Robert Barrable and Wilson Thompson will campaign Team HARD’s second Ginetta G55 GT4 in this season’s British GT Championship, the Kent-based squad has announced today.
Tony Gilham’s outfit is best known for its BTCC and VW Racing Cup exploits but revealed in January its intention to branch into GT racing before confirming Jordan Stilp and William Phillips as its first driver pairing earlier this month.
Its second entry has strong Irish and Formula Ford connections. Former Ireland FF1600 champion and Festival runner-up Barrable takes his first steps in GT racing following a number of VW Cup Racing appearances and podiums with Team HARD in 2015. However, it’s for his rally career that the 28-year-old is best known thanks to podium finishes in the WRC’s second tier.
“I'm really looking forward to working with Tony again and taking on British GT,” he said. “I'm hoping we can get straight into the thick of it and perform consistently. Sharing a car with another driver is a new challenge for me and the length of each race will take some getting used to as well but I can't wait, it's going to be a great season.”
Thompson meanwhile spent last season battling for the Northern Irish FF1600 title. He also boasts some experience of Ginetta machinery having scored rostrums in 11 of his 12 Ginetta Junior Ireland outings in 2014. And the 17-year-old can’t wait to make the jump into GT4 machinery.
“It's going to be an exciting year for me with a new car, new team, new championship and tracks I have never raced on before,” said Thompson. “I think this year is going to be one of the best ever for British GT with an oversubscribed grid full of both experience and excellent talent.
“I want to continue getting on the podium at each race and I'm eager to learn something every time I get in the car while racing hard but fair. To say I am looking forward to the challenge is an understatement.”
While all four of his team’s drivers might be new to most casual observers, Gilham believes he has the talent behind the wheel to make an instant impression.
“It’s brilliant to have two cars representing the team during our first year in the British GT,” he said. “We’re aiming to be real contenders in our class and we’ve got the drivers that can help us achieve that.
“I'm excited to continue working with Robert after his stand out performances for the team last year in the VW Cup. Robert has exceptional ability and the outright pace is there so will be very interesting to see his progression in to GT racing. Likewise there is a lot of excitement surrounding Wilson and his potential behind the wheel of the Ginetta and how far we can take him in his racing career. A star of the future for sure.”
This year’s British GT Championship gets underway at Brands Hatch on April 16/17.