British motorsport preparation company Tolman Motorsport has confirmed its first entry in the 2015 British GT series. Driven by David Pattison and Luke Davenport, the Ginetta G55 will run in the GT4 category of the series throughout the season.
The company, run by former MOD engineer and FIA World Rally Championship technician Chris Tolman, has extensive circuit racing experience, including several seasons running successful campaigns in the Ginetta series in the UK. For 2015, it will be making the step up to the British GT Championship with a GT4 version of the Ginetta G55, which ran as a shakedown towards the end of 2014.
The first of the two drivers, Pattison, is aged 57 and has spent the last two seasons racing in the Ginetta Challenge at the wheel of a G20 model. He achieved three third places in the GT5 Challenge and a pair of second places in the GT4 Supercup at Silverstone in 2014 and has been a firm friend of Tolman Motorsport since the company was formed.
The second driver will be Luke Davenport. The 21-year old from Cambridge has a wealth of experience that belies his age, including championship wins in karting and a string of wins and podiums in Ginettas, in G20, G40 and G55 models.
Combining raw talent with experience and maturity, the driver line-up is one that should suit the demands of the British GT Championship perfectly, which stipulates a split of this nature. In addition, Pattison has worked with Tolman for some time so there is an existing relationship, which will help when it comes to developing the cars and preparing race-day strategies.
Commenting, Team Owner Chris Tolman said; "I am delighted to welcome David and Luke to the Tolman Motorsport team. I have known David both personally and professionally for some time and believe that together with Luke, they will make an excellent pairing which will provide both the pace and the experience that GT racing requires.
"In addition to GT4, we also hope to be running a Ginetta G40 in the GT5 support series, to enable us to provide a ladder from the lower formulae to the British GT series. Our future plans include GT3 campaigns in British GT and Blancpain series following on from the GT4 programme and culminates with our ultimate goal, competing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2020.
"I believe that we, as a team and a company, have the drive and professionalism to be able to achieve that and our 2015 British GT4 campaign is the first step in that process. I am very excited about the next few years of competition, beginning in April."
David Pattison said; "It took me 56 years to achieve the dream of being a racing driver and the GT4 series in British GT is tailor-made for me. I love the car and the circuits we are going to be on. Luke is a very talented young man and I can't wait for him to help me to be the best I can. We are in very good hands with Tolman and I have had two years of working with their enthusiasm and professionalism. I would also like to thank Gravity Road for their continued sponsorship support. I'm very excited and can't wait to get started."
New driver Luke Davenport said; "I cannot wait for it all to begin. Chris and David at Tolman Motorsport have provided me with a fantastic opportunity to prove myself as an aspiring professional GT driver for 2015. I had planned to continue in the Ginetta Supercup for another season before moving to British GT. However, the guys at Tolman and I feel that my apprenticeship in the Ginetta Challenge and the Ginetta Supercup stands me in good stead to be competitive in British GT. The big challenge for me this year will be to adapt quickly to an endurance style of racing. My consistency over a stint will be paramount, whilst managing tyres at the same time as fighting against some experienced long-distance drivers.
"I am really pleased that my sponsors, Henderson Insurance Brokers and Duo Plc, have decided to continue supporting me for the coming season. They have been a great boost to my preparation and confidence in the past and I look forward to continuing this for 2015 as I progress up the GT ladder."
The first round of the 2015 British GT Championship takes place at Oulton Park on the weekend of 4-6 April.