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Preview: 2021 Ginetta GT Academy – Brands Hatch GP

17th May 2021 • Simon Paice

An exciting new addition to the UK motorsport scene, the Ginetta GT Academy kicks off its inaugural season this weekend at Snetterton.

The new championship aims to give drivers of all ages and experience levels the opportunity to enjoy entry level GT racing, with an uncompromising package of high performance racing at an affordable cost. The series uses the brand-new Ginetta G56 GTA, a thoroughbred 270bhp GT racer.

A number of drivers and teams with previous Ginetta experience have joined the first GT Academy grid, including the last two winners of the Ginetta G40 Cup ‘Chairmans Cup’ – Roy Alderslade (Assetto Motorsport) and Mark Lee (SVG Motorsport).

Alderslade is one of many drivers on the grid who have followed the path from the Ginetta Racing Drivers’ Club (GRDC) into the G40 Cup and now the GT Academy. The Essex racer won the Chairmans Cup title in 2019 courtesy of 11 class wins.

Lee succeeded him to the crown last year, securing his first Ginetta title courtesy of an impressive record of 11 podium finishes in 15 races. He’ll be joined at SVG by Neil Wallace, who was also a Chairmans Cup front-runner last year.

The Assetto ranks also includes 2019 Chairmans Cup vice-champion Martin Wills, who makes a welcome return to Ginetta racing after a year away, and Lee Goldsmith, who contested a partial campaign in the GT4 SuperCup last season.

Assetto will house two other drivers who have been regular Chairmans Cup podium finishers in recent years, Robin Grimwood and Julian Wantling, while experienced SF Racing pair Shawn Fleming and Gary Wager have made their mark in the G40 Cup as well.

Three other drivers join the grid with previous Ginetta experience; Toby Trice (SVG Motorsport) contested the 2019 GRDC, Wes Pearce (Elite Motorsport) raced in the GT5 Challenge the same year, whilst Lee Frost (Simon Green Motorsport) has previously entered the GT4 SuperCup.

The GT Academy also features a Rookie class, which follows the successful format of the Ginetta Racing Drivers Club in recent years. The entrants benefit from an all-inclusive arrive and drive package, with the cars prepared run in-house by the experienced team at want2race.

Seven drivers have signed up to start their motorsport journeys with Ginetta this season, including a number of track day enthusiasts making the transition to competitive race action. Amongst those are Yorkshire businessman Darren Leung and self-professed “huge petrolhead” Edward Acres.

Joining them on the grid will be former Senior Rotax 177 karter Angus Whiteside, performance and classic car dealer Tom Hartley Jnr, London businessman Danny Dwyer, Ravi Ramyead and Gilbert Yates.

Follow all the action this weekend on social media, @GinettaCars.

 

Weekend Timetable:

Saturday 22 May – Qualifying, 13:30-15:30; Race One, 17:10

Sunday 23 May – Race Two, 11:45; Race Three; 16:50

 

Both races on Sunday are streamed live on Ginetta’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.

Live timing and results all weekend: https://www.tsl-timing.com/event/212005