Hibbert, Tuck and Murray join Century’s GT3/4 line-up for Brands Hatch
Several new faces will join Century Motorsport’s Ginetta ranks for the penultimate round of this season’s British GT Championship at Brands Hatch this weekend.
The Fenny Compton-based squad returns to the GT3 class with a single Ginetta G55 GT3 for series debutants Tom Hibbert and Ben Tuck, while Niall Murray joins the team’s #43 GT4 entry alongside Jacob Mathiassen.
Century began the campaign with two GT3 entries but were left without full-season line-ups for both when Americans Parker Chase and Harry Gottsacker abandoned their UK programme after only two rounds.
One of the cars did subsequently compete at Silverstone in the hands of Charlie Robertson and Aleksander Schjerpen, and that race-by-race approach will now resume at Brands Hatch this weekend with Silver pairing Hibbert and Tuck behind the wheel.
Hibbert currently lies third in Ginetta’s one-make GT4 Supercup standings and claimed a double European GT4 Championship victory, also aboard a G55, during his one-off outing at Brands Hatch earlier this year. He also has experience of the Yorkshire firm’s G57 sports-prototype and G40 GT5 model.
“After this weekend, I will have raced every Ginetta bar the G40 Junior and GRDC cars!” said Hibbert. “I can’t get enough of them and I’m really looking forward to getting my teeth into the GT3.
“The G55 we race in Supercup is a superb car so I can only imagine the potential of the GT3. I’ve got a good team-mate in Ben and there’s no doubt we’ll have our eyes on silverware, even if it is our debut weekend.”
Caterham and Mazda MX-5 racer Tuck has far less experience of Ginetta’s various sportscars but did sample the GT4-spec G55 in GT Cup earlier this year.
“It’s an amazing opportunity to be driving for a factory-backed team,” he said. “It’s my first time directly representing a manufacturer as opposed to a team that runs lots of different cars!
“I can't wait to adapt my driving style to suit another new car for me. I love the challenge of driving new and faster cars, and I’m really thankful to Ginetta and Century for giving me the chance. I love this circuit, it’s one of the most iconic tracks in the world. I've raced here before but only in a little Mazda MX-5, a bit different from a GT3!
“That weekend in the Mazda was my first ever pole position in cars and I also gained the lap record in the race, but I don’t want to think about that and put any more pressure on myself! The GT3 is going to be much more exciting and difficult to get round the track.”
Meanwhile, Murray’s recruitment alongside Mathiassen makes for an exciting and potent new Silver Cup partnership in GT4.
The 22-year-old was 2010 Ginetta Junior Ireland champion before finishing third in the UK’s equivalent two years later, but it’s for his Formula Ford exploits that he’s best known. Indeed, his British GT debut follows a historic quadruple of winning the Walter Hayes Trophy, Formula Ford Festival, Martin Donnelly Trophy and National FF1600 titles.
Murray has been confirmed alongside Mathiassen for both Brands Hatch and Donington’s season finale after an accident at Spa prompted Steve Fresle to step back from racing for the remainder of 2017.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to get this opportunity with Century Motorsport,” said Murray. “I've wanted to do some GT racing for a long time and am very excited that finally the right deal has been put in place.
“Brands Hatch and Donington have been two of my most favourite and most successful circuits so I’m really looking forward to getting on track on Saturday! Thanks to Nathan [Freke] and Paul [Grogan] from Century, all my sponsors and everybody else who made this happen!”
Team principal Nathan Freke added: “Niall is a driver we’ve been well aware of since his successful time in the Ginetta Juniors and he was always a front-runner there. Since then he’s had plenty of success so we are delighted that he has decided to join up with us for his British GT debut.
“Our GT4 season has been a little up and down this year, but hopefully we’ve had our share of bad luck now and I really believe Jacob and Niall have the talent to run at the sharp end this weekend.”
Advanced tickets for this weekend’s British GT round are still available until midday Wednesday here, while Sunday’s two-hour race will also be broadcast live on the championship’s Facebook page.