Reigning GT4 title-holder Jake Giddings will return to the Avon Tyres British GT Championship this year alongside Kieran Griffin after switching to JWB Motorsport.
The 20-year-old will be at the wheel of a similar Aston Martin Vantage GT4 to the one that took him and former Beechdean AMR co-driver Ross Wylie to last year’s crown.
Championship debutant Griffin will be on equally familiar ground having scored three victories in seven Aston Martin Challenge outings last season with JWB, who are also embarking on their maiden British GT campaign.
And if having the reigning class champion alongside him wasn’t enough, the British driver can also call on the experience of brother Liam who will be racing an Aston Martin Vantage GT3 for Motorbase Performance this year.
Giddings revealed he’d been impressed with the atmosphere at JWB from the start.
“I grew up racing in family-run teams and that’s definitely something I identify with at JWB; we clicked straight away,” he said.
“It’s reasonable to accept that we might take a couple of rounds to find our feet but I’m feeling very motivated to help push them forward throughout the year. Kieran has plenty of talent, as demonstrated last season, although the quality and quantity of this year’s GT4 field has improved on 2014.
“The car has been fully upgraded to this year’s spec so I’m eager to see where we fit into the pecking order.”
Griffin confirmed Giddings’ signing would prove a major boost for the team ahead of their first foray into the GT4 ranks.
“We had a fun year in 2014 learning the car but this is going to be a big step up and a serious challenge personally,” he said. “Jake’s experience will be really important in terms of set-up and helping us to hit the ground running at Oulton Park. I couldn’t have wished for anyone better alongside me.
“But I know it’s going to be tough. If I can steadily learn from Jake and improve throughout the year then we should be in the hunt for podium finishes. I’ve done a lot of sprint racing in the past but last year’s Aston Martin Challenge programme introduced an endurance element, which I prefer in some respects, so at least that’s one new experience I don’t need to tick off.
“It’s also fantastic to have my brother out there with me, albeit in very different machinery performance-wise! There’s still some elements we can discuss though and I’ll certainly be making use of his knowledge.”
Having also cut their teeth on the British GT support bill in the VW Racing Cup, JWB boss Nick Beaumont confirmed the time was right to take on a new project.
“We always saw last year’s Aston Martin Challenge programme as a stepping stone into British GT,” he said. “The Vantage is a proven product at this level and we couldn’t have anyone better to race alongside Kieran than the reigning GT4 champion. I think they’ll be a great partnership.
“But we’re under no illusions as to how tough the category is. There are a lot of very good teams, drivers and cars contesting GT4 this year, and although we have experience of the Aston, British GT will represent a big step up. I’d still like to think we could score a few podiums this year and then see where we are in 2016. I’ve also got one eye on GT3 in the future, and there’s our VW Racing Cup commitments to consider as well.”
Giddings, Griffin and JWB will be at Brands Hatch for the British GT Media Day on March 25 ahead of the Oulton Park season opener on April 4-6.