CENTURY TEAM TO RUN FACTORY GINETTA GT3 PROGRAMME
Nathan Freke teams with young American in reworked G55 machine
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