top of page

British GT, Motorsport Ratings, and More: An Interview with British GT Driver Thomas Holland

Conducted by William Stephens, Written by William Stephens and Katie Gregory, Edited by Vyas Ponnuri

Credit - Thomas Holland

Thomas Holland is a British driver competing for Raceway Motorsport in the 2023 British GT Season. The 20-year old British driver has risen up the ranks of junior formulae in Britain, and currently races in GT4, in what is only his fourth full season of racing.

Alongside his racing, Thomas is also pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering at Swansea, which has helped him learn in-depth about motorsport machinery. He hopes to put his knowledge to good use when he puts forward his CV to other motorsport teams, in an attempt to grow his name within the motorsport ladder.

In an in-depth interview with Divebomb’s writer William Stephens, Thomas goes in-depth about various topics such as British GT, Motorsport ratings, Sponsorships, and many more topics within motorsport.

William Stephens: You have spent most of your career in Ginettas. Are they quick to get up to speed in, and learn the ropes?

Thomas Holland - You can definitely say that, yeah. Although naturally, we progress through Ginettas from juniors to the GT4. Even though GT4s have got massive 6.2 litre V8 engines underneath, they are still relatively low-power cars. Even in higher classes, the cars still remain incredibly light for the horsepower you have. Even in the GT Pro, cars have about 310-320 brake horsepower. When you think about it in terms of some supercars the Ginetta could probably beat, it doesn't sound much, but when you remember the car weighs 1200-1300 kilograms, it is incredibly light even by British GT standards, and we are probably the lightest car on the GT4 grid by a comfortable margin.

It also helps that, when you are in the Ginetta paddock, it feels like family. I have been with Raceway Motorsport since 2021. I've been able to stay in touch with other teams. I know people from other teams, and I've just been able to chat. The atmosphere you get from some of the teams being slightly more casual makes the Ginetta environment something of a brotherhood to be in. It's a nice atmosphere, which at the end of the day, for most of us racing drivers, the racing is just a hobby. There are very few of us who make it into a professional career, especially in GTs when you get into higher categories like GT World Challenge, then perhaps it's more on the professional level.

Ginetta also offers a nice progression path. If you go into GT Racing, you start in juniors, before progressing to the GT5 GT Challenge, or even closer to the GT4, the GT pro series. Although the GT pro cars have a 3.6 litre V6, they are as quick as the GT4 through some corners, which is slightly terrifying when we're out in the same session on some test days. You end up looking at them, thinking, “Oh no, you're faster than I expected”. Ginetta offers a really good progression from the baby steps into motorsport into British GT.

The most downforce of any Ginetta, if you exclude the prototypes, is probably the GT Pro car, as they have the full-size rear wing, whereas we have to cut ours on the GT4 to fit the silhouette of the car. But as you said, the juniors are on road tyres, while the GT5s are on Michelin slicks, which is more of a sprint oriented tyre, it doesn't last as long as the Pirelli's in British GT, but they are just as grippy, if not slightly more. It's like comparing a hard tyre to a soft tyre in Formula One terms, but I feel, throughout all the series (Juniors, GT5, GT Academy, and GT Pro) they all have just the right tyres.

The Juniors and GT Academy are seen more as a gentleman's driver series, but that doesn't degrade the championship at all. The standards of the series, especially last year’s standards, were ridiculously high. Also, on the road tyre, it’s a sort of pseudo-Michelin Pilot Sport 4s tyre. It's a really good tyre that's used in all conditions, but the fact that it’s used in all conditions in the dry makes it perfectly fine. However, when it starts to rain, you do end up sitting in the assembly area, just thinking, “Ah I need to be careful”. It can soak the pre-race nerves a little bit, but it's still a lot of fun. Even on a wet track, racing on this tyre is so much fun.

WS: You are currently studying mechanical engineering at university. Is that something you want to mix with your racing career, and improve you as a driver?

