Mitchell and Gra­ham make Bri­tish GT move WANT THE LAT­EST UP­DATES? FOL­LOW US ON TWIT­TER

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Macmil­lan Rac­ing has con­firmed both Jack Mitchell and Matty Gra­ham for Bri­tish GT4 this year.

For­mer Ginetta Ju­nior cham­pion, Re­nault Clio Cup and Mini Chal­lenge racer Mitchell and EX-BRDC For­mula 4 racer Gra­ham tested with the team at Don­ing­ton Park re­cently, and will now share an As­ton Martin Van­tage GT4 in the full Bri­tish GT Cham­pi­onship.

Gra­ham said: “GT4 will be a very dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ence for me, but I im­me­di­ately felt com­fort­able with the Van­tage when I tested with the team. I be­lieve Jack and I will be a com­pet­i­tive pair­ing.”

Mitchell added: “GT rac­ing is where I want to build my ca­reer. We had such a great test last week. The whole team is re­ally ex­pe­ri­enced and I’m sure we can be suc­cess­ful to­gether.”

Team boss David Macmil­lan said: “Our fo­cus is to de­velop fu­ture GT tal­ent. I am de­lighted to wel­come our first young guns, Jack and Matty.”

It seems the mists are clear­ing on the sin­gle-seater nurs­ery slopes, par­tic­u­larly with the news that Jonathan Palmer’s BRDC F4 cat­e­gory might be granted F3 sta­tus in the UK. Fi­nally, it looks like there has been an out­break of com­mon sense – which is not al­ways the case in mo­tor rac­ing.

There was the MSA For­mula, which was the United King­dom’s ver­sion of the Fia-sanc­tioned F4 cat­e­gory, and then also Palmer’s BRDC F4. But that stupid sit­u­a­tion where there are two do­mes­tic classes with the same name looks like it is at an end as the sport’s global gov­ern­ing body, the FIA, is seek­ing to boost Palmer’s class to na­tional F3 sta­tus.

This has been made pos­si­ble by Palmer’s drive to move the cat­e­gory on. He has in­tro­duced a new Tatuus-built, Cos­worth-pow­ered car with a two-litre en­gine pro­duc­ing 230bhp.

The up­grades have pushed the per­for­mance of the car to pretty close to F3 lev­els and, as such, it de­serves an el­e­vated plat­form than just the F4 moniker. As good as it is, the Bri­tish Tour­ing Car Cham­pi­onship-sup­port­ing MSA For­mula is the bot­tom rung of the lad­der now, no ques­tion.

While Palmer’s new ma­chine might not quite be a match for a pukka F3 car, it is a long way down the road to be­ing one, and is go­ing to be a good step­ping off point for driv­ers who want to go and race F3 in Europe.

The FIA Euro­pean F3 Cham­pi­onship will still ex­ist, of course, and a pure-bred F3 car is al­ways go­ing to be that bit much faster (be­cause it is more com­pli­cated and, as a re­sult, much much more ex­pen­sive).

The fact that it will sit just a lit­tle higher in the peck­ing or­der of rac­ing cars from Palmer’s F4 (or F3) con­cept is per­fect for the struc­ture of mo­tor­sport at this level.

A Euro­pean or a World cham­pi­onship al­ways should be a step up from what driv­ers can achieve on a na­tional ba­sis – there­fore, I al­ways found it strange when S2000 sa­loon rac­ing cars ruled the roost in the UK, sev­eral do­mes­tic cat­e­gories and also the world cham­pi­onship.

The WTCC went down this route un­til the end of 2013, when beefed-up TC1 spec­i­fi­ca­tions were in­tro­duced for the fron­trun­ning teams.

If the FIA adopts BRDC F4 as F3, then driv­ers who are able to con­quer the UK F3 cat­e­gory can then progress on to faster cars in Europe but will have the nec­es­sar­ily ground­ing.

That is how things should be.

Palmer’s BRDC F4 car could get the F3 badge

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