After a season long sabbatical in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Steel will return to competition this season. He previously contested two years in the Volkswagen Racing Cup, and was a race-winner en-route to second overall in the VAG Trophy in 2019.
The Loughborough based racer (pictured above with Toro Verde team owner David Fairbrother) is set to begin a testing programme in the coming weeks as he prepares for his Ginetta racing debut at Thruxton on the 8/9 May.
Mark Steel: “I can’t wait to get out on track this year and see what I can achieve in a really competitive, high quality series. Having a year out has made me even more determined to show what I can do this time around and I know the Toro Verde team will help me to reach my potential.
“Being able to share the paddock with BTCC and British GT teams and race on the bill of these great championships is something I have always aspired to, so the Ginetta GT5 Challenge really is the perfect championship for me.
“The Ginetta is renowned for its agility and its low weight configuration, whereas the Golf was heavier and therefore a bit more reluctant to turn in at times. This was designed to be a race car! Spending two seasons in the Golf has given me a great platform on which to build my skills further, and I have no doubt Ginetta will give me every opportunity to do just that!”
Toro Verde is a brand new team for the 2021 season, founded by experienced GT driver Fairbrother. The team has a wealth of experience across GT and tin-top competition, headed by former Blancpain racer Chris Jones, and will dovetail their GT5 Challenge entry with a European GT programme.
Chris Jones, team principal: “We are delighted to welcome Mark Steel to Toro Verde for our debut season with Ginetta. Having worked successfully together for a number of years, we believe the GT5 Challenge is the perfect fit for him, with its close wheel-to-wheel racing, to enhance the ability he has already shown, and progress him to the next level of his motorsport journey.”
Packed grids and close racing makes the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge a popular entry-level championship for many aspiring GT racers. In 2021, the series will compete across both British GT and British Touring Car Championship weekends, sharing a grid with the G40 Cup.