Stuart Middleton, the reigning British GT4 Champion, will open the next chapter in his motorsport career little more than a week from now, over the weekend, 7th/8th April, when the eagerly awaited GT4 European Series gets underway at Zolder in Belgium.
Following on from a truly sensational, history-making debut season in endurance racing last year, the HHC Motorsport driver is now ready to challenge the best drivers on the continent and fly the flag for the UK throughout the action packed six-event season.
While fully appreciating the intensity of the quest which lies ahead in the GT4 European Series, with an incredible full season entry of close to 50 cars, Middleton and team mate Will Tregurtha are feeling confident and especially so with the continuity of remaining with British squad HHC and their trusty Ginetta G55.
During the recent official test at Zolder, 18-year-old Middleton, from Ashington in Northumberland, conducted a wide range of set-up work and enjoyed a strong day of running in mixed conditions, preparing well for their first European campaign.
Both drivers, who are part of the Ginetta Young Driver Programme and also British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) Rising Stars, are relishing the prospect of their maiden race meeting in the GT4 European Series and determined to make a consistently strong start to the 2018 campaign.
“We’re all very excited to be racing in the GT4 European Series this year, it’s the natural progression after winning British GT4 last year and I’m delighted to be continuing with HHC in the Ginetta with Will as my team-mate. We proved last season what a strong package we have, so the aim this year has to be to try and keep the momentum going against the best in Europe.
“It’s fantastic to be part of the Ginetta Young Driver Programme and we’re both intending to repay the faith shown in us by Ginetta with a strong and consistent season. It’s not going to be easy, there’s a massive grid with a lot of experienced teams and drivers, but we’ll approach everything as we did last year and hopefully be in a position to fight for podiums and wins.”
In addition to their memorable championship victory in British GT4 in 2017, the youngest ever pairing to win a title in British GT in the category’s 25-year history, the duo added title success in the Silver Cup class.
Middleton just pipped Tregurtha to the annual Sunoco Whelen Challenge prize, which awarded the North East racer with a fully-funded drive in January’s Daytona 24 Hours in America where he and his Action Express team-mates secured an outstanding second place podium finish.
Looking ahead to next weekend’s opening GT4 European Series race meeting at Zolder, practice will take place on Friday, 6th April, with qualifying following at 10.20 (local time) on Saturday, 7th April, and the first 60-minute race getting underway at 16.45 (local time). On Sunday, 8th April, race two is scheduled to begin at 10.55 (local time).
2018 GT4 European Series Calendar
Rd1 Zolder, Belgium – 7/8 April
Rd2 Brands Hatch, UK – 5/6 May
Rd3 Misano, Italy – 23/24 June
Rd4 Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium – 21/22 July
Rd5 Hungaroring, Hungary – 1/2 September
Rd6 Nurburgring, Germany – 15/16 September