British GT Championship racer Jake Giddings, the 2014 GT4 Class Champion, says he is focused on mounting a realistic podium challenge during the opening event of the new season at Brands Hatch this weekend, as he seeks to make the best start possible to his Pro-Am title bid.
Teaming with the ever-improving Kieran Griffin for a second season at JWB Motorsport, the Wisbech driver is raring to go ahead of round one at the Kent venue’s full length Grand Prix track and is confident of improving on the top six championship finish the pair secured in Pro-Am last season.
Sharing driving duties in the No.47 Aston Martin V8 Vantage, which this year features an eye-catching black, green and orange livery in deference to Griffin’s main sponsor Irish TV – the same livery which appears on his brother Liam’s GT3 Class Lamborghini Huracan – the JWB duo aim to hit the ground running at Brands Hatch a few days from now in the season-opening two-hour race.
Although the team-mates haven’t enjoyed anything like the level of testing of some of their GT4 rivals, the work completed during the pre-season Media Day last month at Snetterton in Norfolk certainly left room for plenty of optimism ahead of the championship curtain-raiser. Additionally, a more recent outing at Silverstone, albeit in greasy conditions, offered more trouble-free running.
“I’m really looking forward to getting the season started,” said the 21-year-old, who is again backed by Finesse Paving and Civil Engineering, Cowley Road Garage and Toppesfield. “We’ll be going for maximum attack at Brands.
“If we can get a top four or five finish at the first round then it’ll be a good start, it’s all about consistency, but if we can get the podium that’ll be fantastic. I really like the GP circuit, it’s a proper drivers circuit round the back on the GP loop – with the barriers close to the track, it keeps you busy and focused. It’s definitely one of the best tracks on the calendar.”
Following a pair of free practice sessions at Brands Hatch GP Circuit on Saturday, the all-important qualifying session for GT4 will get underway at 17.10. On Sunday, round one of the 2016 campaign will start at 13.30.
In addition to his commitments in British GT, Giddings will make a return to competitive action in the British Touring Car Championship supporting the Renault UK Clio Cup for the third event of its season at ultra-fast Thruxton in Hampshire on 7/8 May.
Piloting one of the latest fourth generation Clio Cup cars for his father Neil’s Finesse Motorsport squad, he will team-up with the race-winning outfit’s regular pilot Paul Streather who got the 2016 Clio Cup season off to an incredible start for Finesse just over a week ago with victory in round one.
“It’s a bit of a bogey track for Paul [Streather] so the aim of having me in the other car is to help with set-up.”