UltraTek Racing Team RJN add Anttila and Johansen to British GT4 entry
Another piece of British GT’s 2018 entry list slotted into place today when UltraTek Racing Team RJN confirmed that Stephen Johansen will partner Jesse Anttila in the second of its Nissan 370Z GT4s.
With Kelvin Fletcher and Martin Plowman already announced in the #53 car, the team – which is overseen by the same RJN squad that runs NISMO’s official Blancpain GT Series entries – opted to unveil its second Pro/Am driver pairing the day before British GT organisers announce this year’s full-season entry list.
Debutant Johansen will fulfil a career-long ambition this season by graduating from the VW Racing Cup support series to British GT. The 53-year-old was a consistent front-runner in the VW Cup having previously contested the VAG Trophy and Fun Cup Endurance Series.
“It is a dream come true to be racing in the British GT Championship,” he said. “I have been a massive fan of the series for years having run alongside it for many seasons, so the chance to line up on the grid alongside some of the world’s best GT racers is hugely exciting. The package for this season was perfect, Jesse is a tremendously talented driver, plus having Martin Plowman and RJN Motorsport in my corner makes for the perfect package. I am counting the days until my home round of Oulton Park.”
His co-driver Anttila featured in a handful of British GT4 races last season as part of In2Racing’s McLaren squad but has now switched across to UltraTek for a full-season assault. As well as competing in GT4 the young Finn boasts an impressive CV featuring Finnish KF3 and Formula Ford titles, as well as stints in Formula Renault UK and Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe.
“I’m pleased to have signed with UltraTek Racing Team RJN, I have a lot of faith in Stephen and am sure we’re going to be pushing for the podium in GT4’s Pro/Am category,” he said. “I’m looking forward to completing my first full season in the British GT Championship, the guys at RJN turn out a first-class car, and the chance to race as a team-mate with somebody of Martin [Plowman]’s experience is an opportunity you don't get every day.”
UltraTek’s long-time drivers Richard Taffinder and Tim Eakin were both eager to return to the championship this year before early-season business commitments curtailed their hopes.
“Sitting out has been an incredibly difficult decision, but it is an exciting time for my business as it continues to expand,” said Taffinder. “I've made massive progress since working with Martin Plowman, and one of the main lessons I’ve learned is that to develop, I need to give 100% focus. I will be attending as many races as I can, we're like a family, and I want to support the chaps.”
UltraTek Racing team principal Ben Snowdon added: “I’m thrilled to have signed Jesse and Stephen, the GT4 category is going to be very competitive this season, and they are an excellent driver pair. I have known Stephen for many years, and it’s exciting to be able to give him his break in the British GT Championship. Martin and I have had our eyes on Jesse for a while now, he impressed us in British GT last year, not only has he got fantastic pace, but we think he will be a great cultural fit for the team too.
“It won't be the same with Richard and Tim not in the car, but they are still a huge part of the team and are heavily involved and will be back racing as soon as practically possible. We are close to finalising a detailed driver development programme for their return.”
This year’s full-season British GT entry list, which already features seven confirmed GT4 manufactures, will be unveiled during tomorrow’s annual Media Day at Donington Park.
Tickets for this season’s opening round at Oulton Park, and any other British GT event for that matter, can be purchased in advance using the links below.
2018 BRITISH GT SCHEDULE
1 Oulton Park, March 31-April 2 >> TICKETS
2 Rockingham, April 28-29 >> TICKETS
3 Snetterton, May 26-27 >> TICKETS
4 Silverstone 500, June 9-10 >> TICKETS
5 Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium), July 21-22 >> TICKETS (FREE ENTRY)
6 Brands Hatch, August 4-5 >> TICKETS
7 Donington Park, September 22-23 >> TICKETS