Jack Aitken will be embarking on a new challenge this weekend, as he makes his GT racing debut at the “Temple of Speed”: the famed Monza circuit in Italy for the opening round of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS series.
The British-Korean driver will dovetail his Williams F1 Team reserve driver role with a full-season assault in GT World Challenge, which is disputed over 10 weekends, split between Sprint and Endurance Cup races.
Jack will drive a Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo for Swiss team Emil Frey Racing, partnering fellow single-seater graduate Konsta Lappalainen for the full year. Frenchman Arthur Rougier – who drove a part-season in the GT World Challenge in an Audi R8 LMS GT3 last season – will join the pair for the Endurance Cup rounds.
All three drivers took part in the official pre-season tests at Paul Ricard in the south of France, where Jack was able to get to grips with the 620hp V10 Lamborghini Huracán, alongside experienced team-mates Norbert Siedler, Riccardo Feller, Alex Fontana, and Rolf Ineichen as well as Lamborghini Factory Drivers Albert Costa and Giacomo Altoè.
The GT World Challenge Europe calendar takes in some of the most demanding events in motorsport, such as the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps and the iconic 1000km of Paul Ricard.
Jack will benefit from the expertise of Lamborghini’s factory division Squadra Corse, which provides support to Emil Frey Racing, and he now has the real opportunity to immerse himself within the Lamborghini GT3 programme – as he gets to grips with his latest formidable challenge.
This season, Jack will visit a combination of new and familiar tracks all across Europe. After the Monza season-opener, the GT World Challenge Europe heads to Magny-Cours, Paul Ricard, Zandvoort and Misano Adriatico before the Spa 24 Hours in August.
JACK ON… HIS NEW CHALLENGE
“I’m really excited to take this step into GT racing as it’s a completely new environment for me. The competition in GT World Challenge is very strong and I know that it won’t be easy to be at the front straight away, but I’m hopeful that me and my team-mates can make a lot of progress throughout the season and achieve some solid results. I do believe this will give me a new breadth to my driving skills, and quite simply make me a better driver than if I’d stayed in single seaters. The first half of the season will just a learning curve for us because me and Konsta are quite new to GTs, so there is a lot to understand and improve on. Arthur, on the other hand, has a couple of seasons at this level and we can lean on his experience to move us forward; it will be very useful having him onboard for the Endurance Cup events too.”
JACK ON… APPROACHING THE WEEKEND
“Thankfully we are starting at a circuit I know really well already, so there isn’t that pressure to learn a new track at the start of the weekend, which is positive. Obviously, we’re still learning the car but I’m optimistic that the testing we have done at Paul Ricard has given us a good starting position to further develop things heading into the first round. As for Monza specifically, we’re just looking to have a trouble-free weekend, get the laps in and bag some experience.”
JACK ON… THE EMIL FREY RACING TEAM ENVIRONMENT
“They’re really professional and a great bunch to work with. They’ve obviously shown that they have a great set-up in GTs by winning two races last year and being successful previously with the Lexus programme. Everyone has been very helpful in easing me into the world of endurance racing, especially the other drivers who have been so generous with their experience, which is great. I think we have a lot of potential to pick up some good results this year, and I can’t wait to get started this weekend in Monza.”
Source. Jack Aitken