Author Archives: Tom Evans

What the heck are Ginetta’s?

Written by Tom Evans, edited by Hazel Alagappan

If you’re not from the UK there’s a pretty high chance you’ve never heard of Ginetta Junior, or any Ginetta series for that matter. If you haven’t your missing out! Whilst the racing may not be the cleanest (especially in the lower categories) it’s certainly very entertaining and showcases the next crop of talent coming through the UK touring car ranks. So here’s a quick overview of each main Ginetta series.

Ginetta Junior

This is the first step on the ladder of Ginetta series. It’s aimed to be a drivers first experience in cars, which is why it’s age restrictions are 14-17 years old. The car uses the Ginetta G40 chasis which will crop up a couple of times in this article as it’s used throughout serveral series. They run Michelin road tyres, and less engine power (see fig. 1). 

Ginetta G40 Cup

This is the next step up the ladder for an aspiring Ginetta driver. The cars have slightly more power than previously, and run alongside the Ginetta GT5 Challenge as a lower class race which races on track at the same time. This allows the series to have much more coverage online and on TV making it a good training ground for any young driver.

Ginetta GT5

This series is the next step up the ladder and has an age restriction of 17-99+. It’s main aim is to introduce drivers to things like slick tyres and faster cars, to prep them for a potential racing career. These cars have around 50 more horsepower than the Junior series and 30 more than the G40 Cup. Check table for more stats

Ginetta GT4 Supercup

Now we’re getting serious. These cars have all the bells and whistles, with a 5.2L V8 engine pumping out 5X more than your standard Ginetta junior car. This time, it’s using the Ginetta G56 chasis with ultra slick tyres and a better overall look and feel.

Ginetta Junior Winter Series

This is technically a different series, but runs on the same chasis and engine as the regular junior championship. This only lasts one weekend in November, usually taking place at Brand Hatch. It offers a number of prizes including parts and discounts for future seasons.

Ginetta Junior: 100HP, 120MPH, 830KG

Ginetta G40 Cup: 135HP, 125MPH, 840KG

Ginetta GT5: 155HP, 130MPH, 805KG

Ginetta GT4: 500HO, 165MPH, 1250KG

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An interview with Ginetta GT5 winner Will Aspin

Interviewed by Tom Evans Edited by Harshi Vashee

I was lucky enough to interview Ginetta GT5 driver and winner Will Aspin a short while ago!

Tom: First of all, who are you, what series do you race in and tell us something we might not know about you!

Will: Hi, I’m Will Aspin. I’m a 17 year old British racing driver. I live in Italy and I race in the Ginetta GT5 Challenge Championship. Something you might not know about me is that it’s only my 2nd full year in racing, and I haven’t done any sort of karting. 

Tom: Were you always interested in Motorsport from a young age? If so, how were you introduced to it?

Will: I’ve always been interested in Motorsports since I was young and it’s definitely my dad’s fault, he is a car nutter and he loves racing. So whenever Formula one was on at the weekend he would always watch it. The time I found out I really liked it was when he took me to a Ferrari challenge race at Mugello and it was something I found really exciting. However, there was one thing I didn’t like, there was a massive crash on the main straight with cars on fire and everything so, it was a massive shunt. And I remember saying to my dad “please don’t do this!”. But obviously I’m doing it now so it’s slightly weird that I said that, but I was pretty young so it is what it is. 

Tom: Who was/were your idols growing up? And why? (They don’t have to be Motorsport related) 

Will: My idols growing up were probably my dad. I definitely looked up to him alot, so if he did something I always also tried to do it. In terms of motorsport, Michael Schumacher was someone I looked up to, just the way he drove the car was amazing, and I enjoyed watching him so it was a win-win.

Tom: Why number 26?

Will: The reason I chose number 26 is because I couldn’t have number 16! There isn’t really much of a reason. When I choose my numbers, I always try to find a number that means something to me if that makes any sense. A number which goes with my name. I think for next year I’ll try and find something else that’ll stick with me for the rest of my career and people will know me because of that number.

