Erik Evans joins the Intelligent Money British GT Championship full-time this year as part of Academy Motorsport’s double Ford Mustang GT4 entry.
The 19-year-old American raced extensively in US single-seaters before making a one-off appearance in Academy’s second Mustang during British GT’s 2022 season finale. Now he’s returning to partner Academy regular Matt Cowley in what, on paper at least, appears to be a title-contending crew.
The experienced duo of Will Moore and Matt Nicoll-Jones share the team’s second entry.
“I am super pumped about coming to the UK and racing for Academy Motorsport with Matt Cowley, and battling against some of the best drivers in the UK in the Intelligent Money British GT Championship,” said Evans.
“As an American driver, debuting at the Donington Park race this past October was a fantastic experience. Racing with the two different classes, managing traffic, driver changes, and feeling the passion and support of the UK motorsport fans was awesome. I had several boxes that I wanted to check off to make a solid run at Donington, but now I can take some of those restrictions off, and with Matt, get on with focusing on the business at hand.
“Driving the Multimatic Ford Mustang GT4 with Academy Motorsport and having the full engineering support of Multimatic on-site was incredible, especially as we look forward to this year. Matt [Nicoll-Jones] and the entire Academy Motorsport team have been awesome, and especially when navigating the logistics and communication across five time zones.”
Evans’ new co-driver, Cowley, has scored British GT4 wins with Academy in each of the last three seasons and also finished runner-up alongside Moore in 2021. The national Formula Ford ace slipped to seventh last year with Marco Signoretti, although that final position wasn’t necessarily indicative of their true potential.
“I’m really pleased and excited to be back in the Multimatic – Ford Performance Mustang GT4 for this year’s British GT Championship and my fifth season with Academy Motorsport,” said Cowley who previously raced for the team in GT4 European Series. “It’s great having two cars out there, have the opportunity to drive with newcomer Erik Evans, and keep the charities Caudwell Children, Nordorff Robbins and Shaw Mind Mental Health in people’s minds.”
Moore is also returning to the squad this term, albeit alongside team owner Matt Nicoll-Jones after sitting out the majority of 2022 through injury.
He recovered in time to race at Donington with Evans 12 months after taking victory there alongside Cowley, which sealed their second place in the drivers’ championship.
However, he and Nicoll-Jones also have previous history from 2017 and ‘18 when they shared Academy’s erstwhile Aston Martin Vantage GT4. They were scheduled to team up again in 2020, this time behind the wheel of a Mustang, before the pandemic curtailed the latter’s plans.
“It was a last-minute deal to get Matt and I back in the car and I can’t wait!” said Moore. “I’ve just recovered from a PCL reconstruction, which is why I didn’t race last year and to be honest I thought I’d probably retire. So it’s great to have this opportunity with my old team-mate. I’m really excited to get racing.”
Nicoll-Jones added: “I'm thrilled to have two cars confirmed for this season; it’s been a long time coming and a great deal of hard work has gone into this.
“It’s also great to welcome Matt Cowley back to the team once again. He has been with us since 2019 and has gone from strength to strength each year.
“Erik Evans is a superb addition to the team. He proved himself during his British GT Championship debut during the final round of last season at Donington Park, and we can't wait to see what he does this year. Together, Matt and Erik create a strong driver pairing.
“And welcoming Will Moore back to the team for a full season is brilliant. He is very much part of the furniture here at Academy Motorsport, and after thinking he would have to retire last year, we’re pleased to see him back where he belongs. I’m also looking forward to getting back behind the wheel myself. It’s certainly going to be a very exciting year ahead.”
This year’s seven-event, nine-race British GT campaign begins at Oulton Park on April 8 & 10.