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Rookie Group Set For Ginetta Racing Drivers Club Debuts

21st February 2020 • Simon Paice

A first group of seven drivers have signed up to launch their motorsport careers in the Ginetta Racing Drivers Club's Rookie class this season.

The GRDC serves as a platform for drivers to make their racing debuts in a welcoming, competitive and cost-effective environment. Entrants in the Rookie class benefit from an all-inclusive package, with a first class service seeing their cars prepared and run by the experienced team at want2race.

Brenden Haffner (53, Worcestershire) joins the grid as the latest winner of want2race’s scholarship competition. Haffner, who has earned himself a fully-funded season in the series, follows in the footsteps of race-winners James Crawshaw (2018) and Michael Kidson (2019).

Haffner: “I’ve always wanted to do some sort of competitive motorsport, however I’ve only managed to participate in track days previously. I liked the idea of a package that was effectively turn key, and the fact the Ginetta’s were rear wheel drive fitted my requirements quite well.

“After trying the car out, I was told about the competition and entered. I really enjoyed the activity and the format, and was very fortunate to win. I just completed a weekend at Guadix in Spain and my pace was competitive, so I’m hopeful I can produce some good results in 2020.”

For a number of new drivers to the series, the GRDC offers an opportunity for them to realise childhood dreams by competing on track for the first time. Amongst those is commercial pilot James Turner (33, Somerset) and business owner Jez Sussex (46, Sussex).

Turner: “I’ve wanted to go racing since I was about 5, as I’m sure many kids do, and I always promised myself that one day I’d go racing one way or another. So here I am! I visited the Autosport Show in 2019, had a look at a G40 and this led to me heading to Blyton Park for a test.

“Trying out a GRDC car for the first time, I was hooked. I like the idea of racing in a one-make series and with everyone on the grid being in the same position. My ambitions for the season is mainly to just enjoy it and learn the circuits. If I can get onto the podium, that would be great.”

Sussex: “I’ve been a big motorsport fan since a young age and have always wanted to compete. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend trackdays four years ago and after looking into various race series, I got the opportunity to drive a G40 for the first time at Brands Hatch last year.

“The GRDC appealed to me as it’s not quite as daunting as going to race against more experienced drivers, although I have to say the nerves and anticipation is already there. My ambitions for the season ahead? … Try and keep it on the track!”

Tony Whitney (Jersey) is another driver to be taking to the grid with some prior experience behind-the-wheel from trackdays, while former karter Rupert Laslett (51, Kent) enjoyed a one-off motorsport debut last year, which fuelled his appetite to enjoy some full-time racing this season.

Whitney: “For me, this is the fulfilment of a lifelong dream, having been a motorsport fan as long as I can remember. It’s fair to say my track experience is limited, as Jersey isn’t blessed with many (any) race tracks, but I have managed to enjoy some track time, usually in France.