Tom: Was there a spontaneous day when you decided to be a racing driver, or was it a long and gradual thought process?

Will: It was sort of a spontaneous decision/day in a way, like I knew I’d always wanted to do some proper karting. I asked my parents and they said that they’d rather me get into Ginetta than karting, mostly because karting’s much more dangerous, and they were right, and to be honest thinking about it now, I’m pretty glad I didn’t get into karts because I don’t think I would be where I am at the moment, and definitely not in cars, so I’m really happy with the decision my parents helped me make and the support I’ve had. So it was sort of spontaneous but, it was always something I wanted to do. I never really got the chance from my parents when I was younger, so I did push them a bit! But once I turned 13 going onto 14 I pushed them a bit more, and eventually it happened, and I really couldn’t thank them enough for giving me that opportunity.

Tom: The costs of starting a career in Motorsport is very difficult for most people due to the large costs involved. Was this a challenge for you, and if so how did you overcome those problems?

Will: So obviously it does come with a cost, and it is very difficult for lots of people to get involved because of how massive the costs are. For me, yes it was a challenge to get the budget due to family circumstances, but we managed to do it in the end and sorted it out and we managed to go racing. In terms of overcoming the problems, I had some inheritance so I put some of that in and just worked hard towards our goal. Obviously in the first year in Ginetta Juniors we didn’t really have any sponsors, so it was mostly my parents paying so I really thank them a lot. But this year I’ve got some sponsors, Alpaca, Munroe.K and ALT legal who have helped me and I also can’t thank them enough as well. They’re all a really nice bunch of people and I love to have them onboard next year whatever we are gonna do. 

Tom: From 2020 to 2021 your results in Ginetta have improved massively. Was there a particular confidence boost that you had, or was it just a matter of experience?

Will: So last year I raced in Ginetta Junior and it was my first season in racing so it was a learning year. Throughout that season from where we started in Donnington to where we finished at Brands hatch, it went well I’d say for my first year in racing it went really well. I think it was 7 or 8 top 10 finishes and it was a really enjoyable year but also challenging but we knew it was gonna be challenging at the start of the year. But yeah we did really well finishing 15th in the championship, which doesn’t sound impressive when you first look at it but considering it was my first year of racing. Towards the end of the season we were always in the top 10 or even fighting in or near the front at some point so we couldn’t have been happier. This year it hasn’t been the biggest step up, as GT5 is using the same chassis (Ginetta G40) but it has more HP (55 more) and slick tyres so the corners are where it’s much faster. With the slicks it’s a good fun car to race and I would definitely recommend it to any young racers who are looking to race in a great car and a great championship. To be honest, there was never a point where I didn’t believe I could do it. It was always in me, I knew I could do it. I just needed to have the time and experience. After testing, I felt comfortable with the team around me which boosted my confidence and got me ready for the season. But also with a lack of experience you’re always gonna have that thought in the back of your head saying that you can’t do it when really you can.

Tom: Well, we know you’ve had great success in Ginetta GT5 this year, but did you ever believe that you’d have the impressive results that you’ve had?

Will: I did surprise people when I got into GT5 because they didn’t expect me to be that quick. I did believe that I’d have impressive results after the first couple of times I got into the car because we knew where we were compared to last year’s drivers. We were at the front and last year’s drivers weren’t at all bad with names like James Taylor and Josh Malin so we knew we were at the front so we aimed for the championship, and we finished 3rd. I’m really happy with how the season has gone. We’ve been a bit unlucky with a few races and we won 6 races on the road, so the championship really should have gone down to the wire but yeah bit of bad luck, but you’ve gotta take it and be proud of what we’ve done. 

Tom: You’ve had some brilliant results this year picking up 3 wins and 13 podiums. Was there a particular drive that you were extra proud of?

Will: There was one drive, a wet race that I enjoyed very very much, but also Donnington race one, it was where I led from P2 to P1, but to keep Josh Steed behind me and pull a gap to him was something that I could think of and prove the point that I can do it. The second race was really something I loved leading from start to finish, in the wet as well with no prior experience in the wet but I managed to pull it out the bag and get our heads down. But the one that really was the best one was race 3 that weekend. We won again and managed to fend off Sam Smith behind me for the whole race. My tyres were pretty old as well so it was hard, but rewarding.

