Meet the UK’s Newest Racing Drivers : GRDC Class of 2018

Ginetta is delighted to unveil the newest crop of UK racing drivers, as preparations for this year’s Ginetta Racing Drivers Club season get underway. With an influx of enquiries following the recent announcement of the Arrive and Drive scheme, here’s the first bunch of new faces joining the entry-level series in 2018.

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Representing Ginetta’s own county of West Yorkshire are YouTube sensation Mike Channell and John Wood. The former originally hails from Wakefield, although since ‘making it big’ as the co-editor of Outside Xbox – which boasts over two million subscribers – he’s moved to London, where you’ll see him whizzing around in his G40.

34-year-old Mike explained why he chose to go racing with Ginetta; “I picked the GRDC because as a hapless novice I loved the idea of racing against other beginners rather than getting tonked by 15-year championship veterans. Whilst there are other options for entry level motorsport, the Ginetta G40 appealed to me in particular because – assuming I don’t make too much of a mess of it during the races – at the end of the season I’ll have an awesome, relatively practical baby GT racer that I can drive on the road as well.”

Keeping with the media theme, Freelance Journalist Adam Hay-Nicholls, 36, from London will be joining the grid whilst documenting his adventures across various mediums. Although his county neighbours, Julian Wantling, 47, and Ian Duggan, both from Essex, will be hoping to steal some headlines of their own.

Wantling, who this week took delivery of his freshly painted new helmet (see our social media feeds for a peek), is celebrating surviving 30 years of working in City Finance by enjoying his free time now. Speaking on why he joined the GRDC, he said; “As a teenager I used to sleep outside the gates of Silverstone to get a good position to watch F1 and so being able to drive the track is special. It’s a case of ‘plug and play’ into a great series, with novice racers sharing the same journey and a very welcoming Ginetta set up.”

From the South West of England are Stephen Docker, 32, and Daniel Morris, 35, who hail from Warwickshire and Worcestershire respectively. Daniel told us he; “had looked at a couple of arrive and drive options before joining the GRDC, but I tested the G40 at Silverstone in November and by the afternoon I was sold. I did ring my wife while I was still at Silverstone to tell her the good news. I also had to make a concession on our next family car. In all seriousness, I’m really looking forward to the year ahead.”

Meanwhile, Stephen is hoping his background as a Mechanical Engineer will give him the edge over his GRDC rivals. In particular 28-year-old want2race winner James Crawshaw from Buckinghamshire. The pair went head-to-head for the chance to win their place on this year’s GRDC grid, with James just snatching victory.

Arrive and Drive customer Nick Prescott is celebrating turning 50 in style by ticking ‘become a racing driver’ off his bucket list. He has just sold his waste management company and told us; “After 27 years of dealing with everyone’s waste it’s time to enjoy myself. My main aim is to have fun and make sure I bring the car back in the same condition as when it went out”. We can’t say fairer than that.

In Case You Missed It

We realise that ‘fixed-cost’ and ‘motorsport’ are two things you might not expect to see together, but all that has now changed, for Ginetta customers at least. Given our penchant for breaking new ground and having listened to feedback from our current drivers, we’ve created a fixed-cost route into motorsport for first-time drivers.

Over the past few years, one of the main things we’ve learnt from our Ginetta Racing Drivers Club competitors is that they wanted to fully understand the costs associated with going racing prior to signing up. We get it. From the outside, motorsport can look like a confusing and incredibly expensive hobby, but it really doesn’t have to be.

At Ginetta HQ, we shout about our commitment to getting people into motorsport, so we’ve decided to create an arrive-and-drive option for our Ginetta Racing Drivers Club. A fixed cost of £18,490 (+ VAT and insurance), with payment spread over the course of the racing season, will get you your first year in motorsport.

A unique offering in the motorsport industry, our arrive and drive package will provide all the benefits of the British GT-supporting Ginetta Racing Drivers Club. We’ll throw in preparation for the ARDS licence test, track days with tuition and factory support at every race day. We’ll even include transportation of the car to and from events and repair any light damage back at Ginetta HQ.

The arrive-and-drive format allows you to use one of our Ginetta G40 Club car for the 2018 season, taking away the up-front cost of a new car purchase and minimising the time commitment and effort required during the course of the season. Upon completing your debut year of racing, you have the opportunity to purchase a car to support a graduation into the G40 Cup.

For 2018, the Ginetta Racing Drivers Club has been overhauled to increase its accessibility for first-time drivers. In light of feedback from graduates, we took the decision to switch to a one-day format for 2018 to take up as few diary pages as possible whilst still keep the eight-race series format. There will be a trio of pre-season training days featuring handling courses and technical training with a Sprint Challenge included on the third and final training day.