Jack Mitchell returns to the Intelligent Money British GT Championship’s GT4 class this season with Tom Edgar and Toyota Gazoo Racing UK four years after winning the title.
Back-to-back victories at Silverstone and Spa – the last driver to achieve that particular feat in a British GT endurance race – helped Mitchell clinch 2018’s crown by a single point from his Century co-drivers Ben Tuck and Ben Green. Now, and after sealing his maiden GT3 victory with 2 Seas in 2020, he’s hoping to become British GT’s first-ever two-time GT4 champion with the Speedworks Motorsport-run Toyota GR Supra.
He and Edgar, who were friends before joining forces this year, tested the car together at Snetterton last week. And Mitchell’s first impressions have left him feeling confident of mounting a title assault.
“I’m very happy to be joining Speedworks. It’s a team I’ve followed closely for a number of years – both in British GT and the BTCC – and I was really impressed by the form they showed last season with the Supra,” he said. “As a GT4 package, there’s no question that it’s up there with the very best, and to be associated with Toyota Gazoo Racing UK and be carrying the brand’s iconic black, red and white colours is a big honour for me.
“Tom [Edgar] has been a good friend of mine for a couple of years now, and I feel that will really help us throughout the season – particularly with regard to getting him quickly up-to-speed after graduating from Ginetta Juniors. It’s one thing having a team-mate in a different car that you share data with, but something else entirely having a team-mate you share the actual car with. You need to trust each other implicitly, so I think our prior knowledge of each other’s driving style and approach will stand us in good stead.
“My first test in the Supra went very well, and I feel like I’m getting to grips with it already. I already have quite a lot of experience in GT4 machinery, and it didn’t take me long to feel comfortable. It’s very confidence-inspiring and really encourages you to push the limits, which as a driver is exactly what you want.
“My goal is definitely to win the championship again. That’s never easy, especially in GT4 where the racing is notoriously close and you need a lot of luck on your side, but with the car we have underneath us, the team we have behind us and our close working relationship, I’m confident that Tom and I can do a very good job. There’s no reason at all why we shouldn’t be right in the hunt.”
Alongside him is former Ginetta Junior prospect Edgar who finished sixth overall during his debut campaign in 2020. Circumstances limited his opportunity to improve last year, although two wins in his first five races hinted at the Northern Irishman’s potential.
“It’s a great honour to be selected to join a team of Speedworks’ calibre,” said the 17-year-old. “Not only is Toyota the world’s number one car maker, but it’s a company that has motorsport in its veins and it will be an absolute privilege to compete for Toyota Gazoo Racing UK. Endurance racing is something that has always greatly appealed to me, so I’m really excited to get stuck into my first season in Britain’s premier GT series and hopefully make a real impact in the championship.
“I’m also very much looking forward to working with Jack [Mitchell]. He coached me when I was racing in Ginetta Juniors, and we get on really well. He’s a top-drawer driver, and hopefully we can hit the ground running and spur each other on. I think we will make for a really strong pairing.
“Of course I want to be successful this year, but for me, the biggest barometer of success will be the progress that I make over the coming months and how much I develop as a driver, which means it will be key to establish a solid footing in the championship right from the outset. I can’t wait to get started!”
Mitchell isn’t the only driver hoping to become GT4’s first two-time title winner this year: reigning champion Will Burns is also back with Century and BMW, coincidentally the same combination with which Mitchell claimed his crown.
To do so, Mitchell and Edgar will likely need to score Toyota Gazoo Racing UK’s first win with the Supra, which debuted in 2020. The car has taken podiums, fastest laps and pole positions over the last two years but always fallen tantalising short of the top step.
Team principal Christian Dick believes his new Silver Cup driver combination will not only remedy that oversight but also challenge for the title.
“We’re extremely excited about our new driver line-up in British GT this year, and we believe Jack, Tom and the Toyota GR Supra GT4 will make for a very potent combination indeed” he said. “Both guys are clearly up-and-coming talents with a great deal of potential, and their existing relationship means there should be minimal time spent getting used to working together, which as we all know, is half the battle in GT racing.
“Jack in particular needs little introduction. As a former GT4 champion in British GT, his credentials speak for themselves, and he is also a winner at GT3 level. In fact, he’s raced at the front in pretty much every series he has contested, and has an impressive CV for somebody just 23 years of age. I have no doubt that the knowledge he can bring from his previous experiences in the championship will be hugely beneficial as we seek to put together a consistent title challenge.
“By the same token, Tom has proven in his short career so far that he is a driver with a very bright future ahead of him. Like Jack, he has a first-rate attitude and work ethic and is an absolute pleasure to have in the team, and he has settled in seamlessly. His first laps behind the wheel of the Supra were also extremely encouraging. I have very high hopes for the pair of them.”
Oulton Park plays host to the opening round of this year’s Intelligent Money British GT Championship on April 16 & 18.