Tom: And finally, after a very solid Ginetta GT5 season, do you plan to race in GT4 next year or venture elsewhere?

Will: Next year I do plan on going somewhere else, to something a bit faster, talks are going on and nearly complete so should be confirmed very soon, and should be announced the beginning of next year hopefully so yeah really excited for the things coming up in the future. I’m very lucky and I can’t wait for the next few years they’re gonna be really special and hard as well! Well not hard but challenging and I’m ready to take that challenge on! 

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An interview with Ginetta GT5 driver John Bennett

Interviewed by Tom Evans, Edited by Harshi Vashee 

First of all, who are you and in what series do you race?

John Bennett, 18 years old and I race in the Ginetta GT5 Challenge.

When did you start to take an interest in Motorsport?

I watched F1 with my Dad from as young as I could remember, he started racing Caterhams when I was about 4 and I just always loved everything to do with it, got in a rental kart from as young as I could and that was it.

Who were your biggest idols growing up? 

Motorsport idols would be Senna, Button, and probably my Dad. 

Why did you choose your driver number?

My race number is 27, my Dad used to race with it! He currently races in the Castle Combe GT Championship, and has just been crowned champion for the second year running. 

How did you start your Motorsport career?

Started corporate karting very young, but only for fun really, never anything serious like other drivers who kart internationally, I was always quick in the rental karts, lap records at Thruxton Kart track and Wessex Raceway, we started doing some Junior Rotax when I was 16, again just for fun. My Dad always thought I had a lot of potential, so we tried out a car for the first time in January 2020 with the Ginetta GT5. I loved it and learnt the car very quickly.

I then had my first season in 2020, ended the year with 3 podiums from the last 4 races, and set a lap record at Silverstone. This year we entered GT5 again, currently have 4 wins and 9 podiums, 2 poles, 4 fastest laps. 

How much of a confidence boost was it after you won your first race in Ginetta GT5?

It was a great confidence boost getting my first win – it was the first race of the season which was good to get the year underway, but inconsistent finishes is what has cost me in the championship. 

You’re currently sitting 3rd in the standings, how far do you reckon you can go with 1 round remaining?

For example, at Donington earlier in the year, I went from 8th to 1st in Race 1, 11th to 2nd in race 2, but then got into contact in race 3 and only finished P12. Whereas Josh Steed has been able to finish 6th at worst! I’ll definitely be able to fight for second in the championship, but the gap to Steed is just too big to seriously contend at this point – but you never know. 

And finally, what are your plans for the future?

I have very big plans for next year which can’t quite be revealed just yet, if you ask me again in a week or two I might be able to reveal them!

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An interview with British F4 title contender Matias Zagazeta

Interviewed by Tom Evans, Edited by Harshi Vashee 

First of all, who are you and in what series do you race?

I am Matias Zagazeta, I come from Peru and I race in the British F4 Championship.

When did you start to take an interest in Motorsport, and who were your favourite drivers?

I have been interested in Motorsport or cars in general since I can remember, watching it on the TV. I remember watching Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel, they were my favourite drivers.

Why did you choose your driver number?

I chose number 8 as my number mainly because I was 8 years old when I started racing and my birthday is the 8th of September. It was also the number of my favourite all time driver, Ayrton Senna. 

You started karting in 2011, being your first season in the sport were there any major obstacles for you to overcome?

My first Karting season in 2011 was full of learning as I started racing in Peru with a small grid of cars. Then, I started to race internationally first around South America then, the United States and finally coming to Europe in 2017.

When you started competing in the European IAME karting championship, what was the hardest, but most rewarding thing about moving to the UK?

Coming to live in the UK by myself in 2020 was very hard because I was away from my family, friends and home and here it is a very different culture so it took me some time to get used to it and adapt. This however helped me be a lot more responsible and take care of myself.

You took the step up to British F4 in 2020. Was adapting to single seater cars difficult or easier than you expected? 

