Factory star Gounon bolsters Loggie and RAM’s GT3 title bid

Factory star Gounon bolsters Loggie and RAM’s GT3 title bid

> Second Mercedes-AMG entry also confirmed

RAM Racing’s reigning two-time Pro-Am champion Ian Loggie will have a new Intelligent Money British GT Championship co-driver this season after linking up with Mercedes-AMG factory star Jules Gounon.

The Frenchman, who moved from Bentley’s works squad to Mercedes-AMG at the start of last season, is considered one of the world’s best GT drivers. He made an immediate impact for the German marque by finishing second in Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS and sixth in ADAC GT Masters – a championship he’d won four years earlier with Callaway.

His impressive CV also includes outright victories at two of the world’s most prestigious GT races: the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa (2017) and Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour (2020).

Now he makes his British GT debut alongside Loggie who finished second overall with Yelmer Buurman last season.

Clashing commitments in Germany will prevent Gounon from contesting two rounds. His replacement will be confirmed in due course.

Loggie hopes Gounon’s presence for the bulk of the campaign will finally help deliver the overall title after being a firm contender for the last three seasons.

“Now this is a championship season that I’m looking forward to!” he said. “Looking at the entry list so far, I’m sure the competition will be even fiercer than in years gone past. This has been a championship where the quality of teams and drivers has continued to get stronger year on year.

“I’m really looking forward to partnering with Jules this year. In the GT3 world he’s one of the best around and is well known for both his speed and commitment to winning. RAM Racing is a very experienced team that has such a dedication to turning out a faultless piece of machinery. This year I believe we have ‘the magic sauce’ ingredients to become overall British GT champions.”

Gounon’s Pro-Am exploits originally paved the way towards his first factory drive. And he can’t wait to work in the same environment this season.

“I’m really looking forward to getting involved with British GT this year,” said the 27-year-old. “I love Pro-Am racing. I haven’t done a proper Pro-Am series since 2017 and it’s a totally different atmosphere to the Pro-only stuff. I also really enjoy working with the amateur drivers. I like learning all about their stories away from the track and I really enjoy the coaching role, helping to bring them on.

“I know that with Ian I have one of the best amateurs on the grid to work with. I’m also really looking forward to the British circuits. I’ve only actually ever driven Brands Hatch and Silverstone, so I’ll have a fair bit of learning to do myself and I love the challenge of that after so long racing the same tracks. I’m excited for ones like Donington Park and Oulton Park as I know all about them, but I’ve never driven them! It’s a shame there are clashing events that will spoil my own championship chances, but my entire goal is to help Ian and RAM win the British GT title this year.”

Team principal Dan Shufflebottom confirmed RAM will also field a second Mercedes-AMG GT3 full-time this year after running it on a race-by-race basis throughout 2021.

“It’s great to have our first driver pairing confirmed for British GT, and the second car isn’t far off,” he said. “It’ll be great to be back up to two cars in the championship as it gives us the chance to fight for both the drivers’ and teams’ titles this year.

“When it comes to the drivers’ title, Ian knows this championship inside out by now, and he was incredibly unlucky not to win it last year. He has the speed and the consistency, and with a driver like Jules alongside him it will hopefully be the final piece of the puzzle this year.

“It will be great to have Jules with us. He’s a mega talent and knows so much about the AMG GT3, so he should make a great addition to the team. It’s a shame that missing two rounds will rule him out of the championship, but we shouldn’t have much trouble finding a suitable stand-in to share with Ian for those rounds.”

#6’s striking pink and navy livery has undergone some subtle changes during the off-season. Loggie has given the Cure Leukaemia charity prominent space down both sides which also feature additional white stripes front and rear.

Oulton Park stages the opening round of British GT’s 30th campaign on Easter Bank Holiday Weekend (April 16 & 18).