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Racing in the Ginetta GT Academy Series

Posted on Mon 25th Apr, 2022 in: General News

Jorge Calado reviews his experience in the Ginetta G56 GTA for one round on the GTA grid last year at Donington Park. Join Calado as he embarks on his Ginetta journey for 3 races in the arrive and drive GTA car. 

Hit the link at the end of the blog to watch the video! 

 

Before you watch the video below, let me ask you a question:

If a high-end restaurant asked you to be a sous chef for a shift, you’d likely refuse or at the very least be extremely reticent about taking on such a task, right?

I mean, you can obviously cook, but can you cook at this level??

I’d hazard saying that for anyone to be expected to just walk in off the street and smash out a perfect Langoustine Ravioli without much training, is a bit of a tall order…

That is often how I feel in my job when I get invited to just parachute in and race a car I have never driven, occasionally at a circuit that I don’t know.
I mean, I can obviously drive and have been racing at various levels for 15 years now but each experience is unique and each car has its own characteristics and each race weekend often requires a different approach.

I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t feel like a serious responsibility to perform each and every time.
So it’s just as well the guys at Ginetta/W2R made me feel so incredibly welcome from the get go when Millers Oils invited me to race with them in their New Ginetta GT Academy series.
The GT Academy series is a New entry level championship where drivers can spar on track in Ginetta’s also New “baby GT4” car, the G56 GTA.


Well actually, the real entry level Ginetta is the G40, putting out between 100-155bhp. You can click HERE for a full deep dive into what it’s like to race that one for a whole season! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIkATjEOLe0&list=PL0a16lfLrWtxAgLsQKnMiT-i1-DZruUC-&ab_channel=Carfection

 

With its 3.7L V6 engine putting out 270bhp and a paddle shift operated sequential gearbox, you may be thinking the G56 GTA is a bit much for entry level, but actually it is an incredibly friendly car to drive, mainly due to its gradual power delivery, and even when the back end tries to overtake you, it gives you plenty of warning and time to persuade it to behave!
I felt immediately at ease in the car during Friday practice and was able to gradually get near the pace by the end of the day with the help of Max Coates, one of Ginetta’s elite driver coaches who ran me through everything I needed to know about the car, helped me with data analysis and cracked a bunch of well-timed jokes for comic relief throughout the weekend.

Race 1 didn’t start all that smoothly with one of my own team mates dishing out some friendly fire in the shape of a side swiping manoeuvre (SPOILERS!), but it was all uphill from then on for race 2 and 3, as I got to know the car better and better.

The level of drivers is a mix between complete novices and more experienced drivers who have actually raced at a higher level and had to step “back down” so to speak (with the relative accessible costs of the GTA series, this actually makes sense), so you’ll never run out of similar levelled drivers to do battle with be it at the front, mid or back of the pack.


The whole experience was just as enjoyable off-track, again in no small part thanks to the W2R team.
Any team can set up a swanky hospitality awning with fancy canapés but only the real ones will be there to hand you a bottle of water just as you’re getting out of the car after sweating buckets on track for the last 20 minutes. That’s my kind of hospitality!

If you want to know more about the car or the championship, I SHOUT all about it in this video while actually racing around Donington Park! Not an easy feat I must say, but man oh man was it fun!

https://youtu.be/-ec3w1HSs90

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