GAMBLE TO MAKE SINGLE-SEATER DEBUT WITH HILLSPEED
George Gamble, 2011 Ginetta Junior Winter Series Champion, will make a welcome return to the track at Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit this weekend, 20th/21st October, after signing a deal with Hillspeed to contest the four-round Protyre Formula Renault BARC Winter Series with Michelin.
The Nottingham 16-year-old will make his single-seater debut with the Hathersage team after a six month lay-off from action – he memorably withdrew from the 2012 Ginetta Junior Championship in April following a multi-car accident at Donington Park which resulted in his car being written-off.
Gamble instantly became a success in the ranks of Ginetta Junior in his first full season of car racing in 2011 when he took three victories and five other podiums on his way to third in the standings. He then went on to claim that November’s Winter Series title with one win and two further podiums from the four races contested.
Joining Gamble for the Winter Series will be Formula Ford graduate Matt Rao who made his Protyre Formula Renault BARC debut with Hillspeed during the final two rounds of the main season at Silverstone almost a fortnight ago.
The 18-year-old, this year’s Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain Duratec Class Champion, impressed on his first weekend in ‘slicks and wings’ and secured a best finish of 15th place from a capacity grid of 32 cars.
Like new team-mate Gamble, Rao – who is a British national but resides in Levignac, France – has the benefit of past experience of the full Brands Hatch GP track so will undoubtedly make good progress during rounds one and two of the Winter Series this weekend.
“We’re absolutely delighted to have George partnering Matt for the Winter Series and we’re certain both drivers are going to be very competitive”, said Hillspeed team principal Richard Ollerenshaw, “I was very pleased with Matt’s progress on his debut at Silverstone, to come straight into Formula Renault from Formula Ford and race so strongly was great to see.
“Since George decided to withdraw from Ginetta Junior earlier in the year, we’ve been very keen to get him out in one of our Formula Renaults in race conditions. When he tested the car earlier in the year he was very quick and we’re sure he can spring some surprises on his debut this weekend.”
In addition to Hillspeed’s commitments in the Protyre Formula Renault BARC Winter Series this weekend, the team’s Ginetta Junior squad will also be in action at Brands Hatch for the final two rounds of its 2012 season.
Going into the event, Spanish car racing rookie Pepe Massot is fourth in the overall championship with two wins while relative newcomer Freddie Lee – who only debuted in August – is 14th in the driver standings with a best result of seventh place so far.
Formula Renault BARC qualifying will take place at 09.00 and 12.45 on Saturday, 20th October, with race one beginning at 16.10 and race two following on Sunday, 21st October, at 13.10. Ginetta Junior qualifying will get underway at 13.50 on Saturday with round 19 scheduled for 16.45. The final round of the Ginetta Junior season will follow on Sunday at 12.10.
Sunday’s racing will be screened live on ITV4, on ITV4 HD and streamed online at www.itv.com/btcc