TH: That's definitely the goal. Provided everything goes well, and I come out of it with a degree, I’m keeping my fingers, arms, and legs crossed all for that. That will be the goal, though. Unfortunately, unless I get a streamlined path in racing, I've got support through sponsorships and branded partnerships. At the end of the day, these sponsorships help run racing series. For every racing series you watch, very little of it is funded out of the drivers pocket. A lot of the funding comes from partners and sponsors, which at the end of the day, is also something I'm relying on this year.

Mechanical engineering is something I really hope can help. It's already helped this year, having commenced my studies, and it's given me a slightly better understanding of how the car logically works. When you step into it, you completely forget everything until you get back out and speak to your engineer. Nick and the mechanics talk about setup changes. I realise it all makes sense. Going forward, I hope I'm able to put forward my knowledge on the car to teams and sponsors, to say, “I can bring this to the table, alongside a decent amount of talent.” Unfortunately, I'm still working on the second part, it's something I hope to mix and intertwine into my career for sure.

WS - This year hasn't been too kind in terms of luck but you have clearly shown the pace throughout the year so far?

TH - You could definitely say that, yeah. Especially in the case of Crees, as he stepped from touring cars to GTs, which I think took him a little getting used to. He has gone from front-wheel drive to rear-wheel drive race cars, but it's not like he hasn't driven rear-wheel drive before. It's just his immediate muscle memory which is still front-wheel drive.

He's probably going to hate me for saying this, but an incident took place at Silverstone where the rear end kicked out. His mind though, went, “Oh it’s front-wheel drive, I just need to pin the throttle.” If you've ever been in a simulator, and you're already not controlling the slide, and you pin the throttle, it doesn't always end well. He is quick, which helps as we’re both comfortable in the car. Last time at Donington, when Crees wasn't available, I had a good friend of mine who runs a Mk1 Mazda MX5. I ended up running into him, and he had never been in a GT4. So when he got the call two weeks before the event, and hopped into the car at a test, he got up to pace ridiculously quick, which was really good to see.

Coming to the unfortunate luck this year. Race one at Oulton Park was better than any of us could’ve imagined,as we achieved an overall podium, a first for the G56. It definitely warms my heart to say I've taken that record for Ginetta, and a Pro-Am win. If someone told me that before the weekend, I wouldn't have believed it. Although, unfortunately, we made a gamble on strategy in race two, like the Ford Mustangs did in race 1, which involved starting on slicks and finishing 1-2. We tried to replicate the same in GT4, and it didn't go to plan. It was a very slippery first few laps for me, it's when you go into the shell at Oulton Park, and you're like, “Oh no, this isn't stopping”, it was entertaining on that note.

At Silverstone, we showed pace, and were at par with the proper lap times. When you compare the budget of the Ginetta with the likes of McLaren or BMW, we looked ridiculously quick. However, we had a fire in the pitlane, an issue with the fuel pressure, at no fault of Ginetta or the team. It's just one of those things that happens. It meant we had to refuel earlier, which also led to a miscalculation on how much we would need. The fuel then spilt out, and caught the brake disc, causing it to go up in flames. We were on it right away, as we got the fire put out, the tyres changed, and Crees took his place in the car. This meant we had to manage the issue, and run a heavier car for the rest of the race, which in a 3-hour race is quite a while, especially when it happened an hour and a half into the race.

Later at Donington, the issue reared its head again, this time in more dramatic fashion, and we had to retire the car. This is something about racing, you put a lot of trust in the car to make sure that it works the entire time. Formula 1 is a prime example of this, when the turbo hybrid engine was introduced, Mercedes performed strongly, having been so reliable, and it translates to all series, especially endurance and Le Mans. The longevity of a car is such an important factor.

WS - As you said, you have been racing with Raceway since 2021. How's the team dynamic?

