British GT Championship racer Jake Giddings, the reigning GT4 Class Champion, cannot wait for the start of the 2015 season at Oulton Park in Cheshire just over a week from now when he will embark on an exciting new challenge with category debutants JWB Motorsport.
During his first proper test outing with the British GT newcomers at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit on Wednesday, 25th March, the Wisbech 20-year-old delivered an unsurprisingly competitive top four showing at the wheel of the squad’s recently upgraded Aston Martin V8 Vantage.
On combined times for the three sessions, which formed part of the annual pre-season British GT Media Day, Jake posted a best of 49.671 seconds (87.54mph) during the third and final run – just 0.6 seconds shy of the top of the GT4 timesheets.
Sharing driving duties this year with championship rookie Kieran Griffin, the 2014 title winner will be helping the former Volkswagen Racing Cup and Aston Martin Challenge racer get up to speed as quickly as possible – as well as bringing vital knowledge and experience for JWB’s maiden GT season.
“I had my first run out with the team on Tuesday at Silverstone, but that was more of a shakedown really – Media Day was the first proper test and it was great”, commented Jake, “We ended the day as the fastest Aston, so that’s good, and we’re not too far off the pace at all. I think we’re in pretty good shape for Oulton Park.
“I get on really well with everyone at the team and Kieran as well, I only met him for the first time on Tuesday so it’s fantastic to have built a really good relationship in such a short space of time. The team has upgraded the car from what they had last year in the Aston Martin Challenge, it was the old spec GT4 but we’ve got the improvements, like bigger brakes, and that makes a big difference.”
In-keeping with the championship’s rude health of recent seasons, the 2015 campaign looks set to be absolutely sensational. With no fewer than 17 cars registered in GT4 for the first two races at Oulton Park over Easter weekend, added to the equally impressive list of entries for the headline GT3 class the combined grid for the season opener is set to be an incredible 35 cars.
While Jake is under no illusions with regard to the competitiveness of the British GT Championship this year, he is justifiably confident the experience he brings to JWB will help the team make major progress as its debut season develops.
“Obviously it’d be nice to do well at Oulton, we have a test there on the Friday so hopefully we can get Kieran dialled-in and then challenge for a top five hopefully in the races”, said the Finesse Paving & Civil Engineering, Cowley Road Garage and Toppesfield-backed driver, “This is a new challenge for all of us so anything better than that will be a bonus.”
Following practice and qualifying at Oulton Park International Circuit on Saturday, 4th April, the British GT racers will enjoy a day off on Easter Sunday, 5th April, before the opening pair of one hour races take place on Easter Monday, 6th April, at 12.00 and 16.00.
Source. Marc Orme/Photo. John Patterson