Elite Motorsport have announced that 2019 Ginetta Junior champion, and F4 British Championship race-winner James Hedley will make his GB3 Championship debut at Donington Park this weekend (16/17 October).
The BRDC Rising Star will join BRDC SuperStar, and Championship leader, Zak O’Sullivan on the grid when pre-event testing gets underway on Thursday 14 October.
Like O’Sullivan, Hedley has won races in British F4 with Carlin, the team which took the GB3 Champion-elect to second place in the 2020 standings.
The pair raced each other in the category last season, with Hedley taking four wins to O’Sullivan’s nine, the 18-year-old on course for a second consecutive fifth-place finish in the standings with one meeting at Brands Hatch remaining.
Hedley ran out of the JHR Developments stable in 2020, but moved to Carlin for this season.
He will return to an Elite Motorsport team he won the 2019 Ginetta Junior title with, as the Norfolk-based squad look to take fourth in the new Teams’ Championship from fellow new-boys Arden Motorsport, both in their first GB3 campaign.
Hedley, who began karting aged 11, joined Elite in 2017 before moving up to the Ginetta Junior series for 2018. That season brought two overall podiums, ten top-sixes and a fourth-place finish in the Rookie class after 26 races.
His crowning moment came in 2019, as he took seven wins, 18 podiums and the Ginetta Junior title by almost 100 points.
Moving onto British F4, his first season in 2020 brought four wins, with another four and seven podiums so far this year.
“My focus is absolutely on F4, as I want to give the hard-working Carlin team the wins and podiums they deserve,” Hedley said.
“However, this kind opportunity from Ed Ives of Elite Motorsport is too good to refuse.
“It will give me a good experience to progress in any championship next year. I would also like to thank Hendy and Sativa Wellness Group (Goodbody Clinic Products), my loyal sponsors.”
On making the step up to the fastest machinery he’s raced to date, Hedley added, “I am really excited for this opportunity to drive the GB3 car, as the extra speed should help develop my driving.
“Donington happens to be one of my strongest tracks. I got pole and my first single-seater win there in F4.
“I also scored three Ginetta Junior podiums there with Elite in my Championship-winning year including two wins – one of which was by over 20 seconds, so I’m really looking forward to making my GB3 debut at the circuit.”
Team Principal Eddie Ives added, “James is having a tough year in F4 so with a spare car in GB3 for the final round, he was the obvious choice.
“He is our 2018 Ginetta Junior Winter Series Champion and 2019 Overall Ginetta Junior Champion so I’m delighted to welcome James back to the Elite family and really looking forward to seeing how he adapts to GB3 after two seasons in F4.”
Hedley will join podium-finishers Javier Sagrera and Tom Lebbon at Elite, the latter taking the 2020 Ginetta Junior title with the same outfit.