team last year and I know whoever his partner turns out to be will have a highly successful season ahead of them.”
The 2021 Intelligent Money British GT Championship is set to get underway at Brands Hatch, supported by the BRDC British Formula 3 Championship, the Ginetta GT Academy, Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge, Porsche Sprint Challenge GB and GT2 European Series at select rounds over the course of the season.