2023: Duggan and Townsend join Toro Verde’s GT4 entry with Ginetta

2023: Duggan and Townsend join Toro Verde’s GT4 entry with Ginetta

Porsche Carrera Cup regular Toro Verde will make its Intelligent Money British GT Championship debut this season with a Ginetta G56 GT4 driven by James Townsend and Ian Duggan.

The Ginetta GT4 SuperCup title rivals, who will make their first British GT starts at Oulton Park, cut their teeth on various rungs of Ginetta’s motorsport ladder but have also previously raced together in GT Cup.

Toro Verde, meanwhile, has raced in Britain and further afield since its formation in 2021 when the team contested the GT2 European Series, Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe and Ginetta GT5 Challenge. It moved into one-make Porsche competition last season, both in the UK and at the Gulf 12 Hours, while also entering Ginetta GT Academy.

Duggan kicked off his full-time racing career by finishing third in the 2019 Ginetta G40 Chairman’s Cup before winning the GT5 Challenge’s Am class title at his first attempt the following year. He and Townsend then contested GT Cup at the wheel of a G55 – the same car with which Duggan would go on to claim last season’s Ginetta GT4 SuperCup Am crown.

“Racing with Ginetta has given me a national platform to hone my skills and improve my race craft over the past five years, and having had success in two very competitive championships I’m now excited to step up to compete in British GT and test my ability,” he said. 

“James and I have continually pushed each other to improve – something I’m looking forward to continuing this season. With the support and GT experience of Toro Verde I’m sure we can be competitive and challenge for wins.”

Duggan’s GT4 SuperCup rival, Townsend, finished third in last season’s standings despite scoring one more victory than his new co-driver. He was also a GT5 Challenge title contender in 2019 before stepping up to Porsche Carrera Cup GB a year later, and also drove the latest 911 with Toro Verde during December’s Gulf 12 Hours.

“The opening weekend at Oulton Park will mark my 100th career race start, 90% of which have been in Ginetta machinery,” he said. “Being able to make my debut in the British GT Championship in the G56 proves the success of Ginetta’s motorsport ladder. I’ve really enjoyed my experience to date predominately in sprint racing but my ultimate ambition remains to compete at the highest level of endurance racing – working with Toro Verde and entering British GT with Ginetta feels like the perfect next step.”

Toro Verde team principal Julian Westwood, who was previously involved in JRM and Team Parker’s British GT programmes, added: “We’re excited to enter the British GT Championship. We had the pleasure of welcoming James to the team at the end of last year making his debut at the Gulf 12 Hours in Abu Dhabi and were immediately impressed by his professional approach and how quickly he got up to speed with a new car. 

“With Ian we have a proven Am champion in multiple championships who has shown excellent pace and consistency. Despite technically being an Am/Am pairing and somewhat the underdogs, I believe, we’ll be the surprise package this year.”

Season 31 of the Intelligent Money British GT Championship gets underway at Oulton Park on April 8 & 10.