TH - When I first joined the team, there was a bit of a difference. Being from Somerset, and a Southerner when the team is entirely based in Yorkshire, it was an entertaining introduction. It was at Snetterton in 2020, when we were finding out what teams we would be driving for in the G40 cup, the logical progression back then. I was talking to a guy named Chris White, who raced with them for two prior seasons. And he told me to give these guys a go, and immediately it was like a little family, welcoming even when my family came over for the race weekends. They instantly opened their arms, greeted them, and waved us in.

Logically, from there, we've grown. The team is pretty much as old as my racing career, so we’re a fairly new team, but that doesn't mean we are inexperienced at all. I mean, look at our other car. Freddie Thomlinson and Stuart Middleton were pipped to pole by the McLaren Artura by a thousandth of a second, which hurt a little bit when I saw that. We are well experienced and well drilled, and don't laze about. But at the same time, we are not ridiculously strict on ourselves, of course, we knock ourselves down if one of us makes a mistake or anything like that. Immediately, everyone is around that person telling them they didn't do badly. You did the best you could to try to bring everyone up. Like I said, it's basically my racing family. Also, as you said I've grown up with them. When I first met them, I was 17, which is slightly terrifying to think about now, that was over 3 years ago. I don't feel 17 anymore, unfortunately, I now realise I've hit my 20s, and I’ve got to have a little bit more responsibility, something I never thought I'd have to say about myself. But, like I said, it's a team who have brought me up and raised me to be a better racing driver. It's like my family, really.

WS - Do you think this weekend will be good for you?

TH - I hope so. Snetterton is quite a tight and technical track, with a few medium to low-speed corners, with one long straight excluding the pit straight, which will be our weak points. As we are lighter in weight, we don't get much power, but through the corners, we are probably the fastest car in GT4, and can even brake as late as a GT3 in some corners, just by being so light. The pace has looked good through testing, the times we have been comfortably quick, but I am still learning the car. It is my first year, not only on slicks, but in a proper GT car as well, so I'm still pushing myself, seeing what I'm capable of

WS - Your Sim Racing Setup is in the background. Do you use it often?

TH - It's not glamorous by any stretch of imagination. It's something I've put together with a hammer and nails quite a few years ago now. I think that would've been pre-covid, and that's what initially got me into racing. I've been on racing games as well, even just casually on Mario Kart since I was 6 years old. I started doing video games when most others were starting their careers in karts. I think I had different priorities back then. Its something I have done here and there. I used to play a fair bit of Iracing, but now it's mostly on Assetto Corsa Competizione which I usually go to during the week of an event, then go out for about the length of my stint. I can have GT3 blasting past as well. While I'm not in GT3 yet, I do hop into one for a bit of fun, even if it is a bit of a step up. I did play the F1 games quite a lot. I logged a healthy amount of hours on F1 2021, which probably caused me to have a lot less of a sun tan than I should've had.

I do enjoy the sim, and when you look at how far sim-racing come as a whole, both in terms of technology and competitions, and how professional it is, it has seen an exponential growth, which is what I like to see, as that's technically that's where I started, despite not being that good at it. It’s definitely useful going from sim racing to real racing, there’s easy examples in James Baldwin and Jimmy Broadbent who have done it. I’ve heard some call it the “Gran Turismo generation” and I must point out that other alternatives are available, trying to be impartial. People have gone from sim racing to real racing, and have immediately been quick, which is terrifying.

WS - Is Le Mans the goal with its new GT3 class?

TH - It’s definitely a thought, at the moment I’m aiming to stay domestically in the UK, as I have my university degree at the same time. I’m in Swansea 90% of the time for my degree, and then running away from my flatmates to go racing when they’ve gone out drinking. I have given them some bottles of champagne from last year to say sorry. But yeah, that is the big goal, the dream at the moment for me is to race hypercars at Le Mans. If you can say you’ve done hypercars at Le Mans, mainly because it’s a new series, you can say you’re one of the few people who has actually been able to do it, which is absolutely crazy when you think about it.

