Nathan Freke teams with young Amer­i­can in re­worked G55 ma­chine

Motor Sport News - - Racing News - Pho­tos: Mick Walker, Jakob Ebrey By Rob Lad­brook

Cen­tury Motorsport will step up a class in Bri­tish GT this sea­son af­ter tak­ing over the deal to field Ginetta’s re­mod­elled fac­tory GT3 pro­gramme.

Cen­tury team boss, and 2006 Bri­tish For­mula Ford cham­pion, Nathan Freke will spear­head the driv­ing team, and will be part­nered by Amer­i­can Harry Gott­sacker, who is a mem­ber of Ginetta’s new young driver pro­gramme.

Freke, 33, grad­u­ates from GT4, where he spent five sea­sons in the Bri­tish cham­pi­onship. Gott­sacker, 17 from San An­to­nio, Texas, joins Bri­tish GT from the Pirelli World Chal­lenge where he raced a GT4 G55.

The War­wick­shire team will run both of the new-gen­er­a­tion G55 GT3 ma­chines, which have un­der­gone a sub­stan­tial me­chan­i­cal re­design as Ginetta aims to break its GT3 duck this term. The Leeds firm’s G55 has yet to win a Bri­tish GT3 race out­right when run­ning in ho­molo­gated trim since it joined the se­ries in 2011.

For this year the car fea­tures a new en­gine, ap­ing the 6.2-litre Chevro­let LS3 unit used in the G57-P2 pro­to­type. That re­places the Nis­san-de­rived 4.35-litre V8. There have also been sweep­ing changes to the car’s con­trol elec­tron­ics and chas­sis dy­nam­ics.

“This is a re­ally ex­cit­ing year for both Cen­tury and Ginetta as to­gether we’re mount­ing a se­ri­ous at­tack on Bri­tish GT,” said Freke.

“We helped run the GT3 car when it first came out in 2011, but this year marks the first time we’ll be in­volved with a prop­erly com­pet­i­tive GT3 ma­chine. The new Chevy en­gine of­fers more low-down torque and us­able power and the chas­sis changes will aid slow-speed trac­tion. The new en­gine will also be eas­ier on the car so will aid re­li­a­bil­ity.

“It will be in­ter­est­ing work­ing with Harry as he’s a promis­ing young driver. He’ll have a lot to learn with the UK tracks and style of rac­ing, but we’ll work with him and he’ll only get stronger as the year goes on.”

Ginetta tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor Ewan Baldry added: “We know the Chevy en­gine so well from the devel­op­ment in the G57-P2 and it’s per­fect for GT us­age. The Nis­san was a very ag­gres­sive en­gine and we had some vi­bra­tion is­sues with it. The Chevy is a lower-revving unit with a wider torque band. The in­vest­ment in GT3 this year is a big one as we want to get that win, and also use what we find to build to­ward new plans for 2018.”

New car in test­ing at Don­ing­ton Park

Gott­sacker will make de­but

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