The British GT Championship will welcome another new team and driver pairing to its grid this season following the announcement that Simpson Motorsport is to enter a new Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport for Nick Jones and Scott Malvern.
The team is no stranger to the series having run a variety of exotic machinery over the years. Indeed, Simpson were responsible for entering the likes of a Ferrari 348 LM and F40, and Porsche 911 RSR GT2 at various stages of British GT’s 24-year history.
And it’s with the Stuttgart firm’s all-new SD Sealants-backed GT4 contender that the Gloucestershire-based squad has chosen to make its domestic return, adding to the likes of already confirmed entries from Aston Martin, Maserati and Ginetta, as well as Lanan Racing’s similar Porsche.
Its driver line-up is a strong one, pairing as it does 2015 Radical Enduro Championship team-mates Jones and Malvern. The pair were race winners en route to finishing third in last season’s campaign while Malvern’s additional British Formula Ford and Formula Renault BARC titles add further weight to the partnership’s pedigree.
And after two seasons of racing Radicals Jones feels ready to make the step up to a series as competitive as British GT4.
“I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to compete in such a high-profile series; it’s something I didn’t think I’d ever have the chance to do,” he said. “Running the Porsche - a marque with proven race pedigree - also gives us a better chance of being competitive, and even more so when Scott’s driving it!
“Seriously, maintaining that relationship from the past couple of seasons is a real bonus. We work well together and he understands what’s required for me to get the best out of the car.”
The switch to British GT marks a change in direction for Malvern who’s prolific single-seater career was cut short due to a lack of funding. He sees the move to sportscars as an opportunity to once again showcase his talent.
“I am ecstatic to finally be a part of the British GT Championship, it’s something I have been aspiring towards for many years and to now have the opportunity to be involved in the expanding GT4 class alongside Nick is a great first step,” he said. “My goal has always been to become a professional driver and getting the deal to drive the new Porsche Cayman GT4 is a brilliant way to start my GT career.
“Obviously I am more well known for my single-seater results and it is something I would dearly loved to have perused further, but the strength of GT racing around the world is hard to ignore. My ambitions are to race at some of the world’s biggest events and it seems more opportunities arise in the sportscar world, so I plan to do the absolute best job I can and enjoy the ride!”
Team owner Julian Simpson-Smith added: “It’s great to be back in British GT after so many years away. We’ve run cars in other championships since then so it’s not like we’re starting from scratch, and in Nick and Scott we have a driver pairing that’s not only fast but also used to working together. That’s really important in any Pro/Am relationship and something we’ll be looking to build on throughout the season.”