But of course, with Le Mans switching to, I think switching to a two class system, I imagine the Garage 56 entry is probably going to stick around, so they’ll have the guest entry. I think now they’ve swapped the GT3s, it's definitely made it a little bit more possible for me, considering how different GTEs are compared to GT3s. So it is definitely something I hope I can do in the next few years, budget permitting. God, I hate the word budget. But no, it’s something I’m definitely keeping my fingers crossed. I have the opportunity to do it while I’m still relatively young. Not by a racing driver standard, unfortunately, but still relatively young compared to the average standard. That’s the dream, let's be fair, Le Mans, the World Endurance Championship, where can you go wrong?

WS - Is LMP2 only being kept for Le Mans in WEC for now?

TH - I do feel the LMP2 grid is some of those like the sports cars, I think European Le Mans are keeping LMP2s as their top level. But no, that's the one level you can get to, because once you get to hypercar, you kind of have to be a factory driver, unless you’re with a customer team, like the new Jota Porsche, or I imagine if Acura or Honda were to come and decide they want to try to take a bite out of Le Mans, which I’m hoping they do. I have watched a few IMSA races, and do quite like the Acura, and again you look at the Cadillac and they got a podium, so I think they’ll have a look at that and say, maybe it might be worth doing this. To be not a factory driver, LMP2 is probably the immediate kind of goal you get to, it’s the quickest thing you can race under a silver driver rating.

Of course, you got the FIA driver ratings of Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Platinum is the people who have won world championships, world endurance, F1, and been in Indycar. Then you have gold, the more experienced who haven’t been to as high a level independently, but have still been quick. Silver is the average, which they’ll just bang anyone in who’s my age, who’s done any kind of racing. Bronze is the Gentleman racers, or those who have done little to no racing, or have only just qualified for the international licence which requires an FIA rating. For a lot of us, immediately, especially those with the budget to do so, they look at LMP2 and go, “Yeah that’s where I can get my name out there”, which definitely attracts sponsors even more, if you can get your name out there, get it near the front of the grid, that’s what they mostly want. They also want you to work with them, show what you can bring to their company as a person, like motivational speaking or doing corporate events for them. For most of them, they would never have gone to a track day. I've had a few sponsorship days last year, where everyone's gone out of the car shaking and like, “Ahh that was terrifying” albeit in a good way. I’m not a terrifyingly bad driver, but for the average, we are terrifyingly quick. It’s a bit of a shame they are getting rid of the LMP2 for everything aside from Le Mans, because I feel it deserves to be on the grid, really.

WS - Valentino Rossi is classified as silver by the FIA. Your thoughts on it?

TH - When I look at that, it’s a bit crazy. I mean the FIA rating. It's weird, it makes absolutely zero sense even for us who have to look through the paperwork, when we end up filling it out. I think for Rossi, if I remember the rumour mills back in the early 2000s correctly, he was in the running for a Ferrari seat at some point, which when you look back at it, you’re like that’s crazy. But I think it’s only to do with the fact he hasn’t been on four wheels for as long as he has been for two. Valentino Rossi is a ridiculously good MotoGP rider, so much so that even F1 drivers like Lando Norris look up to him. It’s weird, the categorisation doesn’t always make as much sense as we’d like to think it does, unfortunately.

You still get these weird occasions like you shouldn’t have been rated that high or you shouldn’t have been rated that low kind of thinking about it, which is definitely entertaining. Oh well, I’m happy to see Valentino in a GT car. When you see motorbike riders going, let’s try four wheels for a bit of fun, and then they are quick. It does make you worry, there are a lot of motorbike riders which I imagine can be properly quick. Last year in GT Academy at Brands Hatch, we had a certain chap called John McGuinness who does Isle of Man TT, and he was quick, he hasn’t raced a car properly. I was talking to one of the coaches, apparently, initially at the start he was still taking a motorbike kind of line, a very gentle, gentle way. But when he got it clicked, he was rapid, for someone who hadn’t raced cars much, he was properly quick.

