Updated: Feb 28
Interviewed by Tom Evans Edited by Harshi Vashee
I was lucky enough to interview Ginetta GT5 driver and winner Will Aspin a short while ago!
Tom: First of all, who are you, what series do you race in and tell us something we might not know about you!
Will: Hi, I’m Will Aspin. I’m a 17 year old British racing driver. I live in Italy and I race in the Ginetta GT5 Challenge Championship. Something you might not know about me is that it’s only my 2nd full year in racing, and I haven’t done any sort of karting.
Tom: Were you always interested in Motorsport from a young age? If so, how were you introduced to it?
Will: I’ve always been interested in Motorsports since I was young and it’s definitely my dad’s fault, he is a car nutter and he loves racing. So whenever Formula one was on at the weekend he would always watch it. The time I found out I really liked it was when he took me to a Ferrari challenge race at Mugello and it was something I found really exciting. However, there was one thing I didn’t like, there was a massive crash on the main straight with cars on fire and everything so, it was a massive shunt. And I remember saying to my dad “please don’t do this!”. But obviously I’m doing it now so it’s slightly weird that I said that, but I was pretty young so it is what it is.
Tom: Who was/were your idols growing up? And why? (They don’t have to be Motorsport related)
Will: My idols growing up were probably my dad. I definitely looked up to him alot, so if he did something I always also tried to do it. In terms of motorsport, Michael Schumacher was someone I looked up to, just the way he drove the car was amazing, and I enjoyed watching him so it was a win-win.
Tom: Why number 26?
Will: The reason I chose number 26 is because I couldn’t have number 16! There isn’t really much of a reason. When I choose my numbers, I always try to find a number that means something to me if that makes any sense. A number which goes with my name. I think for next year I’ll try and find something else that’ll stick with me for the rest of my career and people will know me because of that number.
Tom: Was there a spontaneous day when you decided to be a racing driver, or was it a long and gradual thought process?
Will: It was sort of a spontaneous decision/day in a way, like I knew I’d always wanted to do some proper karting. I asked my parents and they said that they’d rather me get into Ginetta than karting, mostly because karting’s much more dangerous, and they were right, and to be honest thinking about it now, I’m pretty glad I didn’t get into karts because I don’t think I would be where I am at the moment, and definitely not in cars, so I’m really happy with the decision my parents helped me make and the support I’ve had. So it was sort of spontaneous but, it was always something I wanted to do. I never really got the chance from my parents when I was younger, so I did push them a bit! But once I turned 13 going onto 14 I pushed them a bit more, and eventually it happened, and I really couldn’t thank them enough for giving me that opportunity.
Tom: The costs of starting a career in Motorsport is very difficult for most people due to the large costs involved. Was this a challenge for you, and if so how did you overcome those problems?
Will: So obviously it does come with a cost, and it is very difficult for lots of people to get involved because of how massive the costs are. For me, yes it was a challenge to get the budget due to family circumstances, but we managed to do it in the end and sorted it out and we managed to go racing. In terms of overcoming the problems, I had some inheritance so I put some of that in and just worked hard towards our goal. Obviously in the first year in Ginetta Juniors we didn’t really have any sponsors, so it was mostly my parents paying so I really thank them a lot. But this year I’ve got some sponsors, Alpaca, Munroe.K and ALT legal who have helped me and I also can’t thank them enough as well. They’re all a really nice bunch of people and I love to have them onboard next year whatever we are gonna do.
Tom: From 2020 to 2021 your results in Ginetta have improved massively. Was there a particular confidence boost that you had, or was it just a matter of experience?
Will: So last year I raced in Ginetta Junior and it was my first season in racing so it was a learning year. Throughout that season from where we started in Donnington to where we finished at Brands hatch, it went well I’d say for my first year in racing it went really well. I think it was 7 or 8 top 10 finishes and it was a really enjoyable year but also challenging but we knew it was gonna be challenging at the start of the year. But yeah we did really well finishing 15th in the championship, which doesn’t sound impressive when you first look at it but considering it was my first year of racing. Towards the end of the season we were always in the top 10 or even fighting in or near the front at some point so we couldn’t have been happier. This year it hasn’t been the biggest step up, as GT5 is using the same chassis (Ginetta G40) but it has more HP (55 more) and slick tyres so the corners are where it’s much faster. With the slicks it’s a good fun car to race and I would definitely recommend it to any young racers who are looking to race in a great car and a great championship. To be honest, there was never a point where I didn’t believe I could do it. It was always in me, I knew I could do it. I just needed to have the time and experience. After testing, I felt comfortable with the team around me which boosted my confidence and got me ready for the season. But also with a lack of experience you’re always gonna have that thought in the back of your head saying that you can’t do it when really you can.
Tom: Well, we know you’ve had great success in Ginetta GT5 this year, but did you ever believe that you’d have the impressive results that you’ve had?
Will: I did surprise people when I got into GT5 because they didn’t expect me to be that quick. I did believe that I’d have impressive results after the first couple of times I got into the car because we knew where we were compared to last year’s drivers. We were at the front and last year’s drivers weren’t at all bad with names like James Taylor and Josh Malin so we knew we were at the front so we aimed for the championship, and we finished 3rd. I’m really happy with how the season has gone. We’ve been a bit unlucky with a few races and we won 6 races on the road, so the championship really should have gone down to the wire but yeah bit of bad luck, but you’ve gotta take it and be proud of what we’ve done.
Tom: You’ve had some brilliant results this year picking up 3 wins and 13 podiums. Was there a particular drive that you were extra proud of?
Will: There was one drive, a wet race that I enjoyed very very much, but also Donnington race one, it was where I led from P2 to P1, but to keep Josh Steed behind me and pull a gap to him was something that I could think of and prove the point that I can do it. The second race was really something I loved leading from start to finish, in the wet as well with no prior experience in the wet but I managed to pull it out the bag and get our heads down. But the one that really was the best one was race 3 that weekend. We won again and managed to fend off Sam Smith behind me for the whole race. My tyres were pretty old as well so it was hard, but rewarding.
Tom: And finally, after a very solid Ginetta GT5 season, do you plan to race in GT4 next year or venture elsewhere?
Will: Next year I do plan on going somewhere else, to something a bit faster, talks are going on and nearly complete so should be confirmed very soon, and should be announced the beginning of next year hopefully so yeah really excited for the things coming up in the future. I’m very lucky and I can’t wait for the next few years they’re gonna be really special and hard as well! Well not hard but challenging and I’m ready to take that challenge on!
This interview is also featured on Tomevansphotography.bgbossmedia.uk