GT4-derived V6 race car forms the basis of a new one-make series; a season costs from £60k…
By Matt Bird / Monday, September 28, 2020
One-make racing is a big deal for Ginetta; you'll most likely know of the Ginetta Junior series because it supports the BTCC, and is usually great entertainment as it involves teenagers possessed of no fear competing against each other. There's the GT4 Supercup, too, for when those teenagers grow up, in addition to GT5 and G40 competitions. Now Ginetta has a new series, the GT Academy, replacing the old Ginetta Racing Drivers Club and set to kick off for a full season in 2021.
The most significant change from Ginetta Racing Drivers Club to GT Academy is a car switch, from the four-cylinder G40 to a V6 racer derived from the GT4. Given the 2020 GRDC championship was running a shared grid with the G40 Cup, it would have to be assumed that the numbers weren't huge; after all, if you want a one-make British sports car championship with manufacturer support, there's always the Academy that Caterham runs as well. However, the GT Academy is a unique proposition, with no other one-make series combining this level of performance and factory back up.
The car itself will use the old Ford 3.7 V6, with a six-speed Quaife gearbox and "high performance race suspension and brakes". Interestingly the GT Academy cars will run road-legal Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres on the 20-inch wheels; Ginetta says this will help deliver decent track performance but without the prohibitive cost of slicks.
Speaking of expense, the GT Academy will be open to all drivers but launches with a 'Rookie Series Package'. It's arrive-and-drive for amateurs, basically, with Ginetta covering everything: fuel, tyres, car transport, storage, technical support and so on. Drivers can even take part in Ginetta's driver development programme to try and eke out that winning advantage over the rest of the field. Indeed, the only thing not included in the package will be any damage repairs…
A 2021 package for the GT Academy cots from £62,500, which is hardly track day pocket change but also understandable given the amount of support involved. Ginetta says the series "encompasses everything a driver needs to experience the speed, exhilaration and endurance of entry level motorsport." More details can be found on the Ginetta website; 2021 is looking like a better year already…
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