Age is also a big part of it, Creesy is rated as bronze, and he didn't have a licence until after he was 35. I think he did say he was 40 now, I can’t remember his age off the top of my head which is really bad, Creesy if you hear this, then sorry mate. Even then, Ben Short, who I had then at Donnington, is of a similar age to Creesy, hasn’t stepped into anything high-level nationally, but he got rated a silver. So it doesn’t make as much sense. There are so many kinds of factors the FIA uses when it comes to grading different drivers. 90% of the time they will see the age, see the amount of racing, and go, “Yep, silver.” If you go online, you can find the FIA database of every driver and every rating, you can probably find out the page for all the silvers is probably five times as long as the bronzes, and probably the same for platinum. They’ve probably definitely had that as the default reply, when it comes to their submissions or approval requests.

When it comes to driver ratings as well, another guy I know who’s ridiculously quick is bronze because he had a late license and he's in the fifties is Mark Waring, who’s in the Porsche Sprint Challenge, who funnily enough was my old punching buddy in the previous Genetta academy, in the GT academy, G40 cup. I wish I could say GRDC, but unfortunately, I was a bit slow back then, considering most of the people in that series had been doing track days since before my parents had even considered having me.

So that was definitely a big step up for that first year. Mark is ridiculously quick, he took an overall win at Snetterton in the Porsche Sprint Challenge. Even the commentators were like, I don’t think that’s ever happened before. Even some of the pros were wondering how he was this quick as a bronze. Or in that series, it’s pro and am, but the point still relatively stands. It’s slightly funny, people might not necessarily know this, but it’s more likely to get paid for team drives as a quick bronze than as any other rating. If you’re in a pro car immediately, you get a weight penalty and a pit-stop penalty, to try and balance out the field. However, if you're able to say that you’re a gentleman driver or an am driver, that will qualify the car nine times out of ten as a pro-am car, or in bigger scenarios, an am car. Most of the time, racing series will reduce the weight in the car, making it naturally quicker and reducing the pit stop time in the car, meaning you can cover more distance in the time. It’s weird when most people look at racing, especially those who have already been into single-seaters where it’s only one driver, one car. You get into this kind of split driver-in-the-car kind of scenario, when you think of it logically, it doesn’t always work the exact same way. It’s always interesting to look at, for me it’s interesting, but that makes me sound like a bit of a nerd unfortunately. It’s definitely a different kind of concept you have to wrap your head around. Especially for me being so new to the GT ladder, it definitely takes some getting used to regardless, unfortunately.

That tends to be the case especially when you get to GT3s. Good examples are Iain Loggie and Jules Gouron in the number one Mercedes in GT3. You can tell the car’s got D2 plastered away, even Loggie’s got a D2 helmet, if you've ever seen it. Then of course, Gounon is a Mercedes factory driver, which definitely looks good when you’re partnered up with someone. Gounon is one of the people you look at, and he’s got a platinum rating and they're ridiculously quick. GT3s this year has been all pro-am or silver Am entries. So of course, Pro-Am is a bronze driver and gold and platinum. Silver Am is a bronze and a silver. Am will always be a bronze basically.

Then you step into the GT4s, and the grid size is pretty much the exact same as the GT3s has been, but it’s a lot more pro-driver-based if that makes much sense. There are a lot more silver entries. I think we’ve got a fairly even split coming into Snetterton this weekend, with both Silver cars and Pro-Am cars. To be fair, Silver Am and Pro-Am are pretty much identical. However, Pro-Am cars have a weight reduction of about 25 kilos, which for a dainty little Genetta like us, if you’ve ever seen any posts of us racing other cars, especially the M4 GT4 car, we are tiny. If you want a good race to watch to show examples of car sizes, look at the GT4 European series where they went around at Monza. You had a little Alpine racing a Chevrolet Camaro, which is absolutely hilarious when you just see that it hides behind other cars, which is exactly how the Genetta feels pretty much.

