Read the important press release, especially at the point: Who are you personally being supported by in 2014?....
Trackspeed’s Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen on the 2014 British GT Championship
The 2014 British GT Championship gets underway on Tuesday 8th April with its highly anticipated media day at Donington Park. This will be the first time the teams come together for the new season that commences at Oulton Park on 19– 20 April, 2014.
Having won the British GT Team Championship four times since 2009, Trackspeed Racing is looking to reclaim its title dominance. For 2014 the team has entered two Porsche 911 GT3R challengers with Warren Hughes and Jody Firth, and returning Trackspeed driving duo, Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen.
Keith Cheetham, team manager of Trackspeed Racing, says of the dynamic duo: “After two test days so far this year Jon is driving the best I have ever seen him. Over the past couple of years the pairing of Jon and Phil has been one of the most successful in GT3 and is definitely going to be one of the most competitive in the field again this year. We had a very up and down year last year, so hopefully, with a little luck, we will see some good results and clinch the title once again.”
Having successfully completed a one-day test at Oulton Park this week, the experienced Trackspeed drivers talk about their expectations for 2014.
How are you feeling about the coming season?
Jon Minshaw: “I’m feeling pretty confident. I’ve had two seasons in British GT and feel very comfortable with the car and my team mate. All we were missing last year was a little bit of luck and I think we could have finished the season in a strong position if the luck had been on our side as we certainly had the pace.”
Phil Keen: “I think we’ve made good progress with the cars over the winter and found a few things that will help us this year. We had a lot of bad luck last year, some created by ourselves and some that was out of our control, so our aim has to be to stay out of trouble and score points at every round; that would be a good start.”
What are you most excited about?
JM: “After two years of competing in modern racing I’m excited that this year could be our year - third time lucky! And I’m really looking forward to driving the Porsche around Spa as it’s one of my top three all time circuits.”
PK: “I am looking forward to getting the season under way. I think we have a good package and would like to think we can challenge for race wins and the Championship.”
What attracted you to stay with Trackspeed?
JM: “There are several reasons; Keith’s desire to win, the professional, yet comfortable team atmosphere and, of course, the legendary Dave Ashburn [team owner]. Talking of whom, he will certainly be sadly missed by me in the championship this year. Finally, I believe that I’m in a car that is more than capable of winning the British GT title.”
PK: “The team - Keith, Stuart, Boyd, Grant and ASBO. They work extremely hard and do a very good job. Considering the work we give them sometimes in a short time frame, the car rarely misses a beat. Also, my team mate Jon is one of the best Amateur’s on the grid and the Porsche is a fantastic car to drive.
How do you feel about the strength of your pairing?
JM: “Very positive! Phil Keen is the consummate professional driver and with my improving pace and his guidance and advice, I believe that we are genuine contenders this year.”
PK: “I think Jon and I make a good team. We know what we want from the car; we work well together and have similar driving techniques. He is quick, constantly improving and has been working hard over the winter, so I think we shall be right at the sharp end at the first round at Oulton - no pressure then!”
Which teams will you need to keep an eye out for?
JM: “Ecurie Ecosse and the Beechdean Aston Martin, for sure, but it could be any one of six driver pairings that could easily win the title this year, in my opinion, and that’s what makes British GT so challenging and unpredictable.”
PK: “Probably most of them, can I let you know after Oulton? [laughs]. There are a lot of good teams and driving pairings this year, so we will go into the first races concentrating on getting the best from the package we have, see how the others get on and go from there.”
Who are you personally being supported by in 2014?
JM: Demon Tweeks, the family business which was started by my father in 1972. It supported his successful racing career and it’s very important for the company to be seen in such a high profile, prestigious championship. Additionally OMP, who I believe make the best race wear in the world today.”
Notes to Eds:
Founded in 2005 By David Ashburn, Trackspeed Racing have made incredible inroads into the competitive world of sportscar racing in a comparatively short time. Competing in the British GT Championship in 2005 proved to be a rapid learning curve for the team, however its fierce ambition was rewarded when Trackspeed fielded a three car assault on the 2006 British GT Championship, dominating its class with eight wins and 12 podiums. In 2007 the team upped the ante and entered a car in to the prestigious FIA Championship winning the Porsche Manufacturers Cup.2008 saw further growth with Trackspeed contesting the highly competitive GT2 category in the FIA GT Championship whilst still retaining the Porsche Manufactures Cup in GT3. After tackling the best of the best in the 2009 European Championship in GT2 and GT3, David Ashburn won the 2010 British GT Drivers’ Championship after a hard fought season and Trackspeed won the Team Championship overall.It held on to the Team Championship trophy for three consecutive years and intends to reclaim the title as it enters the 2014 British GT Championship with two Porsche 911 GT3R entries.
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