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Episode 25

Ginetta G40 GRDC – The Perfect Entry To Motorsport?

On my quest to find affordable yet competitive racing, I’m evaluating a variety of championships to see which would be best for me. This week, we look at Ginetta

A while back now, I wrote an article about what I’m looking for when it comes to the race series I choose to enter in 2021 (you can read it here to refresh your mind). Now, I rounded off that article by stating I’d be reviewing certain race series throughout the year, in order to see which one best fit my criteria. Yet, nearly five months later, the only series I have studied so far is the Club100 karting series, and technically that doesn’t even count! Therefore, it’s time to look at Ginetta G40’s.

The GInetta G40 GRDC championship is an all-inclusive package which offers you the option to buy a G40 race car and a fully-supported 4-weekend, 12-race championship, for a single lump cost of £36,000 +VAT – so £42,000. Now, if you go back and read the original criteria, I said the absolute maximum budget of mine would be around the £45k mark, so on first thought this looks like a good start for the G40, but then if I factor in all the supplementary costs such as tyres and fuel, transportation et al, I would guess that the total cost would be closer to £50,000. Therefore, it’s a tentative no for now…

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The other primary criterium was the profile of the series. Now, on this one, Ginetta have smashed it out of the park. Firstly, all rounds of the GRDC take place as support races for the British GT championship, meaning good crowds (with the exception of this year). This also means televised coverage of the series, thus exposing my blog to a large new audience. Big tick in this department.

Another aspect that Ginetta really excel in relates to their handling of sponsors. Considering that, as hosts of the series and therefore not directly linked to any of the driver’s sponsors, they really do go out of their way to accommodate them. For example, each driver receives an allocation of hospitality passes over the season to distribute to family, friends or sponsors, and that’s just the start.

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The Ginetta Media Day allows any of the Ginetta racers to offer passenger laps to any guests they choose, alternatively they can aid drivers in setting up their own corporate track day, allowing guests to drive the cars also! Finally, the Ginetta factory can even be booked by drivers for events or meetings.

Back to the racing itself, and another huge positive is that, because it’s a Ginetta-organised series, all of the cars are equal, ensuring a level playing field. Now, if you’re already knowledgeable about the Ginetta motorsport ladder, you may be wondering why I’m focusing on the G40 GRDC rather than the G40 Cup class. After all, they run pretty much the same machinery on the same tracks at the same time, so what’s the difference?

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Well, the GRDC is specifically aimed at novice drivers, meaning everyone starts with the same level of experience, whereas the Cup class is open to anyone, regardless of whether you’ve been racing for 12 months or 12 years. This means that, in the GRDC, drivers will be much more likely to challenge for podiums right from the off. That, in essence, is much more appealing to me.

Finally, the car itself. The G40 is a fully-enclosed vehicle which, despite being designed and built purely for the track, is road legal. The 840kg shell is propelled by the rear wheels, which are linked to a 135bhp, 1.8-litre motor. Now, those numbers are not mind-blowing in the slightest but, especially considering the engines are derived from Ford, they’ll be pretty much indestructible despite being constantly rung out. The body also provides 7 square metres of billboard space, meaning ample area for both sponsor and #RacingGrind branding. All in all, then, I would say that the Ginetta G40 GRDC championship is a genuine option for me to compete in next year. With twelve races, an all-inclusive cost, and full support for both myself and sponsors, it really is a near-perfect package. The only problem would be that price…

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