Maserati to British GT4 with Ebor GT’s Eaton and Hoggarth
This year’s British GT4 grid will welcome another new team and manufacturer following Ebor GT’s decision to enter a single Maserati GranTurismo MC for championship debutants Abbie Eaton and Marcus Hoggarth.
The Italian marque’s new-for-2016 GT4 machine is only the second Maserati ever to compete in British GT, following as it does in the footsteps of the Ghibli GT2 that entered a handful of rounds in 1998.
But the factory-built, 4.7-litre V8-powered GranTurismo MC is an entirely different proposition and joins a GT4 grid already boasting the likes of Aston Martin, Porsche, Lotus and Ginetta.
Race car preparation specialists Ebor GT are also new to the British GT grid this season, although their most recent experience includes entering GT Cup with a Ferrari 458 GTC in which Hoggarth finished second last year.
Eaton meanwhile has enjoyed much success in national racing en route to the pinnacle of domestic motorsport. The 24-year-old Yorkshire native warmed up for her graduation by finishing fifth in last season’s GT Cup GTB category and is also a former Mazda MX-5 SuperCup champion.
And having joined forces with Hoggarth for selected outings last season Eaton is confident of making an impression aboard the new Maserati.
“It will be my debut year in the championship and after working hard the past few years I am thrilled to have been given this opportunity,” she said. “The car looks a fantastic piece of kit and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. The car’s Balance of Performance will be completed over the coming month in preparation for its maiden outing at the British GT media day at Snetterton on March 15th.
“Having shared a podium with Marcus last year in GT Cup I am confident of our driver pairing and hope we will push each all year.”
Team owner Adrian Snook told Motorsport News that the Maserati provided an ideal platform for Ebor GT's maiden British GT campaign.
“We’ve always worked with Italian cars and the GranTurismo MC GT4 is a beautiful machine so we saw it as the next step. GT4 racing is good value compared to GT3 and British GT is the best place to do it by the looks of it as the grid larger than ever. We chose the Maserati as it’s been racing for a while now as a single-make Trophy car so it’s a proven product with plenty of miles of development on it.”
Further Maserati GranTurismo MCs are expected to contest British GT’s Silverstone and Spa rounds when the European GT4 Series joins the grid.