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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.