Reigning British GT4 champion Jamie Chadwick is set to compete in the second half of the 2016 British GT season alongside The Great British Bake Off star, Paul Hollywood. Chadwick and Hollywood will drive a second Beechdean Aston Martin Vantage GT4 machine alongside series newcomers Jordan Albert and Jack Bartholomew. Due to Jamie’s school commitments and Paul’s busy work schedule, the pair will compete in the final three rounds of the season starting at Spa Francorchamps before going onto to the double header at Snetterton and then finishing the year at Donington. With reduced track time compared to their competitors, the all-new pairing will be targeting solid finishes in their limited appearances with the hope of challenging the top-5 places.
Jamie Chadwick became the youngest British GT champion in history when she took the GT4 title alongside Ross Gunn in their first year in the series. With two impressive victories, coming at Rockingham and Silverstone, the pair displayed great consistency during the latter part of the season when they held off the challenge posed by Oz Yusuf and Gavan Kershaw in their Lotus Evora. Benefitting from a test in an Aston Martin Vantage GT3 in Bahrain during the off-season, Jamie now has experience in more powerful machinery at a world famous circuit as she targets a career in GT racing. The former Ginetta Junior Championship driver will be focussing on her A Level exams during the first half of the season before teaming up with Hollywood for the second portion of the year. With several test sessions driving with Paul under her belt, Chadwick and Hollywood will have a good working relationship before taking to the track for their first British GT race together at Spa Francorchamps in July.
Star of cookery show The Great British Bake Off, Paul Hollywood is no stranger to racing and is a huge motorsport fan. Paul competed alongside Beechdean Aston Martin Racing owner, and current British GT champion Andrew Howard, in the MSA British Dunlop Endurance Championship event at Silverstone last season. The pair drove an Aston Martin Vantage GT4 machine finishing second in both races, with Hollywood gaining valuable experience completing just shy of 100 laps during the course of the weekend. Paul has joined the team during an extensive programme of winter testing, benefitting from valuable team knowledge and becoming more comfortable in the car during long stints. Although he may not have the experience of some of his fellow competitors, Hollywood is a competent racer and people may be surprised by the results produced by this intriguing pairing.
With Jamie’s success in becoming the first female driver to win the British GT championship, this will hopefully inspire young female drivers to evaluate GT racing as a credible alternative to single seaters. Alongside well-known TV personality Paul Hollywood, Jamie will be taking the second portion of the races for the “Pro” drivers. This will be a different experience to her maiden year in British GT where she was the “Am” driver and started the race before handing over to Ross Gunn at the halfway point. Because of this, Jamie may need to adjust her driving style accordingly as she will be racing on worn tyres and may look to gain places through strategy if a safety car is deployed mid-race. With less than four months to go before Chadwick and Hollywood begin their partnership, both will be eager to complete further testing before their season gets underway at the legendary Spa Francorchamps circuit in Belgium.