Northumberland racing driver Stuart Middleton set for move into British GT Championship
Northumberland racing driver Stuart Middleton is set to move up into the prestigious British GT Championship in 2017 after being confirmed alongside fellow Ginetta Junior graduate William Tregurtha as part of HHC Motorsport's planned maiden season in GT competition.
Ashington-based Middleton, who ended his second season in Ginetta Junior this year as vice-champion with seven race victories, the most of any driver, is elated to be making the step-up into endurance racing so early in his motorsport career.
The 17-year-old enjoyed a terrific battle over the Junior title against new teammate Tregurtha and HHC during the 2016 season, and despite some serious misfortune, with on-track dramas and car issues, he was still able to chalk-up an impressive tally of wins and podiums – 14 rostrums in total.
By graduating directly into British GT from Ginetta Junior, Middleton and Tregurtha will make history when they line-up on the grid with HHC for the opening event of the 2017 season at Oulton Park next April where they will pilot a Ginetta G55 GT4, subject to acceptance of the team’s entry.
“I’m so excited for my move into British GT next year, it’s such a fantastic step for my career”, said Middleton.
“The championship is incredibly popular and GT racing is the best place to be to try and carve out a professional career in motorsport, it’s an amazing opportunity.
“I’m so happy to be joining HHC and to be teaming-up with Will, we’ll have a great package and I’m confident we’ll be competitive from the start.
“Staying with the Ginetta brand is great too, plus HHC has experience with the Ginetta G55 car so we should be able to hit the ground running.”
Following the opening pair of one-hour races at Oulton Park over Easter weekend next year, British GT will then visit Rockingham, Snetterton 300 Circuit and Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit before the championship’s annual overseas trip to Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium in July.
The category then returns to the UK for the final two race meetings of 2017, at Brands Hatch and Donington Park.
Commenting on the news, HHC Motorsport’s Charlie Kemp said: “We are very excited about our plans to enter British GT in 2017.
“With Will and Stuart we have two very exciting young drivers who have bright futures ahead of them, and we are delighted that they have teamed-up together to help advance us into British GT.”
Kemp added: “We have chosen to run a Ginetta GT4 and it is a car that we know inside-out thanks to our time in the Ginetta GT4 Supercup.
“This is a major commitment from all of us – team and drivers – and a big challenge.
“It is a step-up for us into long-distance GT racing and it is the first time that two drivers will move straight from Ginetta Junior racing into British GT.
“We are sure that the spotlight will be on them but they have both proved to have plenty of ability and old heads on young shoulders, hence we believe that together we will be a major force in the GT4 class next year.
“It is our intention to be at the front of the GT4 grid at the first round and to challenge for the title.”