Oulton Park double-header next for British GT racer Giddings

Monday, May 23, 2016

British GT Championship racer Jake Giddings resumes his 2016 season at Oulton Park International Circuit in Cheshire just a few days from now, over Bank Holiday weekend, where he has his sights squarely fixed on a season-best result at the wheel of his JWB Motorsport-run Aston Martin.

Following a test outing at the 2.69-mile track on Friday, 20th May, where the Wisbech racer and team-mate Kieran Griffin gained some vital mileage in readiness for rounds three and four of the campaign, hopes are now high ahead of the third event of the season.

Going into the first ‘double-header’ event of the year, where a brace of shorter than usual one-hour races will be contested, the team-mates are third in the Pro-Am GT4 standings and determined to significantly improve on the ninth place finishes achieved thus far in rounds one and two.

During the break since the previous British GT event at Rockingham at the beginning of the month, 21-year-old Jake made a return to one-make competition in the Renault UK Clio Cup at Thruxton but he is now fully focused on the resumption of his main 2016 programme.

It’s certainly been a challenging year up to now for the GT4 duo – a split oil pipe hampering Griffin’s preparations for the season-opener at Brands Hatch and contact from a GT3 car last time out at Rockingham leaving the No.47 Aston Martin carrying significant steering damage.

Qualifying, though, has been the biggest stumbling block up to now for the JWB pairing, but with the one-hour format comes a change in qualifying procedure as well – rather than combined times forming the starting grid, one driver will set the grid for race one and the other for race two.

Pro driver Jake, therefore, is hoping he can achieve a grid slot in the top two or three during his session to give the team its best opportunity yet to battle for a season-first GT4 podium in the Irish TV, Finesse Paving and Civil Engineering, Cowley Road Garage and Toppesfield-backed Aston Martin.

“The one hour races are more of a sprint really, obviously we only get half an hour in the car each so qualifying is more important than ever”, said Jake, “If we can get Kieran up to speed straight away, and the test should help keep everything fresh in his mind, then we should be OK. If qualifying doesn’t work out, the races will be a big challenge and especially if we get any Safety Cars.

“Oulton’s not a bad track for the Aston, it suits the car pretty well and the straights should help us keep up with the Ginettas. Traffic could be a problem as the circuit is pretty tight, but we’ll go into the race weekend aiming for the top five and then see if we can be in with a chance of anything better – hopefully we will!”

Opening practice at Oulton Park on Saturday, 28th May, will get underway at 09.30 with the second session following at 12.35 and GT4 qualifying beginning at around 16.15. After a day off from track action on Sunday, 29th May, round three of the championship will take place at 11.15 on Bank Holiday Monday, 30th May, with round four set to commence at 15.30.

Source material - J Giddings PR
Photo credit - Jacob Ebrey
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