Chapman relishing first 2hr race
Autoaid/RCIB driver Matt Chapman heads to Rockingham for the second event of the British GT Championship and his maiden two-hour race.
The 17-year-old from Oxford who partners Sam Webster in the GT4 division, made a consistently strong start to the season on his category debut at Oulton Park over the Easter weekend and he intends to make further strides during round three on Sunday, 30th April. Chapman, who raced to the Vice-Champion’s position in the Ginetta GT5 Challenge last year, is thoroughly enjoying being part of the UK’s premier endurance racing series and was very happy with his competitive debut just a week ago where he and Webster took a best result of ninth place. Ending the Oulton Park event fifth in the Silver class standings, and just outside the top 10 in the main GT4 points table, the Ginetta G55 driver gained vital experience in both wet and dry conditions during the two 60-minute contests in Cheshire and delivered a strong account of himself.
“Oulton was a consistent weekend for us”, Chapman said, “The competition in British GT4 is strong but I’m happy with how things have started, we really came on strong in the second half of the races and it was good to take some points away from my first weekend and to finish in the top 10 in race one“.
Rockingham, of course, provides an entirely different challenge to that of Oulton Park with the fast, sweeping oval banking mated to a twisty, technical infield section. Finding a strong balance between the two is paramount but Chapman is confident his Ginetta will be a competitive package.
“Rockingham is a track that suits the Ginetta, the infield section is where the car is strong so we’re really looking forward to it and confident we can have a good weekend”, he added, “There are definitely more opportunities to overtake at Rockingham than at Oulton, so hopefully we’ll be able to make some good progress. The Ginetta is good on tyres so we should be able to get them to last well in a two-hour race, Sam and I just need to drive consistently – but everyone is in the same boat. Obviously, the longer race is something brand new to me, being in the car for an hour, but I can’t wait for it. It was good to ease in to this with the half-hour stints at Oulton first.”