Pro-am cars have reduced pit time, less weight because the goal of it is trying to make sure the cars are the same pace. Although in longer races like Silverstone, and when we eventually go there, and later Portimao on the 23rd of July, are three-hour races where pit stops are a fairly big factor into racing there. So it is something you do have to take into account, and sometimes the Pro-Am cars can be quicker over longer races, but I am aware it changes a lot between different series. When you look at the time of races in British GT, it definitely looks more like a sprint series, compared to other endurance series. Even though we have sprint rounds like we had earlier this year at Alton and Snetterton, Pro-Am is definitely what a lot of people want to go towards, because then you have the support from the Am 90% of the time.

Credit - Thomas Holland

WS - British GT are going to Portimao for the first time this year. Would you have rather gone to Spa like they did in the years previous?

TH - You’re asking me a very difficult question. The thing is, I’ve only ever driven Portimao in real life, and on the sim, of course. So that is the one I’ve actually got experience at, and it’s an absolutely mega track. If you've ever been to Brands Hatch, it’s basically like that but you crank it up to 11, throw in a bit of Alton Park, and inject it full of steroids.

It is absolutely mental, and I’m really looking forward to going there, it should be so much fun. But at the same time, Spa has been one of my favourite tracks to do on the sim. Oh no, I could have gone to Belgium or Portugal. I haven't really spent long amounts of time at either track, by any stretch of the imagination. I like Portimao, but if I ever race Spa I’ll definitely have to find out the definitive answer of those two.

I’m pretty sure the team would prefer us going to Spa, as it's a lot less of a drive, and a ferry ride for them. Even for us, it would be just a drive there, jump on the euro tunnel, drive the rest of the way to Belgium, and you don’t have to worry about going through baggage reclaim at whatever airport you end up going to. Unfortunately, being in Somerset and going to Bristol, we don't tend to have the luckiest of baggage reclaim times. Logistically, you probably want to go to Spa but I really, really love Portimao.

WS - I heard somewhere Gounon is on £350,000 to race in British GT

TH - I wouldn’t know personally. Like I said, there’s a lot of money in motorsport. I mean, nine times out of ten it’s a lot of money to be lost, which is unfortunate. When I’ve looked at the books over the past few years, I’m just like, oh no, it’s painful. If you’re definitely being a lot more serious, it can sometimes be a bit more hectic and money based. At the end of the day, money makes the world go round, and helps racing happen. Any series you watch from F1, to even grassroots racing, sponsorship and money is what continues to entertain people.

Yeah, it is unfortunate, I know a bunch of people who haven’t had the budget, but have had a lot of talent, who unfortunately haven't been as fortunate. I am incredibly lucky to be in a position where I have received support from both branded partnerships and sponsorships, and my parents chipping in here and there, to try and help me get to this level. I cannot thank them and my sponsors any more.

So, of course, I have Warburtons First, an old sponsor who supported me last year. I've got to thank BPC Group who deal in land and sales, the New Homes Group, Warburton Building Services and Bateman GroundWorks for personally helping me so far. I cannot thank them enough for the support they’ve given me. Hopefully, I’m able to make more connections and build more partnerships over the years to keep progressing and growing. I’ve been lucky to go to a new series every year or so, which can be daunting for some people, but at the stage I was in, I needed to keep going, otherwise I would slowly start to lose relevance. It sounds weird when I’m saying this, and I’m only in my twenties, but in the racing world, I’m getting old. When you get to more professional stuff, you still get some professionals going up the ranks in their mid-thirties but it isn’t there as much unfortunately. I’m trying to make sure I get my name out there.

