Wisbech racer Jake Giddings makes a welcome return to home ground at Snetterton 300 Circuit next weekend.
The 21-year-old hopes to convert his undoubted pace into a pair of strong results during the final double-header event of the British GT Championship season.
The JWB Motorsport driver, former champion of the GT4 category, has endured some terrible misfortune thus far in 2016 along with team-mate Kieran Griffin and the duo head into rounds seven and eight of the campaign hoping for a positive run-in to the end of their second season together.
Electrical problems with the No.47 Aston Martin V8 Vantage during the overseas visit to Spa in Belgium three weeks ago underlined the sort of luck the team-mates have experienced throughout the season – limiting them to an eighth place finish in Pro-Am, 12th overall, despite top three pace.
During the previous event at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit in June, though, Jake earned the Sunoco Fastest Lap of the Weekend award after setting a new GT4 lap record at the Northamptonshire venue, and he also produced scintillating pace in qualifying too with the fastest time of the session.
It is that sort of performance which ought to have translated into regular top five finishes and podium challenges in GT4 this year but, more often than not, outside factors have played a bigger role. For the visit to Snetterton, therefore, all at the team are hoping for a trouble-free weekend.
“It’s great to be back racing at Snetterton again, it’s always nice to race at my local track and I’m feeling fairly confident we could have a strong weekend”, said Jake, “Our pace over the last couple of rounds has been really good, I got the fastest lap at Silverstone and we had top three pace at Spa until the electrical problems impacted the performance.
“Hopefully we’ve managed to iron out the issue from Spa and we can have a straight-forward run at Snetterton. We tested there recently and it went really well, Kieran was the closest to the pace he’s been all year so let’s hope that continues next weekend. I think we’re long overdue some good luck, if we can come away with a couple of consistent top four or five results I’ll be happy.”
Next weekend’s outing will see a return to the short one-hour format for each contest and also means the ‘Pro’ and ‘Am’ drivers in each partnership will set grid positions independently – one driver’s time forming the grid for race one, and the other for race two. Ordinarily, for longer races, the Pro and Am times are combined to determine the starting order.
With that in mind, Jake is targeting a top three starting slot in GT4 from his session behind the wheel of the Irish TV, Finesse Paving and Civil Engineering, Cowley Road Garage and Toppesfield-backed Aston Martin and hopes to better the top seven GT4 finish, third in Pro-Am, season-best result which was achieved at Rockingham back in May.
Opening practice for the British GT Championship at Snetterton will provisionally get underway at 09.25 on Saturday, with the second session following at 12.15 and GT4 qualifying set to begin at around 16.40 with the ‘Am’ session followed by the ‘Pro’ run. On Sunday, morning warm-up starts at 09.30 with race one beginning at 11.50 and race two following at 16.05.