Speedworks Motorsport has added a 2013 Aston Martin Vantage GT4 to its racing stable, with Fun Cup contender John Gilbert signing up for a series of long-distance outings under the Global Racing banner.
The Northwich, Cheshire-based outfit recently acquired the classic British sportscar, and John has already begun testing in preparation for his competitive bow. The 53-year-old track day regular has raced in the Spa 25 Hours – a non-championship round of the popular Fun Cup endurance series – for the past two years, finishing a superb second-in-class in the 2014 edition alongside Speedworks’ standout Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship rookie Tom Ingram.
After scooping the silverware in Belgium, the Managing Director of Global Insurance Management is now ready to take the next step up the well-trodden motor racing staircase, and an extensive testing programme will precede an anticipated debut in January’s Dubai 24 Hours – a race in which Speedworks last year clinched a class win.
The Global Racing Aston Martin will run alongside the squad’s Hughes Safety Showers-backed Ginetta G50 in as many events as is feasible – with John to be partnered in the car by a variety of professional competitors and gentlemen drivers. Speedworks team principal Christian Dick is confident that it will not take long for his new charge to bring himself fully up-to-speed.
“John is eager to step up and try the next rung on the ladder,” he affirmed. “He enjoys the longer-distance 12-and-24-hour stuff and overseas races, and I genuinely think he will surprise a few people.
“He might be relatively new to the endurance racing game, but from the work we’ve done with him, it’s evident that he is very determined to learn and improve. It’s our job to make sure he has the right drivers around him to learn from. His attitude is exemplary and we know he will give it his absolute best shot. I think he will do very well.”
“I’ve only been racing for the past handful of years, so I’m a comparative latecomer to the sport,” John confessed. “That said, I’ve known Christian for quite some time through track days, and I’ve competed alongside him in the Fun Cup since 2012. I’ve really enjoyed that, and now I’m looking to shift things up a gear.
“We discussed what car to go with, and having always fancied an Aston Martin because of the brand prestige and its renowned abilities in endurance racing, when Christian managed to source one, it was an offer I simply couldn’t refuse. The plan is to do the Dubai 24 Hours plus selected European events; this car has an excellent pedigree in that category of racing, so to all intents and purposes, it effectively chose itself.
“I’m under no illusions that it’s going to be a big step-up, but I’ve always been used to driving fairly fast track cars so the speed certainly doesn’t intimidate me. It will be more a case of getting used to racing on slick tyres and the fact that the Aston is an altogether more sophisticated piece of kit than the pretty basic Fun Cup car!
“Ultimately, the most important thing is to make sure I’m having fun, and I love the fact that this is such a team sport. Speedworks are a great bunch of guys and I can’t wait for the racing to start – I wish it was January already!”