Unfortunately though, Thomas Holland is a bit of a popular name, for those who definitely like to watch Spiderman as well. And even then, there's another Thomas Holland who is a Canadian automotive journalist. There are some Thomas Hollands out there when it comes to motorsport and whatnot. Even then, the actor likes to watch racing as well. Maybe if I ever need to think about other drivers, I’ll give him a call to see if he wants to do some racing or something. It would be terrifying because I’m pretty sure he is much smaller than me, and much lighter than me, so that would be an entertaining comparison. I’m pretty sure it would give the commentators and whoever has to do admin an absolute nightmare.

WS - Do you think certain cars can become fan favourites?

TH - I think it’s the optimum car, or as most people who’ve ever watched British GT would know, the Only Fans car, the McLaren car sponsored by Only Fans. At Oulton Park, I’m pretty sure both of their drivers were called Harry, which definitely helped, because if you saw anyone in a race suit which had Only Fans on it, you’d know their name was Harry.

Even last year, for some reason the Only Fans car tended to be a very popular car among fans, don’t know why. Or the Dacia Logan at the Nurburgring 24, no matter what. Throughout every series, there will always be those cars which are fan favourites. That’s why I like Ginetta. When you look at the GT4 manufacturers, you have Porsche, BMW, Mercedes, McLaren, and Alpine, who are relatively big, and you have Aston Martin, another big brand.

But when you look at their budget and spending these manufacturers have for developing their cars, it is quite a bit. And then when you get to Ginetta, you have a bunch of blokes in a shed up in Leeds, hammering together fibreglass and a big engine, and making it as quick, and you’re wondering if everyone else must be doing something wrong.

It is not cheap to develop a GT4 car by any means, but then you look at how much more manufacturers have spent to develop their cars, and compare that to Ginetta. You can definitely see it’s a bit entertaining, seeing the boys up in Leeds doing an amazing job giving us the car, giving it to the teams to build up, and send into racing, and compared to everyone else it’s entertaining. I always like to root for the underdogs a little bit, hence why my go-to team to support for quite a long time in F1 has been Sauber. The family atmosphere at Ginetta, you can’t really imagine you’d get it in many other places.

That’s the thing I really like about GT racing, you can’t get it everywhere else. If you compare F1 cars and GT cars through a magnifying glass, you can see the differences between the cars. But when you get to GT prototype racing, all the cars look different, and drive differently. The Genetta is ridiculously nimble, and when you look at the BMWs, they are ridiculously quick on the straights.

When you look at them, you’re able to see that they race against each other. This was pointed out by the commentators at Silverstone when I was battling a Mustang. When you look at the two cars in comparison, you’ve got the big American Mustang and the tiny little, nimble Ginetta. That’s what I love, the cars can be so different, yet still be on a level playing field with the balance and performance.

A lot of engineers and drivers hate balance and performance, but in the end, I feel it is a necessary evil. A big example is initially the Artura that was meant to be a GT3 car, and a potential replacement for the 720S at one point apparently. I remember I was at the parc ferme in Oulton Park, when Stew and myself, who had just finished qualifying were looking at one of the McLarens, and it had an air vent from the radiator going up through the bonnet over the roof to get a clean airflow to the spoiler.

That’s something that not all GT4 cars have, especially us with the front-engined car, we don’t have anywhere near that kind of luxury unfortunately. Then you have the canards at the front, which are properly starred, and you can see the cars building a wind tunnel. I think the Artura is probably one of the stronger cars.

