Talented 14-year-old karting graduate Matt Chapman will make his car racing debut in the Ginetta Junior Championship this year, having signed a deal with top team Total Control Racing to contest the high-profile Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship support category.
Announcing the agreement on Thursday, 9th January, at the Autosport International Show at Birmingham’s NEC, the biggest annual dedicated motor racing exhibition in Europe, the Wednesbury squad is delighted to have secured the first driver signing for its maiden season in the Junior series.
Chapman, who hails from Oxford, has made rapid progress since debuting in karting only two short years ago. Starting out in the Comer Cadet British Championship in Formula Kart Stars, the youngster stepped up to the Mini Max class in 2013 in the Super 1 National Championship.
Last year he got his first taste of a Ginetta G40 ‘Junior’ car during selected test outings and Chapman also entered the Ginetta Junior Scholarship, only just missing out on the prize of a fully-funded drive in the 2014 championship after embarking on an intensive shoot-out featuring 60 young drivers.
Part of the Ignition Sport management stable, headed by experienced international sportscar racer James Walker, the teenage Faringdon Community College student is hoping to make a strong start to his car racing career with TCR.
“I really enjoy driving the Ginetta G40 and can’t wait for the first race”, said Chapman, “I have a lot to learn, that’s why it’s important to work with people I trust to guide and teach me. With Lee Brookes’ experience of driving touring cars and the professional setup of TCR, I believe we will have the best chance of challenging for the Rookie Cup.”
TCR, of course, is widely regarded as one of the most successful teams in national motorsport and especially in one-make championships. Over the years, the West Midlands-based squad has been at the forefront of a variety of categories – not least the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup, Renault UK Clio Cup, SEAT Cupra Championship and Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship.
Adding involvement in the Ginetta GT5 Challenge a couple of seasons ago, TCR immediately became a front-running force and consistent championship challengers. Now, the Lee Brookes-led squad is aiming to do exactly the same in Ginetta Junior.
“I’m really pleased Matt will be starting his car racing career with TCR”, commented team principal Brookes, “We’re looking forward to helping him achieve his goals and after seeing how well Matt performed on the Scholarship day last year, I am sure he can quickly become a front-runner. We’re determined to make TCR’s first year in the Ginetta Junior Championship a successful one.”
Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent will host the opening two races of the Ginetta Junior Championship season over the weekend 29th/30th March.