For me personally, I found it very very hard to get used to single seaters. Coming from karting, I had a difficult first season where I just couldn’t adapt to the car and didn’t have confidence in it which was the biggest problem. 

But also in 2020 you competed in some major Esports competitions. Do you think Esports is a good alternative to actual racing for great drivers on a lower budget?

Yes, before the season, British F4 organized some IRACING races and I joined just to stay sharp and have some fun during the difficult times. I didn’t have the best simulator compared to the other drivers but I had good fun! I think Esports has proven to find a lot of talented people and I think it’s also a good alternative for drivers. 

In 2021, you’ve had a brilliant British F4 season. With 4 wins so far, you’ve had a brilliant fight for the championship with Matthew Rees. With one round to go, do you think you can claim the title? 

This season has been fantastic, still learning a lot but the most important thing was that we managed to find the confidence with the car. It’s going to be an interesting last round as there’s 4 drivers still in contention so we will turn up and do our best, like we have been doing all season and this is no different. Hopefully by the end of the weekend when we look at the results, we are champions but, we will stay focused and do what we have to do to perform at our best. 

And finally what are your hopes/ambitions for the future? 

In the short term hopefully to be the British F4 champion after this weekend and in the long term, to become a Formula 1 world champion. Many drivers say they want to get to Formula 1, but why not push it a bit more?

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An Overview of the British F4 Championship (And Why It’s Really Good!)

Written by Tom Evans, edited by Umut Yelbasi

Unfortunately there was no Formula 1 last weekend, which is rather unusual since most of us are getting used to the frequent double and triple headers that we have been watching over the recent months. In need of something to fill my weekend with, I decided to tune into the British F4 Championship to be pleasantly surprised by the quality of racing and some much needed entertainment! So here is my rundown of why you should definitely tune into the remaining rounds of the season!

Illustration by Tom Evans

Reason 1: The Tracks and Watching the Races

As the name suggests, British F4 races exclusively in Britain. The track list includes Thruxton, Snetterton, Brands Hatch, Oulton Park, Knock Hill, Croft, Silverstone and Donnington Park. These are all tracks with at least a grade 3 FIA certification, so they provide excellent facilities and awesome racing. As well as the great tracks, ticket prices are very low compared to other motorsport events, even going as little as £40 for a weekend! And as an added bonus, British F4 accompanies the British Touring Car Championship so you can watch those races whilst at the track as well.

In terms of TV viewing, all Sunday races are free to watch on ITV4 in the UK, adding to a long list of reasons to tune in!

Reason 2: The Car and the Teams

Like many support series, British F4 is a spec series meaning all teams must run the exact same Mygale chassis, Ford 1.6L Ecoboost Engine and Hankook F200 slick tyres. Whilst this Ford engine only pumps out 160HP – which is half of what you get in a stock VW Golf R – the sheer lightness of the chassis means that these cars are still good for over 160mph (257,5 kmh). And on top of that, these cars are about 30mm narrower than their F1 equivalent, which helps the wheel to wheel racing to be even closer.

Now the teams. In series such as FIA F3 or FIA F2 we have gotten accustomed to teams such as Prema and ART Grand Prix dominating the field with their superior team management and engineers. But in British F4, all 6 teams (Arden, Argentina, Carlin, Fortec, JHR and Richardson Racing) are operating at a similar level, meaning that it’s all about the drivers to supply the good results.

Reason 3: The Drivers

As with any feeder series, British F4 boasts some serious talent, with drivers looking to prove themselves to any prying eyes potentially watching. This amounts to all drivers pushing themselves to the limit (and occasionally over it) to prove their worth. But unlike other series, British F4 aims to be one of the cheapest single seater series in the world. This makes money less of an issue, making it easier for the most talented drivers to enter the world of racing.

Reason 4: The Future

Next year, the series will be rebranded into the GB4 championship, with a brand new chassis, halo, tyre supplier and engine. This shows that lots of brands and sponsors see potential in the series, which means you should too! So next time you see an article about it on your go-to motorsport news website (which should definitely be us), don’t forget to check it out!

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