Credit - Thomas Holland

The one issue that they’ve had, an obvious one throughout the season so far, is their reliability. The BMWs have been basically bulletproof, from what I can remember, I don’t think they’ve had one technical gremlin at all. Hats off to BMW, I think they had an issue with air conditioning, but then that was identified off the bat and sorted recently, so they’ve been strong. Air conditioning is definitely something I look forward to, so hopefully, after Creesy’s stint, I get a relatively cool car. I’m looking forward to this weekend, we should be live on Sky Sports F1 as well,

Most British GT rounds are live on Sky Sports F1, and It definitely helps that we’re live on TV. When we’re not live on TV, it would either be played as a delayed live kind of thing, and highlights would be shown throughout the week. Every time we are racing or warming up or qualifying, we are being live streamed on the GT World Youtube channel. I’ve watched a lot of that in the pre-season, just to get a proper gauge on what British GT is like. It’s always a pretty good watch, Silverstone was definitely an entertaining one because we were a camera car as well, and had an onboard camera for that one. When I found out about that, and said hi to the boys on Thursday I was a little bit nervous, because the second you say there's a camera onboard, it’s like, oh great that’s gonna be a bit of pressure now isn’t it?

Basically, you must be on your good behaviour, because then if you do make a mistake or do something naughty, everyone will be able to see it. All Ginetta series have onboard cameras. If you’re able to get a camera angle when it shows the driver’s steering inputs, I know we can’t have one because of how cramped the cockpit is, you can see how much work every driver is having to do in the car. You can’t be as smooth in GTs as you can in Formula 1 or single seaters, as we are running more on mechanical grip. Especially GT4s, we don't have much aero.

When you look at any Formula car, they have tons of aero. It’s a different driving style that you can’t really see from standing outside the cars, but when inside the car, you can see how hard some drivers are having to work. It’s quite shocking, at times seeing how much they’re having to wrestle it.

WS - An F3 chassis weighs around 300kg, and they have 300hp. Your thoughts on this?

TH - I’m pretty sure I am about half the weight of the entire car, unfortunately. I’d have to double-check, I can’t remember how heavy a F3 or GP3 car is. You look at them and how small they are, if you look at them on a live stream, you think they can’t be that small. But if you walk into a British F4 paddock or a British GT paddock, you can see how small they actually are. They're probably smaller than the average first car for the teenagers starting to learn how to drive, it’s crazy. When you think that people are jumping in them, and the F3 cars are all quicker than the GT3 cars, it's absolutely mental when you look at how fast some of the peddlers are going.

It is funny, you’d think of a series called Ginetta Junior, the cars would actually be really small, like that of a go-kart. The Ginetta Junior is the same size as any G40, I think they're slightly wider, but slightly shorter than the old G20, which was what the Ginetta Junior’s used to be until they moved up to the G40 platform. The cars are relatively tight, they are no bigger than a Mk1 Mazda, that’s the best example I’ve probably got. They are relatively comfortably sized, I’m six foot one and was able to fit in one quite comfortably. I know someone who’s taller than me and who’s been in the G40 as well. He’s been in GT academy and the G56, the G56 isn’t a massive car by any means of the imagination. Another one is Angus Whiteside, who’s now in Porsches. He’s ridiculously tall, I remember when I first met him in person I was like oh hi, really nice guy though, definitely funny when you stroll through his Instagram and see what antics he’s getting up to.

The car is comfortable for people of ridiculously tall sizes, when Laurence and everyone were developing the car, they wanted it to be driven by most people. My dad might give me a smack for this, but he would agree with me, he’s not the smallest of people by any means, he’s able to get into a G40, and whether he’d be able to get out at all would be the entertaining part. I went to the launch of the GT academy car, my dad was in one of the cars having a blast around the track. So it’s definitely a car that can be driven by anyone, it’s simple enough, it’s challenging enough where it can teach you a lot of things, which I definitely have to thank for the past few years, and getting to where I am now. The Ginettas teach you so much, and can be driven by all sorts of people.

Do make sure to catch the races at Snetterton, race one is from 11.25 am to 1.25 pm, and race two is from 4.20 pm to 5.20 pm. I’ll be finishing the first race and starting the second. In addition, make sure you catch the race at Portimao on the 23rd of July. The races will be on Sky Sports F1, or GT World Youtube channel.


bottom of page