RAM Racing will have two cars on the grid for the 2021 Intelligent Money British GT Championship season opener at Brands Hatch.
Sam De Haan has finished as runner-up in the championship for the last two seasons, having won the 2019 Pro-Am title with Jonny Cocker at 2020 champions Barwell Motorsport.
He completes RAM’s Silver-Am line-up for their newest entry alongside historics racer James Cottingham, in the team’s second Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 2020. Pro-Am champions Ian Loggie and Yelmer Buurman will share the sister car again this year.
The pair are currently only registered for the first round, but will use the two-hour race in Kent to assess the partnership.
Cottingham will make his British GT debut at Brands Hatch, with little GT3 experience. But he does have experience taking some of the finest classic cars around Goodwood and Le Mans.
“I’ve been thinking about getting involved with British GT for a while, but the right opportunity never really came along because I’d been so busy with historic racing,” Cottingham said.
“But I was talking with Sam recently, and he suggested I come and have a go in the RAM Mercedes as he thought we might make a solid driver pairing, and I loved the car from the moment I drove it.
“I had my first run at Silverstone recently and the Mercedes felt great. It was wet in the afternoon, which limited my mileage somewhat, but it did at least give me a chance to get used to two of the luxuries of modern racing cars – ABS and traction control – which you certainly don’t get to enjoy in historic cars!
“I’ll be straight into it at Brands Hatch as there’s not time for another test beforehand, so it will be a weekend of learning and working with Sam and the team at RAM to see how close I can get to he pace during what will be a very limited timeframe before the race.
“But I’m really looking forward to it.
“It’s a bit of a toe-in-the-water for both myself and Sam, so we’ll see how we go at Brands, and then have another conversation after the weekend.”
De Haan has been running in Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS alongside 2020 British GT champion Rob Collard so far this season.
He added, “In truth, British GT wasn’t part of my original plan for this year, but I’ll never turn down the chance for an extra race outing! Plus, British GT is a great championship to be a part of.
“I’ve known James for a while now, and I know how good he is in historic cars, so I think he will adapt well to a modern GT3. Judging by his first run at Silverstone, he won’t take too long to get up to speed with the Mercedes.
“The British GT field looks very competitive this season, but we know we have a great car and a great team behind us. Brands Hatch will be a bit of fun for us, but that doesn’t mean we won’t be pushing for a strong result.”
RAM Racing Team Principal, Dan Shufflebottom, said “I’m really happy to welcome James to the team, and to have Sam back as part of our British GT plans.
“I know the two will gel well as a pairing and both are quick and consistent drivers in their own right.
“James may face a learning curve due to his limited testing in GT3 cars, but I have no doubt that he has the ability to get on top of the car quickly.
“It’s great to be back up to two cars for Brands Hatch and, with Ian and Yelmer in the sister car, we’ll have two very competitive pairings aiming high from the start of the season.”
The 2021 Intelligent Money British GT Championship begins at Brands Hatch on 22/23 May, supported by the BRDC British Formula 3 Championship.
The Checkered Flag will be bringing you the latest news from both series’ this season.